In a competitive, ever-expanding market such as modern-day medicine, a new company needs to hit the ground running and take advantage of any edge it can get.
Smaller retail medical clinics, for instance, had a 445 percent growth rate between the years 2006 and 2014. And that’s just one area of an overall expansion in the medical field.
One of the best ways to give a brand a sought-after edge is to choose effective branding strategies. This isn’t always easy to do without a significant investment of time, effort, and money.
If that last aspect is proving harder to come by, don’t worry. There are plenty of tools online that can help you get your medical brand started without sinking your budget. Let’s start at the beginning.
What Is A Medical Brand?
What exactly is a medical brand, what can it do for a business, and how can you put one together? When people think of “brands,” they typically immediately think of medical brand logos or names. What comes to mind varies depending on the market involved.
For medicines and drugs, you might think of a RiteAid Pharmacy or a Costco.
For medical supplies, you might think of something like Medline, which provides wheelchairs. For hospitals or clinics, you might think of the Mayo Clinic or the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. All of those are medical brands, it’s true. But medical branding is more than that.
A brand is everything that defines the who, what, and why of a business. It involves not only creating an iconic logo for a medical brand but visual designing aspects such as fonts, and colors, but also how the company interacts with its patients. User experience, memorability, and outreach are all integral parts of a brand.
Why Are Medical Brands Necessary?
Any company or organization should have a brand. But it’s incredibly important for a medical company. With a focus on helping others, medical companies must rely to a great extent on word of mouth.
When the patient has a good experience and spreads that to others, it will do as much — or more — for the reputation and publicity of a clinic as a regular marketing campaign will do.
So how can it be done?
How to Create A Medical Brand
If you’re starting from scratch, it may seem a little intimidating. Some basic avenues for creating a brand include the following:
- Create a medical logo.
- Choose a medical color palette.
- Choose medical fonts for use in marketing and other materials.
- Create a medical website with multimedia content.
- Set up social media platforms.
- Engage with potential patients through outreach.
- Set up marketing campaigns.
These are pretty standard portions of any type of brand. But medical brands can require more specific details.
Let’s go into a few of these ideas more specifically, and gear them toward a medical brand.
Tactic One: Create an Effective Logo
Logos are easy, right? Just a graphic that fits the medical field; or even easier than that, just a cool font and the name of the business. Well, not exactly.
Logos are more than the sum of their parts. They’re usually the first exposure that a prospective patient has to your business. So, they need to be:
A clear idea of your brand’s mission statement and the goal is important in branding. When designing a logo, or choosing one from a site with professionally-created logos, keep that mission statement in mind to motivate and drive the logo.
It needs to communicate the brand message and tell people how the brand can help them. If the logo doesn’t fit any one of the four aspects above, it’s probably best to choose another.
Since the symbol is one of the first things that people will be likely to come across, it should have elements that build trust and comfort. Think about the color, font styles, and shapes or icons that are meaningful and convey the right message.
Tactic Two: Make It Personal
When putting together content for your website and social media platforms, it’s a smart idea to use a variety of topics.
Helpful information for your patients, frequently asked questions, health tips, and the like are worthy of having time and space dedicated to them on the site.
Your colleagues and employees are also an important part of branding. Remember, it’s about the reputation and the customer experience — in which everyone in your practice, from the front office staff to the administration to the nursing assistants to the doctors, everyone has a role to play.
Try devoting a blog post or an Instagram message to an individual who works for the practice. Allow the patients to see the faces they may be seeing when they come to your clinic.
Let them get to know those who will be working for them and their health. The personal connection can go a long way in drawing new patient numbers. And it doesn’t cost a thing.
Tactic Three: Focus on Patient Experience
It’s more and more common now for clinics and practices to have patient portals that allow the patient to communicate with their doctor or the front office, in case of questions or making appointments. These portals also give your brand more chances to grow in customer experience.
How can you make it work?
- Be easy to get ahold of. Make sure the office numbers are easy to find, and that your call system is in good working order.
- Be responsive. Train front office staff and others to respond as quickly as possible; even if the question isn’t able to be answered right away, there should at least be an acknowledgment.
- Pay attention to what’s being said on social media. If there are negative stories or comments on Facebook or Instagram, assess the problem, reach out to the patient, and try to make the situation better. If it’s positive feedback, thank the patient.
- Engage the interest of patients by getting involved in the community. Strengthen your role in the public eye. As a medical brand, your goal is to help others. Let them see it firsthand.
Tactic Four: Engage on Social Media
In today’s technological age, it’s never been easier for a patient to tell others about what happened when they engaged with a medical practice or business.
Social media statistics numbers are through the roof:
- There are nearly four billion active social media accounts.
- 81 percent of all businesses that qualify as small or medium-sized use a social media platform.
- There’s a new user of social media about every ten seconds.
Effective use of social media in branding is a vital component of growing a business. Setting up social media accounts is easy, uncomplicated, and generally free.
Maintaining them with content will require some investment of time, but for the branding that will result, it’s worth it. You can post patient reviews, and experiences and host Q&A sessions on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
By engaging with potential patients on social media platforms, you can create familiarity with the medical brand and build a positive perception of it too. In the end, this helps boost recognition and can be maintained on a shoestring budget.
Tactic Five: Highlight Your USP
It is important to showcase your unique selling point from the beginning so that it’s easier for people to differentiate the clinic or practice from others.
Identify what makes your medical brand stands apart from the competitors and draw attention to it on your website, social media pages, and marketing materials.
For instance, if your practice has state-of-the-art technology, make sure that potential patients are aware of how your medical brand has an edge over the competition.
It is a good idea to include relevant imagery on the website and include it in your marketing strategy too. This way, you can create a medical brand that is recognized quickly and trusted by potential patients.
The USP of the business can make or break your brand. So, before you start working on a strategy, make a list of questions that can help you figure out what makes the business different from similar ones in the industry. Here are a few things to consider:
- What is your expertise or specialty in medicine?
- Do you have certain credentials that can convince patients to visit your clinic or practice?
- What unique technology can you offer to potential visitors?
- Is your customer support highly responsive?
These are just some of the questions that could help you highlight the unique selling point and build a branding strategy around it.
These five brand-building strategies are easy to implement and inexpensive to maintain. You can follow a few of them to create a medical brand on a shoestring budget. In the end, you will be able to effectively experience business growth and boost recognition as well.
About the Author!
Alicia Rother is a freelance content strategist who works with small businesses and startups to boost their brand reach through creative content design and write-ups. Her area of expertise includes digital marketing, infographics, branding, and graphic design