Step-by-Step to Branding Your Practice

An ongoing series of actionable steps to take you through the process of branding your health and wellness practice.

The First Steps: Research

The absolutely first thing that you need to do when you are looking to brand your practice is to conduct thorough research.

You know your business… so what do you need to research, you may ask. — A lot.

The fact that you “know” your business can be both a boon and a hindrance in the branding process. It’s a boon in that you do know the intricacies of your practice in a way that no one who comes in from the outside ever will. But just as that is a benefit, it becomes a hindrance because, since you work in the field and in your practice daily, you will have a tendency to skip over things you think you already know and not look at them with fresh eyes. This can result in you seeing what you want to see, not the real picture of what is going on in your industry and in your practice.

Here are a number of areas that you will want to either revisit and review or develop a baseline for

1. Your Practices’ Purpose, Mission and Vision:

Sometimes, going back to the basics can offer a fresh perspective. Revisit your purpose. This is your “Why” statement. Why do you do what you do — and no, money is NOT an acceptable answer. Your purpose is also something that should never change. If it does – you have a different business. Your Mission and Vision statements (check out Exercise: Practice Obituary  Uncovering Your Vision) are “long term” – 10-20 years – and are opposite sides of the same coin. Your mission is how you achieve your vision, and your vision is what fulfilling your mission looks like. Looking at these can help you ensure that your organization is still in alignment with where you wanted to go or if you need to make adjustments to your mission and vision statements.

The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie annotated by Alice H. Murray.

SWOT Matrix2. SWOT Analysis:

Conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. This will help you objectively evaluate your practice in relation to the market and your competitors.

3. Customer Feedback:

Collect and analyze customer feedback. Sometimes, your clients see aspects of your business that you might overlook. Use surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews to gather this information.

4. Competitive Analysis:

Study your competitors. Understand their branding, customer experience, and service offerings. This will not only give you a fresh perspective but also help you identify what makes your practice unique. Do you have a specific niche that you focus on? e.g. a tongue acupuncturist? a chiropractor for golfers? Do you offer a specialty service? Remote support for full-time stay-at-home caretakers?

5. Industry Trends:

Stay updated on industry trends and emerging technologies. This will help you anticipate changes and adapt your branding strategy accordingly.

6. Employee Input:

Don’t underestimate the insights your employees can offer. They interact with different facets of your business and can provide valuable perspectives.

7. Customer Personas or Avatars:

Target Audience Persona WorksheetUpdate or create customer personas. Market dynamics change, and so do customer preferences. Make sure your branding efforts are targeted at the current needs and pain points of your audience. It’s also much easier for people to relate to people, so if you can help your staff connect to your customers or even your brand through an avatar, it is worth the effort.

8. Asset Reviews:

Make it a practice to periodically review your branded assets. This includes your marketing materials, both printed and digital, any patient-facing document, brochures, signage, or displays. This is an important part of your initial research as you need to review all of your existing branded materials. Are they consistent? Do they use the same colors, type, and imagery? Do they appear as a cohesive whole, or are they a hodgepodge of styles and designs?

If you feel overwhelmed – take it one step at a time, and don’t forget you can always call in an expert to help you out.