As a business owner, branding is an important part of how you will market your practice to potential patients and partnering health care providers. Your brand should be incorporated into everything you do (e.g., your logo, your training materials for new employees, marketing materials and more). But how do you define your brand? Branding exercises are a great way for your practice to develop a brand that works for you.
Building brand recognition is a long-term commitment that includes several touchpoints between the brand and the consumer. Getting your brand right the first time will save you time and money down the road making adjustments.
Branding exercises work best with the input of several different stakeholders such as practice managers, staff, patients, potential patients, etc. This will help you develop a well rounded brand that will appeal to your stakeholders.
IDENTIFY YOUR VALUES/MISSION
A great place to get started is to identify your practice’s values or mission. Think of who you want to be as a practice. Some examples are:
- Provide exceptional multi-specialty health care.
- Be one of the top employers in the city.
- Build strong partnerships with referring primary care providers.
Now that you have identified your values, it’s time to start wording your brand.
Notice the superlatives in our value examples: exceptional, top and strong. These are emerging words that are already helping to define your brand. A wordbank will help develop them even more. A sample wordbank looks like this:
Now let’s use your wordbank to build a clear and memorable brand message. Our key words in the wordbank are: welcoming, community, multispecialty healthcare, exceptional, top and strong. You can put these themes together however you like. An example is:
EXCEPTIONAL MULTISPECIALTY HEALTHCARE FOR ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY.
Your brand message, that’s agreed upon by your stakeholder group, should be reflected in everything from your logo to your marketing materials.
This was a simplified version of a branding exercise. There are many more that are more in-depth. There are even brand workshops. Whatever you decide to do, branding is important to your business and your interaction with potential patients and patients.