Manor Care, the nation's fourth-largest long-term-care provider, has picked up the "branding" iron still warm from Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.'s latest advertising blitz.
Manor Care announced that all its 200 facilities in 28 states were consolidated Sept. 3 under the same name, ManorCare Health Services. Previously, Manor Care, based in Gaithersburg, Md., had operated its facilities under seven brand names: Americana, Arden Courts, Four Seasons, Leader, Manor Care, MedBridge and Springhouse.
The company also rolled out a $1.5 million national multimedia ad campaign aimed at establishing Manor Care as a brand-name long-term-care provider. In addition, it will spend $1.5 million to replace signs.
The move comes on the heels of Columbia's recent launch of a $26 million campaign to make the Nashville, Tenn.-based hospital company as nationally synonymous with quality healthcare as Kleenex is with soft tissues (Aug. 19, p. 26). One of the main components of its strategy was to rename its facilities with the word Columbia first.
Similarly, Manor Care said it made the change to shape a consistent national identity and to emphasize its continuum of services as it repositions itself to compete for the growing numbers of elderly patients. There are now 33 million Americans over age 65, and by the year 2020 the number is expected to double to 66 million.
As demographics continue to shift, a spokesman for Manor Care said, the company wants, for example, adult children in one state to recognize the name of the facilities their parents in another state are using. Manor Care offers assisted living, Alzheimer's care, adult day care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and other post-acute services.
The company will retain Manor Care as its legal name and will continue to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the MNR symbol. The company also owns 82% of Vitalink Pharmacy Services (See related story, this page) and holds a controlling interest in In Home Health. Manor Care expects annual revenues of $1.2 billion in 1996.