What is branding and why do you need it?
It’s a question doctors and dentists ask all the time. So let’s begin by defining what it is.
At the most fundamental level, branding feeds our basic human need to distinguish one thing from another. At the business and consumer level, branding is the process of creating a unique image using a consistent theme to establish a differentiated presence that attracts and retains customers in your marketplace.
You may not think of your practice as a “business,” but the simple fact is, healthcare practices are businesses, too. You have employees, payroll, overhead and competition just like every other small business. And, like every other small business, you need to set yourself apart, or differentiate yourself from all the competing practitioners in your community.
How does branding benefit your practice?
Your brand identifies you as the solution to the consumer’s healthcare problem. Your brand sets you apart from competition. Your brand helps you attract patients, referral relationships, revenue and income. Your brand builds stability and trust over time.
Branding benefits your practice most when you understand what’s truly different about your practice, not just from your own perspective – but from your patients’ perspectives. Think about what sets you apart from direct competitors in your market area. What will it take to get you noticed in your unique geographic marketplace and in the virtual online community – by the kinds of patients you really want?
Good branding gives potential patients and referral sources good reasons to choose you rather than your competitors.
What constitutes a brand?
- Services or programs offered
- Experience of practitioner(s)
- Bedside manner (personality)
- Size of practice
- Age of practice
- Location of practice
- Capabilities of practice
- Reputation in the community at large
- Reputation among patients and referral sources
- Credentials. including special or advanced training
- Atmosphere (friendly, helpful, clinical, casual, formal)
- Technology (high-tech, low-tech, no-tech)
- Leading-edge procedures
Those are some of the considerations that help build a brand. Those factors will also influence the overall look and feel of everything you do – from your business card and letterhead to your website and social media accounts. Choice of colors, images, type fonts, messaging and layout are other factors that identify your brand.
collected and translated from PracticeBuilder blog