Hearing Aids, Branding And Patient Self Image

Cognitive Dissonance in hearing aid purchases and why it matters to you

By Geoffrey Cooling

As part of a branding presentation that I have given, I speak about reflected image. That is the reflected image of the consumer as it pertains to your brand. In other words how they see themselves both as part of your brand and themselves reflected in your brand. It is also how about how they feel once they have purchased from your brand. Deep psychological concept here but it needs to be understood because it is a concept whose understanding will assist with the goals of long term Patient retention and customer referral.

In essence what we are referring to is the ongoing brand experience of a Patient who purchases hearing healthcare. I have said before that we need to be aware of ongoing buyers remorse at the level that we sell at. It is normal that after a purchase of the value of hearing aids there may be some post purchase dissonance. It is this cognitive dissonance that will drive buyers remorse, the re-thinking of the purchase of both those hearing instruments and the purchase from you.

Initially a customer will make a decision about your brand, what it is and what it stands for. A part of that decision is very clearly about how they feel as part of your brand, as a customer of your brand. This is better understood in the area of luxury goods where many companies vie for custom. It is about the feeling that a customer has when telling somebody, yes that is a Gucci bag. It is about the reflected feel and ethos of the brand.

This same concept is at play within our industry whether we acknowledge it or not. Therefore we need to be aware of it, we need to understand it and we need to address it. Again as I have said here before, the sales process is never ending in our business. At any stage during your ongoing relationship with your customer you can cause post purchase dissonance. Put simply, you need to ensure that you or your staff never take any actions that undermine your brand and brand experience.

Because this dissonance may occur at any stage it is imperative that you manage your on-going customer relationships.Building and driving a brand is not just for a day, a week, a month, it is a never ending process. At all times when making decisions about your Practice you need to consider the impact on your brand. Every decision that you make about the day to day running of your Practice will have an affect on your brand. Because every element within your Practice speaks to your brand. 

Regards

Geoff 

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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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