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Branding Yourself in the Healthcare Industry: Common Oversights in Medical Practices

Jennifer Hickerson asks us to explore 3 of the most commonly overlooked branding mistakes in building a medical practice.

December 4, 2020

Branding Yourself in the Healthcare Industry: Common Oversights in Medical Practices

 

I want you to imagine for a second that you’re a 75-year-old going into your primary care doctor’s office. As soon as you walk through the door, you’re greeted by lime green walls.

 

 

What goes through your mind?

 

This is giving me a headache.

Why would they do this?

Did my doctor move and not tell me?

 

Now, put yourself in a 6-year-old’s shoes going to visit their pediatrician.

 

Do your thoughts change?

 

I want this color for my bedroom!

This would look cool with some trees painted on there, too!

I wonder what color the exam rooms are.

 

Welcome to branding — where everything you do or say represents you and your practice.

 

Overlooked Branding Mistakes

 

Okay, so choosing the lime green walls as an example may have been a bit of an exaggeration. But it was meant to get your attention and help you understand your patients and how different audiences react to the same situation.

 

What’s something a little less obvious than blinding wall saturation?

 

 

Let’s explore 3 of the most commonly overlooked branding mistakes:

 

 

  1. Personality Discrepancies

 

Yes, yes this does have to be taken into consideration.

 

Different fields of practice require different ways to approach patients.

 

 

Consider these 3 different scenarios:

 

  1. You have severe depression.

After months of nagging from your family, you finally decide to give therapy a try. You walk up to the front desk and the receptionist is cold and aloof. You feel like your mere presence is a disturbance and you begin crying. The receptionist then tells you to take a seat while trying to avoid eye contact with you.

 

 

  1. You are a parent with a child who has the flu.

They’ve been crying all day because they don’t feel good. When you finally get to the pediatrician’s office, there are 4 other parents with children ahead of you. The line isn’t moving and your child is pulling at your pant leg whining. That’s when you notice the person checking you in is having a conversation with the first person in line. They don’t appear to know each other but asking questions about a birthday party seems to be taking priority.

 

 

  1. You’re a new mom who has just given birth to a beautiful baby.

 

Unfortunately, it was a traumatic delivery and your baby’s face is extremely swollen. A nurse comes in to coach you on how to breastfeed and your baby isn’t latching. The nurse then tells you that your baby is incapable of suckling and should just stick to bottles.

 

 

 

 

Your decision to hire shouldn’t be based solely on skillset alone but also whether or not that person will represent what your practice — your brand — will be remembered for in the memories of your patients.

 

  • Do your employees need to exhibit an exceptional amount of empathy?

 

  • Will a gift of gab be an issue at your busy practice?

 

  • Will your hired help need to know how to be sensitive in difficult circumstances?
Your decision to hire shouldn’t be based solely on skillset alone but also whether or not that person will represent what your practice — your brand — will be remembered for in the memories of your patients. Click To Tweet

 

 

2. Design and Decor Flaws

 

 

 

 

Why does this matter? Your patients are there for your expertise, not to enjoy an art gallery.

 

Because color and design affect the mood, that’s why!

 

Before we start, it’s important that I remind you that color associations are not universal and can mean different things in other cultures.

 

 

 

This is why it is imperative that you or a branding specialist conduct extensive customer research into your patient market.

 

 

Color and design affect the mood.

 

 

It is imperative that you or a branding specialist conduct extensive customer research into your patient market. Click To Tweet

 

According to an article by VeryWellMind — reviewed by board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Steven Gans — the following colors have the associated emotions:

 

 

White: Peacefulness, cleanliness, innocence, emptiness

Black: Boldness, power, mystery, unhappiness

Red: Love, passion, power, anger

Blue: Productivity, calmness, stability, sadness

Yellow: Energy, attention, warmth, brightness

Green: Safety, luck, nature, envy

Orange: Happiness, enthusiasm, attention, energy

Purple: Imagination, royalty, wealth, mystery

Brown: Strength, security, nature, isolation

Pink: Nurturing, kindness, romance, calmness

 

 

When you get the results back from your own personal customer research, apply this with a conscious mind to all of your decor decisions.

 

  1. Rugs
  2. Seating
  3. Products
  4. Photos
  5. Knick-knacks

 

What mood do you want your patients to experience in your office?

 

  • What mood do you not want your patients to experience in your office?

 

 

 

 

  1. Lack of Uniqueness

 

 

Can you tell me 3 reasons off the top of your head why patients in your market should choose you over your competitor?

 

Would people drive the extra mile to come to you or to avoid you?

 

In today’s market, you have to stand out. You want your patients to remember your uniqueness — not your blunders.

 

 

 

 

 

Let me give you an example:

 

Once upon a time, I used to run a medical detox office. We were a “chain” located in hospitals throughout the United States. In proximity to my location, there were 5 other offices within a 3-hour drive.

 

We consistently averaged 90+ patients per month while others were only breaking the 30 patient mark.

 

In today’s market, you have to stand out. You want your patients to remember your uniqueness — not your blunders.

 

 

Why?

 

Because people drove from across the state to come to our location.

 

Among others, here are 3 of the unique things we offered that the others didn’t:

 

  1. Private rooms
  2. A 2 drug detox selection rather than 1
  3. Cell phone access

 

In today’s market, you have to stand out. You want your patients to remember your uniqueness — not your blunders.

 

 

What can you offer your patients that are uniquely different from your competitor?

 

  • Cushioned seats at a chiropractor’s office?
  • A mural painted on the ceiling of a dental exam room?
  • Separate waiting rooms for sick and well patients?

 

 

 

In today’s market, you have to stand out. You want your patients to remember your uniqueness — not your blunders. #medtwitter #somedocs Click To Tweet

 

 

Remember:

 

Every great business in any industry is made up of small accomplishments.

Deciding to consciously make each and every decision with the patient in mind will put you ahead of your competitor — and better yet, your current patients will leave satisfied.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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