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4 branding tips for independent practices

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When we think of the term “brand,” we probably think more of the actual “brand name” of a product or company. For example, the brand name of facial tissue is Kleenex, the brand name of a sports shoe is Reebok, and the brand name of bottled water is Dasani. The “brand” of those products is actually less definitive. Brand is the image that the company tries to promote around the product, and, more importantly, and more prominently, it is the customer’s perception of the product.

What does all of this have to do with a medical practice? As an independent physician, why do you need to worry about your brand? The primary answer is that you want your patients and potential patients to perceive your practice a certain way, in the most positive light.

You may want your practice to be known as one that uses technology, such as electronic health records (EHRs) to provide efficient, quality care for your patients. You may want your practice’s brand to be centered on your patient focus during each visit. Or, you may want to be known as an independent physician who is flexible with your hours, to accommodate busy patients.

Your patients will develop their own sense of your brand based on your actions and on their experience. Physicians Practice has offered four tips to help with developing a brand for your independent practice:

  1. Prioritize consistency. Whatever you decide you want your practice to be known for, be sure that message comes across in the actions of your staff, in your communications with patients and other providers, and in your practice’s overall operations.
  2. Seek feedback. Ask patients for their opinions about your practice, so you can be sure your message is on point with how you want your brand to be perceived. Surveys are convenient and effective for gathering honest feedback.
  3. Don’t try to be and do everything. Even as a primary care physician, you can specialize in the sense of being known for certain things within your practice. Think about what you do best – your niche – and focus on that aspect of your practice.
  4. Make time to regroup and refresh. Assess your brand on a regular basis to determine if it is still the image you want to project to patients and potential patients. As your practice grows, your brand will need to grow with it.