As a medical professional, your reputation and expertise have always been number one. But as discoverability metrics and patient expectations shift towards more hospitality-inspired experiences, doctors and dentists need a brand that lives up to the quality of care they provide.
It’s easy to think of a brand as just a logo or a set of colors. But a brand is something that sets expectations and guides experiences. Your brand positions you in the market, sets you apart from others, and shapes every interaction your patients have with you – from booking that first appointment to recommending you to their loved ones.
Why Medical Professionals Need High-Quality Branding
As consumers become savvier about branding, they’re bringing expectations from different verticals into the healthcare sector. Just as hospitality has influenced retail with pioneering brands like Apple taking cues from the category, it’s also played a significant role in patient expectations around healthcare.
A sign on the door and a traditional clinical setup are no longer enough to attract patients – especially in competitive specialties and markets. Instead, patients seek out markers that create trust, affinity, and familiarity. When deciding on a new provider, they assess signage and copy, read reviews, browse websites, explore social media, and even take virtual tours of clinics.
That initial experience is key to their decision-making, but it doesn’t end there. Branding isn’t just about getting patients in the door. It’s something that shapes the end-to-end experience. If your market position is a practice that’s upscale, tranquil, and comforting, those elements should infuse every moment of the patient experience, from booking their appointment to leaving the parking lot. Your booking software, signage, decor, manner, wayfinding, and paperwork should all reflect this brand.
Critically, as different clinics provide different experiences, different patients are seeking different types of experiences. You can’t be everything to everyone, so don’t try to be. What matters to great branding is authenticity and consistency. Every element should reflect who you are, what you stand for, and what you value – the things that together encapsulate your brand.
Tips For Creating a Distinctive Healthcare Brand
A great healthcare brand draws in patients, sets expectations, and informs the patient experience. It’s your promise to your patients – one they trust that you’ll keep. So getting it right matters.
When defining your healthcare brand, keep the following in mind.
- Your Unique Selling Point. Excellent quality care and patient-centered services are no longer a selling point – they’re a basic expectation. What else do you bring to the table that sets you apart from others in your market or specialization? It might be a specific type of technology, a unique treatment or services, or access to expertise or clinical trials not found among your competitors. Identify what sets you apart, and leverage it in your branding.
- Communicating your brand message. Once you’ve defined who you are and what you’re all about, craft a short message that clearly communicates this to your audience – both patients and staff. This is a valuable piece of communication you can refer back to when making changes to the business or creating marketing communications, and that also helps patients easily understand what to expect.
- Your visual and verbal identity. What does your brand look and sound like, and how does this reflect who you are and what your stand for? A high-tech clinic should leverage crisp, forward-looking branding that infuses everything from your signage to your decor to your digital marketing. A pediatric dentist might want a balance of kid-friendly colors and messaging that simultaneously reassures parents that their kids are in good hands. Wherever you land on the design side of things, strive to be recognizable, memorable, distinctive, and consistent – but still clearly within the healthcare space.
- Evolution is normal. Markets change, specializations evolve, and practices expand. Strive to stay on brand, but if your clinic is moving in a direction that is no longer reflected by your brand, a brand refresh or overhaul – done well – can be a great option.
Ready to Brand Your Healthcare Practice Like a Pro?
At StellaPop, we’ve helped hundreds of organizations and businesses define, develop and launch winning identities that have positioned brands for exceptional success. For help creating a powerful, professional healthcare brand identity that sets you apart from your competitors in all the right ways, get in touch!