Why Healthcare Branding Is the Need of a Digital Driven Market

You know you have valuable skills and experience that can change patients’ lives. The challenge: You need to get them through your practice’s door. How?

You know you have valuable skills and experience that can change patients’ lives. The challenge: You need to get them through your practice’s door. How?

The healthcare industry has seen huge changes in its branding and marketing over the past few decades. Once strict laws limited what you’re allowed to market about you and your services in the healthcare industry. Luckily laws changed, giving physicians more freedom to share their messages with the public; though still within boundaries.

But then the next change came: The digital marketing age. Now you have more mediums you need to use otherwise you won’t reach your audience.

And then there’s the fact that consumers’ approach to healthcare adjusted. For centuries people simply went where doctors sent them. If the local general practitioner didn’t have answers, he or she would refer a patient to a specialist. Now, people do their own research—often online. Your public image, reputation based on reviews and your branding campaigns all determine whether your phone will be ringing off the hook.

How do you cope with all these challenges? Let’s unpack.

The Way it Was

Firstly you need to let go of old medical branding techniques because they’re simply not effective anymore:

Corporate gifting: Imagine a pharmacist or doctor’s desk and you’ll see branded pens. It’s a popular method for doctors and drug companies to remind people of their services. But your pen is getting lost in the drawer among all the others

Referrals: Even if you’re a local GP’s preferred specialist it doesn’t mean all his or her patients will visit you anymore. Consumers have become less dependent on doctors’ suggestions and do their own research to find professionals they want to visit.

Pamphlets: Your printed material looks neat in a waiting room but it’s not how patients or other healthcare professionals will hear about you.

Ads in Newspapers: Nobody read newspapers anymore so what’s the point of putting your brand on printed paper when they can see you online.

Customer support: Being responsive and solving patient problems is still the thing today but you can’t rely on front desk or phone calls anymore. Your patients expect you to be there 24/7 and answer all sorts of questions.

Everything has gone digital.

Branding in the Digital Age

Whether you’re promoting a pharmacy, a certain drug or your practice it’s clear you need a new mindset for medical branding in the 21st century. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking branding is only about your logo. Branding is everything you share publicly, it’s how you perform your tasks and it’s the experiences your patients or clients have.

Here’s how to get it right in 2019.

What You Need Know

Luckily there are better ways so you can overcome the challenges mentioned above.

Be Original

Firstly you need to get out of the mindset you’re in. Simply because a strategy worked last year doesn’t mean it will work this year. Marketing tools are changing fast. One example is how having a website isn’t even enough anymore—now you need a mobile responsive one and from 2019 it’s one of the most important SEO tools.

If you do keep to some of your old methods, consider trying a slightly original approach. If you know your audience does appreciate getting something tangible from you, simply pick something different than last year.

If your dental practice helps many small children you know their parents appreciate it when you reward them with a tasty treat afterwards. It stops the tears and the next visit will seem less daunting. But you function in the modern age where healthy living is on many people’s priority lists. A branded pack of dried fruit (aka valued information online)may impress the parents more than a lollipop.

Such small adjustments do more than simply placate a parent. You’re showcasing your commitment to the value of healthy living. Branding is all about communicating your values so don’t miss any opportunity to show what you stand for on your website and elsewhere online like social media. Parents talk to each other and your simple gesture turns into a dynamic marketing technique.

Visual Branding

While on the topic of branded products, what exactly do you place on the gifts and items you distribute? Your medical logo design could be more than just a visual brand image.

Message: Images are more powerful than text so make sure you optimize branding via a logo. It’s going to be used everywhere and each time someone sees it it’s an opportunity to impress and share your values.

Colors: Don’t pick the colors you like. Pick colors that send a message, such as red representing power and blue being synonymous with peace. If your services relate to recovery green’s subconscious message of growth may be what draws the crowds.

Design: Keep it simple. You’re going to use this image a lot and it must be easy to reproduce. When printed the details shouldn’t blur together and seem messy. It should be scalable and adaptable for all types of devices fit for digital branding such as social media, website design, and banner ads.

Simple is also easily recognizable and memorable. An image is recalled much easier than text so make sure people can recall clearly what you stand for whenever they talk or hear about your niche. You want your patients to suggest you to others or point out your signage whenever they pass it.

You’re probably looking at your current logo and realizing a few mistakes. Don’t be scared to do an overhaul with new logo for your health clinic (something like this) because it will serve you well in the long run.

Do You Have the Courage to Charge More?

Another way you can send subconscious messages about your brand is revising your rates. Many businesses and even healthcare professionals think the cheaper the better. But if your rates are too low people will wonder if there’s something wrong with the services you provide.

This tip also relates closely to consumers’ modern tendency to look for healthcare solutions themselves online. They’re more than willing to pay higher rates if your public reputation, authority online and social presence proves you may have the key to their healthcare solution.

Whether it’s products or health services, higher prices can also communicate that you value quality service delivery.

Do the Pros Know Your Niche?

When some of these tips seem daunting many healthcare pros turn to professional healthcare brand managers for help. This is money well spent but make sure they’re experienced in medical branding. It requires a unique approach, much different than other businesses’. Most businesses sell luxury but your message is unique: A tomorrow where they will feel better than today.

Last Words

Out with the old; in with the new. And it can’t happen soon enough.

You know there are people out there who need your products, services and skills. The healthcare niche is important enough that all pros should adjust to the modern way of branding.

If you have questions or tips for other healthcare professionals, why not leave a comment below. When everyone works together we can build a healthier society.