Does your independent practice have an established image in your community? When patients and potential patients think about your practice, are they able to envision its personality? In a competitive market, especially, your practice needs to have a specific brand that reassures, entices, and instills trust in patients and potential patients. If you want to grow your patient panel and enhance your professional image, it’s time to work on kickstarting your independent practice branding strategy.
What is a brand? How do you develop an effective brand for your practice?
Your brand distinguishes your practice. While a brand includes your color scheme, logo, and practice name, it also involves the non-tangibles such as your practice culture, mission, and environment. The way your team greets patients, speaks to them on the phone, and follows up on appointments, for example, can become a huge part of your independent practice branding strategy.
Think of your brand as how you want to be known. Do you want a calm, reassuring image? Do you want people to see you as professional and efficient? Regardless of what you want your image to be, ensure that it is consistent across the board. Your colors, logo, even your font type should be the same on signs, emails, letters, and social media posts, for example.
Consistency also applies to those non-tangibles. Instilling a practice culture that reflects how you want to be known by patients and potential patients is critical for kickstarting your branding strategy.
One of the main aspects of such consistent branding is the ability to create a level of trust. For a patient, choosing a new provider is not just a matter of seeing a list of services or technology listed on a website. The patient will want to have a comfort level in knowing they can trust you as their physician and can trust your team to provide the care they need.
The best way to create trust is to treat your current patients with respect and compassion. Their word of mouth advertising – telling their friends, co-workers, and family members – on behalf of your practice can be worth much more when you are kickstarting your independent practice branding strategy than any amount of paid advertising. You can also ask your satisfied patients to leave reviews for you, as a majority of people will check those reviews before choosing a new provider.
Survey those current patients to determine how they perceive you, your team, and your practice. Are their responses reflective of the image you want? Use this information to adjust, if necessary, those tangibles and non-tangibles that will become integral to your brand.
As you’re building your brand, take advantage of opportunities to get involved in your community. Projecting the image that reflects how you want patients and potential patients to perceive your independent practice can help you develop the brand you want.Remember that consistency is always key, whether you are speaking to a community organization, attending a conference, or communicating directly with current patients. Creating that level of trust and maintaining effective communications will serve you well as you develop your independent practice branding strategy.