5 Tips for Branding Your Medical Practice
A brand is a set of carefully constructed ideas about who you are as a business. The brand you build creates a platform for you to present your best self to the world. For physicians, your brand is your name and reputation. It sets expectation to your patients; it is a level of service promised. What qualities, values and experiences are you offering your patients? In its simplest form a brand is a set of promises. Building your brand gives you the opportunity to show your patients what sets you apart from your colleagues.
Whether you are a primary care physician, dentist, dermatologist or orthopedic surgeon, the goal of your brand is to attract a steady flow of patients. In defining your brand, break down your objectives and make a list of what is most important.
1. Showcase your Achievements
Make sure patients are aware of your education, depth of experience, and achievements in your field of specialty. Let your patients know if you utilize the newest technology, have additional training or certification. These achievements show how committed you are to bringing patients the best care they can find.
2. Have a Personal Connection
People need to feel connected and prepared. Any reason to seek medical care is an important one, whether it is elective surgery or setting a fractured bone. They want doctors who they feel comfortable with to treat them. A humanistic approach to patient care and practicing medicine establish trust and comfort. The personal connection begins at first contact, perhaps through a website or brochure, and carries on through your office staff and onto you as a physician. Create a warm, friendly environment where patients feel connected on a personal level.
3. Cater to your Target Patient Audience
Discover what is important to your patient base and maximize that. If you are pediatrician or orthodontist, your proximity to schools is a huge plus for parents bringing children to daytime appointments. Let patients know if you offer early morning or late evening appointments. Find out what is important to patients on a personal level and try to meet those desires.
Let your office reflect that you are keeping your patients in mind. The messaging and imagery you use will differ when creating a brand for an obstetrician practice targeting reproductive age women as opposed to a sports medicine doctor working with serious athletes. Reading material, music, even the décor you choose for your waiting room is an opportunity to gratify your patient audience.
4. Manage your Online Reviews:
Your online reviews will define you to potential patients. An online collection of honest, authentic customer reviews can help boost both your company’s search rankings and reputation. A 2014 Customer review survey from BrightLocal, an SEO research company, revealed that nearly 9 out of 10 consumers have read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business.
While approximately 88% of customers consult online reviews, the same study shows that only 10% of patients leave online reviews. Make it easy for patients to add an online review. Be sure to have a link on your website directing patients an online review site, such as Google or Yelp. Encourage your staff to find a pleasant, sincere way to encourage satisfied patients to leave an online review.
5. Keep your Brand Image Consistent
Your website, social media accounts and print materials should all present the same image. This helps to inspire long lasting brand awareness. Is your practice visual? Cosmetic surgery and dentistry are great opportunities to use a more visual social media channel. Take advantage of the opportunity to promote your brand in all visual channels.
A well-managed brand creates a strong emotional connection, and a strong emotional connection translates into loyal customer behavior. Protect and project your brand through every representation of your business.