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.weeb­­­­­­m. She publi­shes a blog on marke­ting and commu­nicat­ions topic­s: http:­//mar­comco­mmuni­que.b­logsp­­m

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About Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling is an Irish hearing care blogger and the author of The Little Book of Hearing Aids and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World. He has been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession since 2007 when he qualified as a hearing aid audiologist. He has worked in private practice and for a major hearing aid manufacturer. He has become recognised as an authority within the field of hearing care and hearing aids.

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