How do you stand out in a crowded market where most practices offer the same or similar products and services?

This is a growing challenge for aesthetic practices in every market. Consider ways to differentiate to separate your practice from the rest of the pack so yours stands out and gains a competitive edge.

Here’s how.

Branding is the process of differentiating your practice from all the other practices in the market. It will take into account the ‘look and feel’ of the office, the doctors, the whole staff, your logo, website and marketing, and every other detail that offers clues as to who you are and what you value. By developing and promoting the uniqueness of the practice, you will become more transparent to patients, so they will know exactly what to expect at every step.

Your Unique Brand

Branding your practice will help separate you and your practice from the competition. Not all practices will have the same mission and branding, so you can stand out.

Before you begin the process of branding your practice, determine who your target audience is and what may appeal to them. Design the core message you wish to convey to your audience and build your brand around it. Everything from the practice name to the colors and fonts you use, to the content on your website and social media channels, should relate to this message.

We have all seen countless practices with similar names and branding. For example, ‘Johnson Medical Aesthetics Center,’ or ‘Laser Medical Dermatologists of (fill in the blank)’ or ‘The Skincare & Spa Experts.’ These names don’t stand out very much, and they could benefit from an update.

A professionally designed logo and image is the foundation of a brand and serves as a visual identity for patients. You have a very limited window to make a first and lasting impression. They should be able to recognize your brand anywhere. Keep your logo, colors and fonts the same across all platforms for maximum consistency. Consistent and relevant messaging also impacts how your practice is perceived in the community. By having a mission statement and tagline, your marketing and content materials will appear cohesive. A mission statement explains what you do and why you do it. A tagline is a short few words or a sentence that defines your philosophy. For example, Nike’s famous tagline is ‘Just Do It.’ So, a choice for an aesthetic dermatology practice might read like this, “We are dedicated to maintaining healthy skin for a lifetime.”

By differentiating your practice, you are also promoting the type of experience you offer, in addition to the services. The experience you create at your practice starts from the first point of contact a patient may have. This can be landing on your website, seeing your Instagram channel, signage outside your practice, meeting a patient you performed a procedure on, reading your reviews or calling for an appointment. Every touchpoint matters. If patients enjoy their experience, they are more likely to refer friends and family to your practice which helps build a successful and differentiated brand.

You also need to be ready to deliver on all of your brand promises. When a consumer encounters your practice and schedules an appointment, they will have certain expectations that you need to be able to deliver on. How patients think of your practice will be strongly influenced by you and your team. Their opinions will be shaped by how you present yourself, which will define the conversation and highlight your strengths.

Once you have identified what makes you and your practice special, the next critical step is to promote it through a comprehensive practice marketing program.

Looking for more practice branding ideas? Check out Wendy Lewis’ best-selling book, Aesthetic Clinic Marketing in the Digital Age (CRC Press 2018).