The Secret to Success: Branding

Branding:  Don’t be scared to present the real you to the world, authenticity is at the heart of success.

 

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or business to business (B2B).  An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a small business like yours?

Your brand is that ADHESIVE image you carry, that has the ability to STICK to the minds of people you meet physically or otherwise. Brand yourself positively because whoever gets to know you when passing by takes your image along!” ― Israelmore Ayivor, Daily Drive 365

Recently, John Williams wrote in a very informative article in Entrepreneur Magazine, titled the Basics of Branding.  He points out that simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

Now that you know what branding is, how do you attain it?  How do you form it?  How build your business off of it?

The first place to begin is to look in the mirror.  Who are you?  Who is the principle patient?  What is your specialty?  If you don’t know, you will need to do some soul searching.  Figure out where your passion lays.  Maybe your answer is right in front of you?  Do an inventory of your entire patient base and establish each patient’s unique need.  Clarity may be closer than you think.

The next step is to figure out your practice’s mission.  Based on that information establish the unique benefits and features of your services.  Now build off of that Brandingby establishing what your patients think of your service.  Finally, determine what qualities you want patients to associate with your practice.

Congratulations, you have just determined your unique selling proposition (U.S.P).  In short, that unique benefit, essence, appeal or promise that you hold out to the patient (one that no other doctor offers).  It must be a clear, concise, compelling reason that makes your patient aware of what your practice can do for them. Continue reading The Secret to Success: Branding

Advertising Mistakes: How Many of These Costly Errors Are You Making?

Advertising mistakes: if your advertising results don’t deliver a steady stream of new patients, chances are you’re making costly, but correctable, errors!

 

The only purpose of advertising is to generate higher profits for your medical practice! Your ad MUST be a salesperson in print, online, on the radio, in your television ad, etc.  Unless your ad convinces the patients to pick up the phone and call you or come into your office, your ads are useless; also known as “Doctor Advertising Mistakes.”  Sadly, depending on the type of error, you even be pushing potential business directly to your competition!

If you look at many Doctors’ display ads, you will quickly notice that most of the ads look alike, and they say the same things.  Worst of all, they all have nearly identical advertising mistakes, such as: “Free Consultant”, “Urgent Care”, and “Medical Care for The Entire Family.”

* Though all these services and details are important, and they all stand on their own merits!  Unfortunately, as it applies in most cases, the only elements that change in the ad are the names of their practice.

Though many (if not most) media conduits provide their basic elements, essential ingredients, and software for an ad.  Too often they [the media outlets] just offer some variation of a cookie-cutter formula for their “advertising platform.”  Which is fine for their needs; however, too often some essential “components” are left out of your ad.

The importance of these elements becomes apparent when you look at your advertising from the perspective of what your ad (In a magazine for example, but it applies to all other mediums as well.  For simplicity, for rest of illustration we will use print advertising) is indeed designed to do for your medical practice.

Every ad is created with two purposes in mind:  1) To attract a stream of new patients; and, 2) To have those patients who see your ad choose your practice over everyone else in your field and demographic area.  Unfortunately, your competitor is counting on the very same benefit!

Print advertising is a medium that allows your biggest competitor to sit next to you in the periodical for easy comparison. Whatever your advertising medium, shortly after your ad appears, or is heard, your competitor’s ad will also be seen or heard. Therefore, as part of your marketing strategy, you have to do everything you can to stand out.

“What business strategy is all about and what distinguishes it from all other kinds of business planning is, in two words, competitive advantage. Without competitors there would be no need for strategy, for the sole purpose of strategic planning is to enable the company to gain, as efficiently as possible, a sustainable edge over its competitors.”  ― Kenichi Ohmae

To stand out and have your next patient pick up the phone and call you is beyond important.  It is life and death (for your medical practice).  Your ad must be Chiropractic Advertising Mistakesdifferent!  Shockingly, some doctors merely state their name in their ads, and besides a phone number — that’s all.

Interestingly, every consumer has one trait in common with every other buyer.  We all like to buy; we just do not want to be sold!  Additionally, we buy using unique triggers that appeal specifically to us; in marketing terms, it is called the “What’s in it for me?” quotient. Continue reading Advertising Mistakes: How Many of These Costly Errors Are You Making?