When you own your own business, whether chiropractic or otherwise, your ability to create a strong brand can mean the difference between having a line out the door and hearing crickets in your waiting room.
What is a brand, why is it so important and how do you create a strong one?
What branding is
Branding involves coming up with a name, image or some other sign or symbol that, every time someone sees or hears it, they instantly think about your practice, its services, products and staff. It brings up a clear image of your chiropractic practice within your consumers’ minds.
A couple examples of effective branding include how seeing the swoosh symbol makes you immediately think of Nike or how the mere mention of “Flo” instantly reminds you of Progressive insurance. Developing this type of image, icon or logo recognition increases others familiarity with who you are, what you do and how you can help. It represents your entire business all in one simple sign or symbol.
And when your branding is strong, it even incites a certain feeling about your practice, an emotion that arises within the person seeing or hearing it. It’s much the same way that seeing the logo of your favorite fast food restaurant instantly makes your mouth water as you crave the menu item you order most often, even if you weren’t at all hungry prior to seeing it.
Why building a brand is so important
Business Dictionary explains that the purpose in creating a brand is to “establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.” In other words, when you develop a strong brand for your chiropractic practice, you stand out against your competitors. This places you first and foremost in your consumers’ minds whenever they think about seeing a chiropractic professional.
Additionally, when your brand is strong enough, your patients will tend to stick around for years and years to come. They’ll also likely tell everyone they know about you, encouraging others to “see for themselves” just how good you are. They become brand ambassadors for your chiropractic business, sharing your practice for you for no other reason than that your brand is a positive entity within their minds.
How to build your chiropractic practice’s brand
How do you create this type of brand; one that is instantly recognized, incites a specific feeling and helps you obtain and retain loyal customers? Here are three tips to consider.
1. Do your research
Before you can effectively connect with your target audience, you must first understand who they are. This involves asking and answering some key questions:
- What is important to them?
- What are their biggest concerns or fears?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- What problems can you help them solve?
- What types of images and logos would be most appealing to them?
The more you know about the people you want to serve, the more you’re able to reach out to them in a way that helps them see the benefits of working with you. It also increases your ability to create a brand in line with the things that matter most to them.
In addition to knowing your target market more in-depth, you also want to learn as much as you can about your competitors. What types of services do they offer? What don’t they offer? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses?
Use this information to help you create a brand that capitalizes on what you do differently. Point out the areas where you’re stronger or more efficient so your patients don’t have to figure this out for themselves.
2. Decide how you want your patients to “feel” about you
Another important consideration when creating your brand is deciding how you want people to feel about you. What emotions do you want to create within them when they think about your practice?
For instance, if you specialize in sports chiropractic, your branding may make your patients and prospective patients feel as if you can help them become stronger and improve their athletic performance. Or maybe it makes them feel hopeful that they can overcome a chronic sports injury, with less pain and in less time.
Choose a logo and color scheme that elicits this type of emotional response. To test its effectiveness, set up a focus group and ask them what they think of your branding campaign. Question what feelings your signs and symbols create and make adjustments if necessary.
3. Be consistent
Finally, whatever icon or image you choose to use, keep consistency across all of your platforms. Use the same fonts and colors regardless of the site. Repeat key phrases and use the same type of wording.
This ensures that your website, social media profiles and all other marketing materials have the same look and feel, enabling the people viewing them to easily recognize your brand regardless of what type of media they access.
Do your research, decide how you want to make others feel and be consistent when creating your brand. This can help you build a more resilient business, one in which people smile when they think of you.