How do you stand out among the crowd? Consumers often think of their favorite businesses in terms of their brand, and medical practices are no different. When they hear your practice’s name, current and potential patients should be able to immediately recall two important brand elements: your visual image and message. But it’s not enough. You need to strategically select locations where your audience will see your brand. And the more they see your brand, the more your practice will stand out.
Visual branding can be very complex. For example, Virgin Airlines has six different versions of their logo with 20 colors in their brand color palette. But a small business such as a medical practice should focus on at least one version of a logo. How do you want the public to view your practice? We’ve talked about knowing your audience, and you should have a good idea of who your current and potential patients are to build your target audience. With a good idea of who your audience is, a great way to develop your visual branding is to look at other brands your target audience is loyal to. For example, millennials frequent brands such as Apple, Target and Amazon – three very different companies that all have very simple logos. If this is your target audience, then your logo should follow suit.
It’s important to identify your practice’s key messaging. What does your practice want current and potential patients in your community to know about them? Again, create it with your audience in mind. For example, a pediatric oriented practice may want the public to know they are family oriented with a friendly staff and fun, welcoming environment. This practice’s key message could be something like “Let our family treat your family.” This could also influence your logo; it might be a family or a house.
After deciding on your logo and messaging, you need to select the places where the public can see them. They should of course be a part of your office, outside and inside your building. People will drive by your location, and while this helps build brand awareness, it’s not enough. It typically takes a consumer seeing a brand, product or service at least three times before they engage in shopping or a transaction. Think about your target audience and where they are likely to be. If your target audience is Baby Boomers, you could advertise in the local newspaper, at the movie theater and community center or library.
After seeing your brand around town, potential patients will know who to call when they need services like yours.