For the brand owner a brand may begin with an idea. In the case of medical marketing, your practice is the brand and your patients are the consumers. For the consumer, however, a brand is truly born when you deliver it to them. Branding delivery is a perpetual process that occurs every time a consumer or patient comes in contact with your brand.
The Importance of Branding
Although advertising has the crucial purpose of setting up products and services, brand delivery is the moment of truth, advertising is one big “I can…” speech that influences brand delivery and for a successful brand delivery it is imperative that advertising is in harmony with the brand potential.
While embellishment is advertising’s nature and as a brand marketer you can’t do without it, what you need to understand here is that the wider the gap between your brand’s promise and its ability to fulfill it, the harder it is your brand to land on the other side where eager consumers await. Make sure they’re waiting for something that you can ultimately provide.
First Position; Verb, NOT Noun
Brand positioning is important for your brand to connect with the maximum number of the relevant people. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time can kill you. The same is true for your brand. Faulty brand positioning can waste a perfectly good brand.
When launching your brand you have to position it properly. The position of your brand is clear in your mind as “Number 1”. However your brand’s ‘position’ in the eyes of the consumer is a different concept.
As far as your products and services are concerned, consumers view the world looking for things that will fulfill their needs & wants and solve their problems. Good brand positioning practices are all based on a simple premise: You have to be very clear how your product/service will fulfill each need/want or solve what problem, for which types of people.
The procedures involved in product positioning cover market defining, mindshare determining, defining product space, determining product’s location in product space and determining the ideal vector (the target market’s preferred combination of attributes/dimensions). All of them are based on the above mentioned objective that can also be explained as: Examining the fit between a) The position of your product and b) The position of the ideal vector.
The Obvious, the Interesting and the Sad
It’s obvious that every brand owner/marketer craves brand loyalty.
The interesting thing is that consumers crave brand loyalty too! People have a desire (albeit subconscious) to be associated with a good brand, even if it means as consumers.
The sad part is that only a few brand owners are able to appreciate the consumers’ desires and achieve brand loyalty.
Expectation Satisfaction VS Customer Satisfaction
Everyone knows what customer satisfaction is and how it’s important for good branding. The problem is that when launching a brand, its owners usually fail to comprehend the ‘customer’ part of customer satisfaction. A new brand HAS no customers! So how can you ‘satisfy’ them? What they should be doing is focus on satisfying ‘EXPECTATIONS’ of PROSPECTIVE customers.
Customers in general have expectations from a brand before it is launched. Your advertising and marketing efforts are (or at least should be) the primary factors that shape that expectation. For brand owners looking to launch a new brand, or launching themselves at launching brands (newbies) the words ‘Expectation Satisfaction’ should mean more than the words ‘Customer Satisfaction’. Because if your brand doesn’t satisfy people’s expectations with it, the people won’t become your customers and this will kill your new born brand in its crib.
Patients’ Eyes Only
As a brand owner it’s understandable that you love your brand and hope that good branding will enable consumers to see how good your brand really is. The thing is that the difference between good branding and good brands is…NOTHING – not in the eyes of the consumers and the eyes of the consumers are the only ones that matter! If you appreciate this basic branding lesson, you have started in the right direction to launching a successful brand.
If you need help growing your medical practice, contact our consultants at Grow the Practice at 1-800-383-1148 or visit www.growthepractice.com!