The seven components to the Primal Code adapted to medical tourism startup strategy, plus one example I applied about each.

In one of the most highly-praised books of its kind, cited by YouTube as a best practice, Patrick Hanlon explains how the most powerful brands create a community of believers around the brand, revealing the seven components that will help every medical tourism organization and its marketers capture the cash and trust of the consumer.

Creation Story

Each brand must tell its story of how it began. It must answer the question, “Where do you come from?”

Example: The “about” section of your hospital, clinic, medical or dental practice, or spa/resort if you are an individual provider. If you are a destination cluster organization, your about us must tell the story of how the cluster or destination arrived in medical tourism and what you decided to do to differentiate it from other competing destinations.

The Creed

This is the spine which supports the whole brand. This should project the vision of what you want the medical tourism department or cluster to become.

Example: The tagline for your product.

The Icons

These are the images or sensory products that are instantly identified with your brand. They should be recognizable and distinct enough to leave an impression on the consumer when they encounter it.

Examples: logos, themes, and branded products and packages

The Rituals

The interactions that your consumer has with your hospital, clinic, medical practice, hotel, resort, spa or destination. The goal is to maximize the number of positive occurrences your customer has with your brand.

Example: Online browsing and engagement through social media channels

The Pagans

These are the opponents to what defines your company. It’s as important to identify your “unbelievers” as it is to define who you are.

Examples: People who would never travel away from known providers in their community to receive care someplace else.

The Sacred Words

The specialized jargon that only the insiders know. Every belief system has its own informal dictionary to distinguish itself from outsiders. The jargon that consumers could care less about because it isn’t about “them”.  They can’t relate!

Example: You guessed it: JCI Accreditation and other labels that mean little and are unrecognizeable to most consumers of healthcare

The Leader

Who or what the mascot is for the brand. This does not necessarily need to be a physical person, but it could also be an ideology or trademark face.

Example: The surgeon or specialist in whom the consumer will place all trust and allow themselves to be incised, have parts excised, guide decisions, be dissected, stitched up, or prodded and poked while naked.

The book is available on and other booksellers. The 2011 version is available electronically and in paperback.