There are as many different types of practices as their are practitioners–even within the nutritional field or in the world of chiropractic, you know how different personalities can be. Those differences in personality can be part of your individual strength, with your brand development and with you naming it correctly–so that you can bring in more patients looking for solutions just like what you offer.
It isn’t just about knowing your strengths and weaknesses, though that can be part of it, it really is about developing your practice brand.
So here is a simple guide to get you started, developing the brand for your nutritional or chiropractic clinic.
Terms to Know
When it comes to marketing and branding (and advertising) the terms can get run together or incorrectly used. So first, what are branding and brand marketing?
- Branding – Derived from the term used for a name or a symbol for a company (its brand), branding has come to mean any distinction specific to a company or organization–it includes logo, design, symbols or products (like the Nike swish or their style of shoes), but it also includes the idea or thoughts associated with a company.
- Brand marketing – Using strategies of branding to push forward or promote the idea of your company, is brand marketing. All marketing should fit your brand, but brand marketing is specifically getting your brand better known and understood.
On the temple of Apollo at Delphi in Greece, the writer Pausanias is credited with having inscribed the maxim, “know thyself.”
Indeed, the first step in nutritional branding is to understand what you do. What sets you apart? Whom do you best serve? It helps to identify the qualities shared by the patients you have helped the most. It can be obvious, like a specific demographic (children, women, the elderly, whomever you most serve), or more subtle, such as great success with individuals dealing with allergies or digestive issues.
Whatever you find that your patients and success stories most have in common, is probably the key to your brand.
Meet Them on Their Turf
Once you have identified who you best serve, you need to figure out how to approach more people like that. It’s not as straight-forward as hanging up a sign that says, “Everyone with chronic headaches, come see me,” but it’s not that far off, either.
Have your signage, paperwork, employee dress, level of service, workshops, tone of your external communications–everything!–fit your brand, and meet your potential patients on their turf.
The brand that suits you sums up what you do well. The marketing that fits will communicate that, and to the people with whom you resonate.
Enlist Your Patients
Sometimes it takes an outsider to see you as you really are. If you are redesigning a logo, planning workshops, participating in a health fair–anything!–ask your patients for input, particularly those patients whom you have identified as being the type you best serve, and the type you’d like to see more of. If your messaging doesn’t seem quite right, they will often know before you do.
You’re not really asking your patients for design input, you are asking them, “Which sign would make you want to find out more?” “Which workshop would you most want to attend?” “Where could I go to meet more patients, like yourself, that I could help?” You may get direct referrals, or other opportunities to identify and market your brand.
Stay the Course
Brands also become better known with longevity–that Coca-Cola logo looks the same in any language. So identify who you serve, meet more people like them, and persist.
You’ll soon be broadly known as a healer!