Branding is everywhere in the business world, so much so that even individuals are advised to build their personal brand. But what exactly is branding and how does it apply to your clinic? A brand is something that uniquely identifies your practice and differentiates it from others. It includes your name, logo, colors and so much more.
Businesses spend millions and take years to establish their brand for a reason. Branding allows you to attract new patients and retain existing clients in the face of stiff competition. You can even charge more for the exact same services with a solid branding strategy. Does that sound unbelievable? But it’s true. People are willing to pay more for certain brands than generic products even if the two are near identical. Here are some tips for building a great brand for your practice:
Branding Is in the Eyes of the Patient
You might think that you own your brand but it’s not something tangible that you can touch or feel. Your brand depends on what your patient think of it. You might position your brand in a certain way but your clients may be thinking of something else entirely. That is why communication is so important for branding.
Put yourself in the shoes of your patient when building your brand. Every initiative, strategy or tool you employ should consider the reaction of your patients. Consider how your brand makes them feel and what you would like them to think of instead. Does your brand evoke feelings of safety and security? Is that what you want for your brand? You might want to ask your patients about their perceptions of your brand before you go about strengthening or rebuilding it.
Everything Is Branding
A brand is more than the font, title or colors of your logo. Everything you do becomes part of your brand like the pieces of a puzzle. Your website and social media presence is an essential part of your branding strategy. Nowadays most people don’t buy any product or service without looking it up online or asking their friends for recommendations. A poorly designed website can turn away prospective patients even before they make an appointment.
Everything the client experiences from the moment they step foot in your clinic becomes part of your brand in their eyes. Are your employees friendly, professional and courteous? Does your clinic look clean and smells nice? All of these seemingly small things add up to your brand.
Branding is all about being consistent. Your practice should reflect the values of your brand in all aspects. Even the way you dress should reflect your brand. Does your practice stand for specialized techniques or provide value for money? However you position your brand, it should be consistent across all channels and media. Patients will lose confidence if your website promises something but your clinic doesn’t deliver on it.
The branding for a clinic that caters to children will be completely different from another that caters to professional athletes for instance. Both brands may want to convey the same aspects like safety or quality but how you express it will change.
Think about what your clinic stands for and how best you can communicate that to clients. What makes your clinic different from the competition? What do you offer that other clinics can’t match? The answers to these question can help you decide on an effective branding strategy. Branding is not about running expensive ads on TV. It’s all about the small things that you do everyday. It’s a long term initiative but the payoff is well worth it!