What is Branding?
Branding is the practice of creating a desired perception from all of the audiences of a healthcare professional and his/her practice. This includes the reputation of the healthcare professional within the community. Healthcare professionals can establish a brand that is perceived as the leading resource for vascular-related medical advice and treatments by patients, the community, medical professionals, opinion leaders, and the media.
A brand is reflected in every aspect of a practice: how patients experience interactions with the healthcare professional and staff members; the healthcare professional's standing within the medical community; and the information the community receives about the medical practice through the media, marketing materials, and public outreach. Everything translates into a perception that influences how existing and prospective patients, peers, and neighbors perceive the healthcare professional and medical practice.
Whether the healthcare professional consciously creates a brand or leaves it to chance, a brand exists. If a healthcare professional does nothing, other people will form decisions on their own. If the healthcare professional makes an effort to consistently present a position as an approachable, dependable, knowledgeable surgeon, people will see confidence, credibility, accessibility, and interest in their well-being. Consider these points:
- A practice’s mission sets the tone for the brand. When a healthcare professional clearly identifies its mission, then there can be effectively articulation of the purpose of the practice. The best mission statements are clear and concise, and are always positioned from the perspective of the patient—what services can be provided to the patient?
- Brands consistently grow and change with every interaction among the healthcare professional and staff members. The brand is never stagnant. Establishing the brand is something that must occur every day
- Control the brand by planning and executing communication tactics established in the business plan
- The essence of the messages the healthcare professional and staff members deliver through personal contact, marketing, and the media translate into the brand. Keep these messages clear, concise, and in keeping with the perspective of all audiences
Here is an example:
Practice Point-of-View - We provide the best care for vascular patients.
Patient Point-of-View - Our goal is to help our patients lead healthy, productive lives.
Copyright © 2009, Society for Vascular Surgery®. All rights reserved. SVS Branding Your Practice (June 2007)
Posted June 2010