Your Brand, What Branding Means In An Audiological Practice.

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The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller. If used for the firm as a whole, the preferred term is trade name.” ala Wikipedia. Wikipedia itself has become a one word brand, recognizable internationally.

When I speak about the branding of an Audiological practice I am not really referring to its name becoming a household name, or a world recognised brand. What I am speaking of is the perception that your practice portrays to its customers and indeed its prospective customers.

You need to understand explicitly that you indeed have a brand and every element of your practice speaks to that brand.

What elements in your practice speak to your brand? What elements of your practice help your Patient’s perception of your brand?

Everything

  1. The cleanliness of your shopfront
  2. The signage that you use
  3. The smell when they walk through the door
  4. The cleanliness of the carpet
  5. The repair state and type of your furniture
  6. The freshness of your walls
  7. The modernity of your decor
  8. The quality of your magazines
  9. The friendliness of your staff
  10. How your phone is answered

Yada yada yada, ad infinitum, you are starting to get the gist EVERYTHING! Why is an understanding of this concept imperative. Because we do not sell products, seems like a strange statement, of course we sell products, hearing aids. I would ask you this question, have you ever paid six thousand of your favourite currency be that euro or dollars for a product that you do not understand?

I would say the answer is probably no, but our Patients do every day. Yes they do some research on the net, yeah they may even recognise one or two of the manufacturers names, but they don’t understand the product at all. They do not have the knowledge to undertake true comparisons when making purchase decisions so we make them for them.

What an Audiological clinic sells is trust, trust is engendered through many strategies in a sales process, but perception of efficacy is the highest contributor to the closing of a sale in our business. That along with the belief that the Dispenser will care for the Patient. What we in fact sell is an experience, if you understand that, you can take steps in your practice that support that concept.

I do not mean nor advocate smoke and mirrors theatrics, what I mean is real efforts to enhance somebody’s experience with your practice. You will also need to understand that the experience does not end after the sale, to deliver ongoing value to your business, a Patients experience needs to be continuous.

That experience is your BRAND 

Regards

Geoff

 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

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.

2 Comments

  1. Good points Geoff,

    I’ve been doing some reading lately into how marketing to the baby-boomer generation (born 1946-1964) is different than marketing to others. One of the consistent messages is that consuming boomers are seeking “exceptional experiences”. The points you mention are all important to the experience.

  2. That is exactly it Matt, if we then take the concept on board fully, it allows us to meet the challenges we face with our changing demographic. Our demographic is smarter, more well educated, cosmopolitan and discerning than ever before. With no disrespect meant to Patients who have gone before.

    But that is the case, what worked ten years ago will not work now, what works now, will not work in ten years. The sooner we realise the better it will be for the profession.

Let me know what you think