According to LucidPress, consistent branding can increase a company’s revenue by 33%.
With most companies, branding is imperative in separating itself from the competition. Branding is when a product or service gains an identity. When a customer sees a successfully branded product in the store, they are reminded of all the slogans, logos, and images that this product has been branded with. If this intimate recognition does not exist for the other products on the shelf, then the customer won’t think twice about purchasing them. As a result, a brand is the most vital asset of a company.
Unfortunately, not every company has a marketing department to take care of branding essentials. But the good news, not every company needs a marketing department for such matters.
An efficient branding strategy just requires a simple understanding of the service or product, the value, and the targeted customer. Armed with these three pearls of knowledge, any doctor or medical practice can gain an identity and hence, gain recognition with their targeted consumer.
Why Is Branding for Your Medical Practice So Important?
As medical companies and healthcare organizations are constantly merging and shifting, and although the chaos may seem problematic, it actually provides an opportunity for a healthcare organization or medical company to establish a reliable brand for itself.
For doctors or medical practices, branding is a bit trickier, as you are offering your expertise and specific treatments, not necessarily a product. To put it simply, branding is your reputation, as it formulates the overall perception of your medical practice. It’s the visual way to represent yourself and your specialty.
It’s important to conduct an audit of your existing materials and platforms to evaluate the level of consistency in your branding efforts. Below is a list of areas to review:
- Collateral (brochures, flyers, direct mailers, signage, etc.)
- Social media
- Google and search platforms
How to Brand a Medical Practice – Step by Step
The first step in defining your medical practice’s brand is to analyze your overall organization. Such analysis requires more than just recognizing the treatments offered. Branding needs a more specific description.
1 – Why do customers seek your practice or specific treatment offering? What needs do you satisfy?
2 – What separates you from the competition? For example, not an accountant, but an accountant with a specialty in international trade; not a hamburger, but a hamburger with very lean meat; not a television, but television with a crystal-clear display.
3 – Who is your targeted customer? Use the answer from #1 for assistance. For example, a toy bow and arrow would be marketed towards young boys, ages 5-10.
4 – What is your tagline? This can be crafted from your mission statement.
Drop all of the previous answers into a blender. Hit ‘blend,’ and voila, you’ve got yourself a brand identity.
If a Brand Could Talk, What Would it Say?
It’s imperative that your tone of voice and messaging is clearly conveyed and consistent with all materials and platforms you are engaging in with patients. Clear communication of your mission and vision will emanate through your website, social media, videos logo, etc.
If you study larger brands, you will notice that their tone of voice may be following:
Positive, friendly, down-to-earth
Confident, intimate, and quality
Urgent, motivation, encouraging
Bold, humorous, feminine/masculine
Luxury, professional, esteemed
You must ask yourself what tone do you want to portray in your brand and messaging. To determine this, answer the four questions above and review the experience you are trying to deliver. Base your tone around the experience, and all content will follow suit.
For example, imagine that Chuck is trying to brand his product, which happens to be a hospital bed. These are the answers to the questions in the section above.
1 – For patients to rest in.
2 – The bed is fully electric.
3 – The targeted consumers are busy ICU wards in urban areas.
4 – Chuck’s Hospital Bed’s tagline is “The Best Bed Cures the Worst Illness”.
Now that a brand has been created, the next step is to determine how you want your brand to be viewed. The logo is a window into your brand. It is the first thing that they see on your website, in commercials, and on collateral.
It’s important to invest energy into the design of your logo so that is legible and aesthetically pleasing. A good rule of thumb is to choose two to three colors maximum and medically friendly font. Did you know that shades of blues and reds are most favorable among patients for the healthcare industry? A few fonts that are popular amongst the industry include Lora, Verdana, Comfortaa, Proxima Nova, and Avenir.
The next step is displaying your logo on your website, matching your fonts, and developing your color palate. After all your website is your digital billboard and the foundation of your digital brand.
A medical practice’s brand is what differentiates it from the competition, and recognizes the edge it provides over another provider. The healthcare industry has become so much more competitive, developing a brand that patients, clients, and businesses recognize is the key differentiator in success.
In order for branding to be effective, it requires careful preparation, including consideration of the product, the company as well as the targeted customer. The branding process curates a unique identity. Essentially, an “on point” branding strategy should develop brand awareness, which will, in effect, separate the practice from the competition.
As a reminder, an evaluation of your current branding should be analyzed and revamped as your sick down to study brand positioning, competitors, and the current local medical market.