In the past, business branding was the exclusive domain of large multinational corporations. Global companies like Coca-Cola, Nike and Facebook have become iconic due in large part to the way they have cultivated their brand image.
Today however, even small local businesses – physiotherapy practices included – must tap into the power of personal brand recognition to differentiate themselves from the competition and encourage long-term patient loyalty.
What does it take for a physiotherapy practice to build a winning brand?
1. Define your core values as a physiotherapist and entrepreneur
Reinforce personal values and solid business principles as stated in your original business plan. During the early stages of your private practice business, stick to what made you successful as an employed physiotherapist. Then add to your branding by incorporating your beliefs about ethical business practices, i.e.:
- Special skills like treatment of sports injuries or physiotherapy for seniors.
- Premium emphasis on customer service.
- Respecting your patients’ budget without compromising your fee structure.
These branding values will serve as your clinic’s anchor moving forward.
2. Align your values with patients’ essential needs
Answer the questions:
- What do your patients want?
- How your services and skill set can meet these requirements.
Ideally, all your core values will match up perfectly with a healthy list of patients. However, after a few months or years, you may need to make adjustments. It’s all about meeting your patients’ goals and proving to them that you have indeed met these goals.
3. Reinforce your branding in all internal and external actions
Consistently communicate your brand values to both patients and staff alike. Performance and price alone will not guarantee repeat business; positively positioning your practice as a reliable health centre can make a difference. Consider these elements of your physiotherapy toolkit:
- Your physiotherapy clinic’s name.
- Website presence.
- Your clinic layout.
- Employee dress code, professional conduct.
- Point of contact consistency (i.e. phone calls, letters, stationary, emails, faxes).
- Logo design.
- Advertising messages.
Never forget that the branding concept keeps your business on people’s minds continually. Building and maintaining a private practice brand should be a lifelong passion and commitment for you. Not only will patients thank you for helping them recover from physical injury on site, but they will retain a positive image of the overall experience.