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What is a brand and is having one relevant to all sectors of the medical industry? If I am an individual doctor or the provider of a service, do I need a brand? Brands are just as important to the different areas of the medical industry as they are to any business. Whether you are a sole practitioner, a small group practice, a growing group service provider or a multi-national.

Your Brand = Your Promise to Deliver to Customers

If you are an individual providing a service – you are the brand, just the same as any entity business forms a brand as a group. What is the ultimate value of your brand? What creates loyalty to one brand over another very similar offering? Thinking that the brand is just a logo, signage, stationery or a set of procedures is a mistake. The real value of your brand is the intangibles made up of experiences that your customer can’t see or touch, but like oxygen – they are real. Brands need to spend time, money and energy to develop these intangibles and ensure they are communicated to the customer. The end benefit to your business is that it adds value to your business to sell. A brand demands a higher price and customers will pay more for a branded product.

How do I know if I have a strong brand?

An effective measure of brand loyalty is that of returning customers – this is particularly relevant in the medical industry. The medical industry has many customers not requiring regular services as well as a greater choice of services available than ever before. If your customer needs your service every four or more years and returns back to you, that’s brand loyalty.branded-images

Your brand sets customer expectations

A brand creates a feeling of trust and an emotional attachment to you or your business. This attachment then causes your market to make decisions that include emotional reasons as well as logical, economic or intellectual reasons.

A few ways to encourage brand loyalty

These might not all be applicable to your business, but there will be some things you can use.

  1. Make a customer’s experience memorable every time. Delivering a service that is expected is good, but the key to building brand loyalty is going beyond their expectations.
  2. Loyalty rewards. Don’t you get annoyed when you see companies passing out rewards for new members when you have been a loyal customer for years? In the medical industry, a loyalty reward can be something as simple as card – but it lets your customers know you value them.
  3. Give them information and make them feel important. You can do this with newsletters, blogs and hot tips. Be careful not to get caught up in too much self-promotion, it will have a negative effect.
  4. Ask what they think and then act on it. Your customers are the most valuable source of feedback about you and your products and services. Use surveys and then implement changes based on the results. Let them know you have done so and thank them for their involvement.
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