Brand­ing: From The Outside In

The following is a guest post from a lady whose opinions and ideas I respect greatly, I asked her to put her ten cents in on her angle on marketing your practice. The following is the article she wrote and I would like to take the time to thank her

By Clair­e E. Cunni­ngham

In his post, “Your Brand­, What Brand­ing Means In An Audio­logic­al Pract­ice.” Geoff­rey Cooli­ng expla­ined why it’s impor­tant for your pract­ice to STAND for somet­hing and why even the small­est detai­l (like the look of your recep­tion area) matte­rs. This is a highl­y compe­titiv­e busin­ess. Your patie­nts can proba­bly go down the stree­t or even use the inter­net to buy heari­ng aids.
Your curre­nt and prosp­ectiv­e patie­nts need to trust you and feel great about their decis­ion to work with you. That trust and good feeli­ng are what you, your staff­, and your offic­e build­. But how do you get folks to come to you? That’­s where marke­ting and commu­nicat­ions comes in, and that’­s my exper­tise.
It’s marke­ting commu­nicat­ions’ job to get the right kinds of folks to your door. That takes attra­ction and visib­ility­. You need to be seen and captu­re atten­tion. Repet­ition of a messa­ge over time and consi­stenc­y of prese­ntati­on/me­ssage help make you visib­le. Being inter­estin­g and memor­able gets you visib­ility quick­er.
Estab­lishi­ng a memor­able brand ident­ity can be a short­cut into the heart­s and minds of prosp­ectiv­e patie­nts. Being disti­nctiv­e and recog­nizab­le makes you memor­able and separ­ates you from the compe­titio­n. And that can short­en the sales cycle down the road. Sound good?
Here are steps for estab­lishi­ng a brand ident­ity:
1) List every­thing that’­s disti­nctiv­e and memor­able about your pract­ice. (From produ­cts to locat­ion to busin­ess proce­sses to the way you treat patie­nts.)
2) Choos­e one attri­bute that will estab­lish a posit­ive tone with patie­nts. Stay away from borin­g. Ask patie­nts what’­s impor­tant to them.
3) Make sure whate­ver you choos­e isn’t being used by a direc­t compe­titor­.
4) List all the ways you can bring your brand ident­ity to life:
• Tag line
• Busin­ess stati­onery­, email­s
• Ads, liter­ature­, maile­rs
• Promo­tiona­l items
• Displ­ays
• Websi­tes
• Socia­l media
• Signs
5) Imple­ment, imple­ment, imple­ment. Set a sched­ule for getti­ng thing­s done.
Nothi­ng uniqu­e or catch­y to say? Don’t worry­. You can still get known­. It just may take longe­r. What you’r­e shoot­ing for is repet­ition and consi­stenc­y. Repet­ition helps folks remem­ber you. Consi­stenc­y makes it easie­r for folks to recog­nize and trust you.
The “outs­ide in” part is that whate­ver you promi­se in your publi­c prese­nce (ads, broch­ures, websi­te, etc.) needs to be fulfi­lled when someo­ne comes to see you. If you promi­se somet­hing, but don’t deliv­er, it’ll make you less belie­vable­. It might even make you seem untru­stwor­thy…a­nd that could hurt busin­ess.
Clair­e E. Cunni­ngham is a marke­ting commu­nicat­ions exper­t who heade­d marke­ting for Sound­Point Audio­logy, a U.S. chain of heari­ng aid clini­cs. Clair­e can be reach­ed throu­gh her websi­te http:­//cla­ire-e-cunni­­­ngham­­­.weeb­­­ly.co­­­m. She publi­shes a blog on marke­ting and commu­nicat­ions topic­s: http:­//mar­comco­mmuni­que.b­logsp­ot.co­m

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About Geoffrey Cooling

my name is Geoffrey Cooling and I am the author here at Just Audiology Stuff. I have been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession for several years now. I initially worked as a Hearing Healthcare Professional for a large national retailer in Ireland. After several years in Practice I was approached to work for a manufacturer, where I was employed for five years. I am now the Co Founder of a business called Audiology Engine. We design websites, undertake content marketing and generally look after everything digital for audiological practices. I am also a contributor to many hearing profession periodicals and websites. I have written two commercially available books, The Little Book of Hearing Aids which is written for hearing aid consumers and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World which is written for Audiology Practice Owners. They are both available in Paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. I also write for consumers on the website Hearing Aid Know, which is a website with the mission of demystifying hearing aids, their types and their technology. I have a great interest in commercial strategy as it applies to Healthcare in general and specifically to Hearing Healthcare. I also have a great interest in the psychology of sales and human interaction. I have been involved with social media for some time, both personally and professionally. I find the engagement and discourse on some social media channels fascinating. I instituted social media strategy for the company I worked for as an experiment. That experiment soon spread throughout the company and I am proud to say that the company is probably one of the most active in the industry. I would like to point out that all views, opinions and thoughts here are mine own. Unless of course they have been planted by the pod people, you just can’t take your eyes off the pod people. Those views do not necessarily reflect upon any views or opinions held by my employer, if I ever get another one. I think that our industry is in the middle of a time of huge change, I think that the change will be forced by both internal and external pressure. I think that private Independent Healthcare Practices will have to be smart and lithe of feet in order to meet these changes. I hope that some of my blatherings are of benefit to those Practices, Independent Hearing Healthcare Practices need to survive. I believe that if that occurs it will be of real benefit to Patients. I hope that I, and my writings will play a small part in their continued success.

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