There is a difference between a generic practice and a brand. The generic practice is just your every day family practice office. There is nothing really special about it outside of the patient care it provides. The generic practice does not have a unique face or personality to it. A brand on the other hand is the theme and personality of your business. A brand makes your practice DISTINCT from all the other ones. It is what helps drive your marketing efforts. That is why it is vital you create a brand… You do not want to be another forgotten small business.
Think to yourself right now, do you remember the name, logo, colors, or theme of the medical offices you have visited before? You might remember the care, which is EXTREMELY important, but do you remember anything outside of that? Was there anything that was distinctive or memorable about it? Was it an experience or just a “blah” visit?
If you don’t remember much, it was probably because it was not a brand, it was just a generic practice. A brand is a feature of your business that identifies your service and products as DISTINCT from other businesses. This feature can be a logo, symbol, name, slogan, color scheme, or design. The point is that it creates a memory for your patient and customers.
What are brands that you remember? What are other businesses that you don’t remember? Wal-Mart is a brand and you remember it by its colors, name, and overall design. On the other hand, do you remember a generic store that lacked a feature that sets itself apart?
What about restaurants? You remember places like Olive Garden, McDonald’s, and Chick-Fil-A because they are brands. Do you remember the name of the burger place you went to out of town on vacation? If you do, it was probably because of their food, if you don’t though, it was probably because there was not a brand behind it.
Building a brand for your practice is vital for 2 reasons:
- It is memorable to patients.
- It sets you apart.
You want these with your side practice. You want people to remember you because they will refer others to you and you want to be distinct from your competition. You don’t want your patients saying “Ya, I just go to that little clinic on the corner of Main and 1st street.” Instead, you want your patients to say “Ya, I go to the Testosterone Center for Men!” That is what I am talking about!
You want people to see your logo and instantly know the name of your practice and what service you provide. That is a brand folks.
So, what are the parts of a brand?
- A name.
- A logo and color scheme.
- A background story.
- The practices value and mission statements.
If you have took any of my courses, you know how important of a point I make about creating a name. You must create a name that is different yet explains the service you provide. A generic name that does not elude to what you do does not work well. It needs to be something memorable!
You must have a logo and/or a symbol that sets you apart. This logo needs to be simple. This logo needs to be memorable. Do not create a logo that is complicated with too many moving parts. Think of a simple clip art type image. Examples of this would be a tree, geometric shape, or an animal. It needs to be SIMPLE as with everything else in business. SIMPLE IS BETTER.
The colors of your logo and name need to be simple as well. You don’t need more than 1-2 colors. Anything more than that creates to many moving parts. Again, think simple!
People love stories, and they especially love the story behind a business. Most people respect the entrepreneur and they love hearing the story behind why you created your practice. This is something that can be on a brochure or on the “about us” section of your website. You do not need to write a book, just a couple paragraphs are fine!
Lastly, you need to have a value and/or mission statement. This can be your slogan. You do not need to write out a list of 10 values or mission statements like they teach us in those BS nursing management classes we had to take. The slogan for The Elite Nurse Practitioner is also the mission of it “Dedicated to helping nurse practitioners to create successful financial, professional, and personal lives.” That is my mission, and that is why I created this site. My slogan and mission for my men’s health practice is “Getting men back to being themselves again!” My patients remember that and it is the reason they come see me.
This is how you create a brand. Do not just open a practice with a generic name, logo, color scheme and insincere slogan. Put some creative thought into this! If you lack the creative ability to do this, email me for help or hire a creative designer off upwork.com.
When you create every part a brand, your practice moves from a simple transactional service to an experience. People remember the personality of your practice. They remember the way it makes them feel. This creates a memory, which will turn into referral and word of mouth business. This is free marketing and is as simple as creating a memorable name, logo, color scheme, background store, and a heartfelt mission statement! If you already have a practice and are having lackluster results, then you need to stand back and ask yourself the question “is this a brand?”
You must create a brand to help set yourself apart! If you do not create a brand, you will be lost in the ocean of unmemorable and failing small businesses.