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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?
The cleanliness of your shopfront
The signage that you use
The smell when they walk through the door
The cleanliness of the carpet
The repair state and type of your furniture
The freshness of your walls
The modernity of your decor
The quality of your magazines
The friendliness of your staff
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