Communication and branding are two integral parts of medical practice marketing. But what’s the difference between the two? Branding refers to the symbols, designs, logos, colors, and language you use to differentiate your medical practice from the competition. Good branding is seamless across multiple platforms. A patient receiving a direct mailed postcard should have the same experience of your brand as a patient clicking on your website. This means using the same branded components everywhere – from the walls of your office to the wall of your Facebook page. It also means creating a very specific experience for the patient. Is your practice warm and friendly, cutting edge and modern, or down-to-earth and efficient? Your logo, slogan, and marketing materials should reflect and create this type of branded experience.
Communication, on the other hand, refers to the manner in which you promote your brand in the world. Once you have a firmly established brand, you’re ready to communicate your brand’s promise to your target market, or your patients. The way in which you communicate says a lot about your brand. Some practices will communicate most effectively through traditional advertising in trade publications or on television, while others will have success communicating online. The way in which you communicate, and what message you choose to communicate, will be determined by your patient demographics. Taking the time to develop a strong branding and communications platform based on your patient’s needs will make your medical practice much more memorable, cultivate patient loyalty, and help you stand out from the crowd.
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