Case Study No. 114 – Columbia Wesley Medical Center

Birthing Center Reclaims Its Market Share Through 'Softened' Campaign In recent years, Columbia Wesley Medical Center's long-time dominance as the Wichita, Kansas, leader for birthing care was being threatened by increased competition from two new birthing centers. Its market share, dipping to between 51 and 55 percent, had descended to an all-time low of 46 percent in 1994. To protect its 75-year-old turf as the preferred place to give birth, Wesley embarked on a re-positioning advertising/PR campaign that would restore its 60 percent market share and soften its high-tech, critical care image. Wesley, highly regarded as a medical innovator in the market (it was the first in the region to introduce neonatal air transport, paranatal transport and a level three emergency care unit), was also struggling with an exaggerated consumer perception of being exclusively specialized in these areas of high-tech, high-risk birthing care. To bolster a family-oriented image, Wesley invested in an $11 million freestanding BirthCare Center and launched an award-winning $230,000 ad campaign that used graceful animation and striking original music to communicate its new philosophy: "Birthing the way you want it to be.

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