As a healthcare organization, you offer medical services and perhaps a specialty of some kind. Obviously, new patients will easily find you online when they need the type of care you and your team provide. Attracting new patients is simple, right?
If only it was that easy.
For better or worse, more than 60% of consumers conduct an online search before scheduling their next doctor’s appointment. You need to stand out in the crowd. And that means branding your healthcare practice.
Gulp. Where to go? What to do?
So how do you go about creating a memorable brand for your healthcare practice? Before we answer that question, let’s take a moment to understand why healthcare branding is so essential to the success of your business.
Brand helps distinguish your practice from competitors.
Let’s say you run a dental practice. For reference, in my town alone—a suburb of Atlanta with just over 33,000 residents—when I conducted a search for dental practices within a 10-mile radius, 20 dental offices popped up on Google Maps. Twenty! How do I choose one?
I could start by narrowing it down to which locations accept my insurance. Like 94% of patients seeking a new provider, I will read reviews about prospective dental offices and oral healthcare professionals. Beyond that though, I want to know what sets an office apart from its competitors, and that’s where branding can make all the difference.
What sets your healthcare organization apart from others?
This is a great place to begin when it comes to branding or rebranding your healthcare enterprise. What is it that sets you apart from the same type of practice just two miles down the road? Why should people choose you, that is, beyond the fact you accept their insurance?
Is it because you have a warm, welcoming team? Is it because you make it easy for patients to contact you via online scheduling and give them the option to ask questions about upcoming appointments via text?
Maybe it’s because your healthcare CRM for patient relationship management allows you to have every aspect of a patient’s health chart at your fingertips, so the moment they call your office, you can greet them by name and ask how they’ve been feeling since their last doctor’s visit. These subtle touches have a profound impact on the overall patient experience.
Whatever it is that gives you the advantage over the competition is how you need to brand your healthcare practice so you become the obvious choice. Once you determine how and what you want to convey, you can create a memorable brand with logos, colors, taglines, and materials that support your vision in print and beyond.
This treatment center has created an effective color scheme and applied it to its logo and homepage. Note the feel-good/back-to-nature vibe the various elements create.
Good branding helps your healthcare organization attract and retain patients.
Branding establishes a relationship with current and future patients. Once you’ve determined how you’re different and what sets your organization apart from others offering the same medical services, you’ll be able to take steps toward creating your messages and designs. Your logo, tagline, and a line or two about what patients can expect at your practice – your elevator pitch – are often the first touchpoints of the patient experience. How that branding makes them feel is important, such as:
- Establishing trust
- Conveying a partnership
- Expressing warmth
- Showing expertise
- Conveying years of experience
- Advertising cutting-edge treatments
- Expressing a patient-centric focus
Creating a memorable logo and descriptive tagline often means taking a simple approach to your healthcare organization’s brand. Make sure the name of your business is an accurate reflection of the services you provide. Write a short tagline that’s easy to remember. Use colors that make sense, but avoid looking too similar to all the other practices in your area.
ARC Psychiatry checks the boxes with their simple name, logo and tagline.
For example, you may want to avoid a cartoon tooth to signify your dental practice. Sure, it’s cute and memorable, but it’s a bit overdone from a branding standpoint. You are original. Let your brand reflect that.
FormHealth goes all-in with orange and applies the color as an identifier in their branding scheme.
Healthcare brands should speak to patients’ emotions.
Your healthcare brand should speak to the patients’ emotions.
Making healthcare decisions, including choosing a new provider, are often emotional experiences. Let your logo, taglines, and other marketing materials indicate that you can connect with patients about their health and wellness on a personal level.
This helps patients get a feel for what it will be like when they come to your office for an initial appointment. It gives them an idea of what to expect about how they will be treated and helps establish trust.
You’ll likely attract more patients if your practice comes across as more personal. Then it’s up to your healthcare team to deliver on those expectations.
Two Chairs not only nails its branding with distinctive colors, fonts, and styles, it also puts its “personalized approach” front and center.
Successful healthcare brands connect with patients’ values.
Your healthcare brand should also reflect patient values. In that manner, you will gain patient loyalty and referrals to friends and family members.
One example of connecting with patient values is a dental office that offers sedation dentistry. Actual pain is a pain point for many dental patients, and a reason they avoid scheduling annual preventive checkups. If your practice takes the pain out of the equation with the option of sedation dentistry, then letting patients know that they can have a pain-free, relaxing experience is a great way to present your brand.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to branding your healthcare organization. Check out this helpful article to learn five ways to help make your brand stand out. It walks you through the following five steps:
- Integrate mission with messaging.
- Develop strategic value propositions.
- Establish a distinctive voice and tone.
- Create a strong visual identity.
- Create a comprehensive style guide.
Then get busy studying your competition and requesting feedback from current patients about what you do well and why they love your medical practice. Build your brand based on what’s missing from practices like yours in the community, and deliver exactly what your future patients are searching for.