Branding for your Medical Practice
~Tracey Diamond | March 9, 2015
No matter what your business may be, it is extremely important to create a unified marketing campaign for informing the public what it is that your company is about. That may have a scary sound if you are a small practice with limited budget, but you do not need to spend a fortune in order to have your name on the minds of the people in your community or related fields. It can be as simple as a subliminal message coming through your logo to word-of-mouth advertising from colleagues to social media. The possibilities are endless and a lot easier to attain than you may believe. Here are some simple solutions to help get you started:
First impressions make the difference: When meeting people for the first time and discussing your practice, always have in mind the answers to “How does my practice stand out from the others?” because that is the question in the mind of who you are engaging with. If you have a clear answer in your mind at all times, then you will be supporting your brand wherever you go and letting the world know that you are confident in the practice you have built.
Your logo speaks for you in volumes: There are many different styles a logo can take on but the right designer will capture the essence and drive behind your practice and craft it into a strong visual statement. Whether you choose to have a text only design or picture and text, the font and style should be a reflection of you and your practice. This is where subliminal marketing comes into play with branding your office. To get a better idea of the importance of a logo and its message, do an online search of “subliminal messages in logos” to see how others have created successful and accidental non-successful imagery.
In office marketing: The simple gesture of having patient/employees appreciation day will bring about an atmosphere of warmth and caring that people can’t help but embrace the sincerity behind it. When your employees are happy, then your patients will be as well. Holiday times are a perfect and simple way to develop those opportunities. Think outside the box and get your patients involved by offering giveaways or discounts or contests. When people see your practice is one that takes a personal interest in not only their well-being but them as individuals, it will leave a long-lasting impression.
Advertising: There are areas of advertising that will help boost your standing in the minds of the community. There are the traditional routes of newspaper and magazine print as well as online campaigns. A current successful trend is EDDM advertising which is Every Door Direct Mailings, which allows for your practice to send bulk mailings to specific areas and down to specific mailing routes if so desired. This is similar to the direct mail process but less expensive.
Online Media: Do you have a website? Social Media presence through Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.? In today’s world, marketing goes far beyond the printed message. However these two areas work wonders together. With the instant information highway of social media, you can notify people of your branding message immediately. Be sure to make your words clear and informative instead of treating it like a sales pitch. The more you share with the public about information related to your practice, the more likely they will call on you or refer you to others when it is asked for.
Be consistent: If your marketing materials do not match the philosophies behind your practice, then how are people to know what you stand for and who they are coming to see? Make sure that with every printed piece you create, your visual stays in tune. In other words, if your business card has lively reds and oranges, yet your brochures are all in blues and greens, and your logo is purple and gold, no one will know each of those pieces belong to the same practice. You MUST stay consistent when getting your message out there. Always use the same color palette whether in print material or the promotional items you choose. This, in a sense, is building your “corporate package”.
Be involved in public speaking opportunities: The more you are in front of people, the more your name and brand will reach others. You welcome people to your office for free seminars. Be aware of local events that share the same message of your practice or be creative and find new ways to connect the two.
There are so many ways in which you can increase the branding of your medical practice. The limits are only the things that hold you back in not knowing where to begin. There is no need to feel overwhelmed or to jump in to everything at once. Remember, be consistent and always have the drive to let people know who you are. Take your time. See what works – for you and for others in the field – and then make any adjustments necessary.
So where to begin? My suggestion is to take a moment and think to yourself, what is the message you want people to carry with them about your practice of who you are and what you can do for them. Then pick up a pen and start taking down some notes. Free thinking - Free writing. That is where some of the best ideas come from. And don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. That can be where your most successful strategies come from.
This piece was originally published at DocComply (November 2013)