16 Jun Branding Your Medical Practice: Important Things to Consider
Give thought to some of the most recent buying choices you have made. Perhaps while shopping for clothing or a particular laundry detergent. There are good odds that your decisions were based on successful branding. Many of us tend to find comfort in opting for brands that we are familiar with. We also tend to opt for brands that have been linked with quality. Whether you are shopping for jeans, household cleaning products, cars or another service, branding impacts your actions. Almost every step of the way.
Think about what springs to mind when the word “branding” is mentioned about a product or service you’re familiar with. Do you picture the business logo? Perhaps the advertisements and materials distributed by the company? What do you think about when considering the branding of your own medical practice?
Your branding is so much more than your logo and your distributed marketing materials. Your branding expands beyond well-placed ads.
How branding relates to the medical practice
Today’s patient has infinitely more access to information about medical practices than patients have had in years past. This information is used to help them make a range of decisions. This includes determining which practitioner is the best choice for meeting their medical needs.
As a medical practitioner, it is essential that you are completely transparent about the image you present. Consider how it will influence each step in the patient experience. The goal of building your brand is to establish a level of comfort and trust with your prospective patients. Your future patients should think of your medical practice first when they get ready to make a decision. Your brand should positively stick out in their mind.
Consider the following objectives that your positive branding will achieve for your practice.
• Delivers your brand message, with clarity
• Established your credibility
• Establishes an emotional connection with your targeted audience
• Provides motivation and encourage for the prospective patient
• Cements brand loyalty with the patient
The successful brand meets the wants and needs of the prospective patient. This is accomplished with the integration of each of your brand strategies throughout every point of public contact within your practice. In essence, your brand exists within the minds and the hearts of your patients and prospective patients. It is, essentially, the sum total of their perception and experience.
Recognising the parts of your brand
Branding encompasses every aspect of your medical practice, including the practitioners working hard to ensure patient needs are met. Your brand is, in essence, comprised of everything that your patient will see, hear and experience in relation to your medical practice.
From the moment that patients walk through your front door. Everything that they are experiencing is associated with your overall brand. From the way that your waiting rooms are decorated to the way that they are greeted and treated. Even the way that your website looks. Each of these pieces belong to a brand equation that your patients are subconsciously using to determine your identity as a brand.
Are you dissatisfied with the way that your brand currently identifies? You may wonder how you can step into refreshing your brand and improving your image. Our Azuri Group team of experts has worked to define the steps needed to establish, refresh or overall boost your branding and image.
Identify what sets you apart
What is your claim to fame? What about your practice would you consider to be your best traits? Perhaps it is the wide range of experience you have in your field? Perhaps it is the advanced technology that you integrate into your practice?
It could even be that your practice provides convenient appointments after hours and on the weekends. The dental patient with a busy schedule is likely to be very impressed with the hours offered by a dental practice that can see them in the evenings, or on a Saturday.
It could be any number of factors that can help to your practice apart from your competitors. Be certain that these differentiators, however, stay authentic to who you are. It will do much more damage to your brand in the long run if you pretend to be something that you truly are not.
Another mistake practices make is to try and demonstrate to their patients that they can be and do everything the patient needs. While you may offer a great assortment of treatments and procedures, it’s not always ideal to promote the ideal to your patients that you are exceptional at everything you do. We know you are. However, focus on those things that are special and unique about your medical practice.
Narrowing your brand message to just a handful of key attributes that adequately represent your practice will ensure that your message is clear.
Turn your focus to patient experience
It is important that you don’t lose sight of the fact that, at the end of the day, your medical practice’s branding ultimately comes down to the patient experience. What could your patients expect when they walk into your practice? What will their experience be? Spend time on your website. What is the patient experience when they navigate your website or your social media accounts?
Investing your time and effort into ensuring a positive patient experience, every step of the way, can go far into coalescing into a positive brand.
Reinforcing brand focus with staff
Once you have established the brand identity for your medical practice, you will need to ensure that the brand is adequately reinforced by every member of your staff. Every single member of your team who interacts with your patients will have an impact on your brand awareness. Reinforce your brand message with every person who works for you, even if they don’t directly interact with your patients. Keep in mind that even your non-customer-facing staff members will interact in the community and will represent your business when they are around family and friends.
One of the mistakes we see quite often is frequent redirections of the brand message. There is absolutely nothing wrong with refreshing your message. However, the problem comes when patients don’t know what to expect due to constant changes. Establish your brand and keep it consistent. This will result in faster and better lasting awareness of your brand. From your well-designed website to your business cards, patient handouts and social media presence. Maintain a message that is consistent, in order to ensure that you have the greatest and most positive impact.
Make the right impression, every time
The branding of your medical practice is the frontline of your marketing yourself and your practice. Take the time to invest in a legible logo, with no more than 3 colours. With your logo established, you can now take an objective look at your website and other marketing tools. Your website, which ultimately serves as your practice’s digital billboard, can help to ensure you are setting the right tone for your brand and your business. The colours used on your site should reflect the colours on your business cards and other marketing materials. You should carry this on further across graphics and posts on social media. You should consider potentially incorporating it in the signage and décor you use in your practice.
The branding of your medical practice speaks volumes about your practice. It also speaks to the physicians and other practitioners who are part of the business. Meticulous effort in the early stages of establishing your brand can ensure that you are communicating the core values, your medical approach and your overall vision.