to branding your practice

I gave you a lot to do last time. Research is a massive undertaking. It is necessary, as you have discovered. When you start looking into your practice’s current position and reputation, crossing that with a competitive analysis and industry trends, you get a good idea of where your practice sits.

This exercise exposes issues that you don’t see in day-to-day operations.

Now you have all this excellent information – what will you do with it?

1. Examine Your Research

If you have yet to take the time to actually look at what you have uncovered, now is that time.

Is the Purpose that you identified showing up in the customer feedback? What about in the Employee Input?

If your customers and employees don’t recognize and know your Purpose, you must clarify and share it. Your Purpose is a differentiator. It is the why behind it all and is specific to you and your practice.

Typically, whys have an emotional component; let your employees and patients connect with yours.

The power to change your life is at your fingertips... are you ready?

What did your SWOT Analysis reveal? Are there areas that you excel in that you should be promoting more? Are the areas that you need to shore-up? Do you need to create action plans to address any of the threats?

In your competitive analysis, were you able to identify how your competitors are making themselves stand out and what their differentiator is? Creating a chart with their positioning strategy, brand message, personality, brand identity, presence, core offer & a couple of reviews can make it easier to see commonalities across your competitors.

When you examined industry trends, what did you discover? How can this information help you plan your next quarter?

Does your customer persona(s) currently reflect the patient base you want to attract?

Would it work if you took your marketing material and placed any of your competitors’ logos on it?

If the answer is yes – your assets need updating.

2. Who Do You Want To Be

Now that you know where your practice stands in the marketing and industry landscape, it’s time to determine where you want it to be.

Then, craft the strategy to get there. You know your Purpose. Now, you need to establish your Brand Values and Personality. This means you need to decide on the core values and personality traits you want your brand to embody.

These attributes will guide your brand’s voice and tone across all of your communications. It may be easier if you think of your “brand” as a person. Or, for those of you who play – a SIM.

Only you get MORE control. You get to pick what they like, what they don’t like, what they are good at, how they talk, what they wear, what they THINK.

You are creating an entire “being.”

This representation does not ever need to be shared – but it will help you create.

Give them a name. Their Purpose is your brand’s Purpose. Their values are your brand’s values, their personality – your brand’s. Starting to see how this works?

As people – we understand people. I find that it makes sense to have a “brand avatar” that I can run everything through.

Would my avatar “wear this?” No? Then that’s a bad design for our marketing material.

Would my avatar listen to this? Yes? Okay – I should have that as hold music or play it in the office.

My avatar hates this? -Then I don’t want photos of that on the walls.

Comparison between personal and business branding.

3. Your Assignment

Here’s what I want you to do. In your downtime… think. Your practice is a PERSON. What are they like? How do they greet you? Do they use slang, or are they formal? What do they look like? How do they dress? Where do they hang out? What’s important to them?

Try to make them as well-rounded and complete as possible. Don’t expect to do this in 10 minutes. Take your time. Think about it: 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there.

If you have a partner (business or personal), talk with them. They know “Person” too. What are their impressions of them? (Remember to keep the “person” going – that’s why I recommend giving them a name.)

After a few weeks, you should be able to write out…

  • What are your core values?
  • What is your personality like?
  • What is the tone of voice for your communications?
  • What colors should you use?
  • What typefaces would be best? (Or at least be able to identify them when you look.)

If you’ve given your Person some of the same traits as your target audience, you may even have an idea of where you need to direct some of your marketing.

If you feel overwhelmed – take it one step at a time, and remember you can always call an expert to help you.