Medical practices are not immune from the challenge all businesses face to build their reputations, goodwill, and customer facing brands.
Your brand will require some careful attention. Now that you have considered your location and billing strategy, you should have some idea of what kind of patients you are targeting, the prices you are setting, and the competitors around you.
The brand of your medical practice should:
- Have a name that reflects what and who you are
- Have a logo that looks good small and large, in colour and in black and white
- Have colours that portray feelings suitable to your practice – are they feelings of health, safety and trust – or if you’re high tier, maybe a even a touch of luxury?
- Be clear and articulate
- Have a clear message that patients will understand, that reflects your vision/purpose
Your market positioning should:
- Take into account the surrounding practices and who you are competing with
- Differentiate yourself from other practices without putting your competition down
- Set expectations for patients, what kind of service will they receive when they come to your practice?
If this is not an area you are experienced with, some branding advice or help will be an asset to you.
Your branding and market positioning is a key strategic asset for your business.
Your branding, positioning, and advertising will get patients through the door, but how you meet your patient’s expectations will determine if those patients come back and what they will say about your practice to their peers. Set honest expectations, exceed them, then word of mouth will do great things for growing your patient base.
Where you are located and the population in the vicinity of that location will determine how fiercely you will need to compete for the finite number of potential customers. Also the type of medical services that you offer and how often your patients will visit you will strongly influence what your competitive environment looks like.
Set out from the beginning to create an appealing brand identity for your practice and invest behind assets such as your logo, website, and marketing collateral.
Once you have your brand creation underway, a helpful process is to test some ideas with peers who fit your patient target market.
Ask questions such as:
- What is your first impression of this brand?
- What kind of service would you expect if you went to this practice? (see if their answers align with your plans)
- What does the message and look of this brand make you feel? (do they feel like this practice would be safe, boring, luxurious, healthy?)
If you enlist professional help with branding, you can expect the testing work to be done for you. However, if you are doing the majority of the research and creation process yourself, it’s crucial to test your ideas to be sure you’re on the right path.
Next, we’ll share our essential advice on what to consider when selecting your Practice Management Software.