Marketing Your Therapy Practice: Part 2 – Branding and Products 04/05/2019 Part one of this marketing blog focused on the building of relationships with physicians and their staff, patients and their families, other therapists and therapy clinics, and therapy vendors and suppliers. That brings us to part 2 of this marketing blog series, branding and products. Branding Before your clinic ever opens, there should be plenty of foresight regarding your brand. When I refer to branding your therapy practice, I am not taking about taking a hot iron to your cattle, even though I do live in Texas! The Investopedia website defines a brand as “an identifying symbol, mark, logo, name, word and/or sentence that companies use to distinguish their product from others.” If I were to ask you about your favorite brand of car, you would be able to quickly and easily answer that question, as well as identify your favorite car brand’s logo and tagline (for me, it’s Mazda… Zoom Zoom!). You could most likely answer the same questions regarding your favorite brand of clothing, shoes, mobile phone, internet provider, cable company, soda, beer, shampoo, razor, etc. Those companies took the time and effort to clearly define their brands, make them unique, and set them apart from others. In the same manner as these businesses have done, effectively marketing your therapy practice requires the creation of strong brand. There are several aspects to developing brand identity, which, if done correctly, will translate to brand awareness: Create, Implement, & Hire to Your Core Values Create, Implement, & Hire to Your Core Values Creation of well-defined core values is instrumental in the creation your brand identity. For example, the four core values for our therapy practice are excellence, self-motivation, integrity, and fun-loving attitude. They were created and defined months before our clinic ever opened and are truly the foundation of our business. We have them displayed in several places throughout our facility, and we urge patients and staff to hold us accountable to all of those core values every single day. At least one of these core values is discussed during every single staff meeting. In addition, we use these core values as a guide when interviewing and hiring all clinical and clerical staff. By creating, implementing, and hiring to your company’s core values, you are ensuring that you develop a team and company culture that embodies your brand. Below is a list of some frequently used core values, however I believe that your company’s core values should be reflection of your personality and your personal values. Honesty Integrity Motivation Passion Respect Courage Loyalty Commitment Honesty Dependability Empathy Compassion Trust Leadership Quality Excellence Teamwork Diversity Simplicity Accountability Create Mission and Vision Statements The creation of your company’s mission and vision statements is another strong asset in establishing your brand. Let us first discuss the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement. Susan Gunelius says that a mission statement “communicates the fundamental purpose and values of a business or organization” and “in simpler terms, should make it clear why your company exists.” On the other hand, Patrick Hull of Forbes defines a vision statement as “a broad view of how your company is going to leave an impact on customers and the greater community.” Creation of both the mission and vision statements for your company will help to solidify your brand identity and assist in guiding and motivating your employees, as well as give them a purpose. Below, I have included a couple of good examples of mission and vision statements from well-known and successful companies. Mission Statements The Home Depot: “The Home Depot is in the home improvement business and our goal is to provide the highest level of service, the broadest selection of products and the most competitive prices.” American Red Cross: “The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.” Vision Statements Amazon: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” IKEA: “Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people.” Create a Company Logo Your company’s logo is a graphic representation of your business and is an essential part of the creation of your company’s brand identity. An effective logo should be a visual representation of your business’s identity and the company’s core values. While our company paid to have our logo professionally done, there are several websites that offer logo creation for your business at little to no cost. One of the most famous and effective company logo is the Nike Swoosh. This logo is used on all of their goods and products, packaging, digital and print ads, and marketing campaigns. In this same way, the logo for your therapy practice should be placed on every single item that is sold at your clinic (including the co-branded VariGrip!). Your logo should also be placed on all of your marketing items, including business cards, brochures, and prescription pads, as well as throughout your digital marketing, including your company’s website, digital ads, and social media posts. Create a Tagline A tagline is a slogan or catchphrase for your company and is often times humorous or inspirational. An effective tagline can greatly enhance the brand identity for your therapy practice. For example, the tagline we use for our business, Ascend Hand Therapy, is “taking your therapy to new heights!” This tagline is used on our company website and on our brochures. The most effective taglines are difficult to separate from that particular company or business, and frequently get stuck in your head! Below I have included some memorable and effective taglines. M&M: “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands” Verizon: “Can You Hear Me Now? Good.” California Milk Processor Board: “Got Milk?” Bounty: “The Quicker Picker Upper” State Farm: “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There” Be Consistent with Your Brand Marketing your therapy practice effectively requires consistency with your brand. This means using the same logo on all of your products and marketing items. This also means using the same color(s) for your marketing items. For example, what color comes to mind when you think of Coca-Cola? If you answered red, you get a cookie! This wasn’t by accident. Coca-Cola uses red on all of their signage, vending machines, delivery trucks, and advertisements. In this same way, your company should use a consistent logo and color, so when patients and referral sources think of your business, they will think of a certain color, and vice-versa. Products Now that you have learned how to create a strong and consistent brand, we will now discuss ways to effectively market your therapy practice through the use of products. The use of products to market your clinic can be broken down into two distinct categories: marketing items and co-branded products. Marketing Items Marketing items are products that are given to patients and their families, as well as physicians, hospitals, and other potential referral sources, in order to generate leads and increase your clinic’s patient volume. They include not only traditional marketing items, such as business cards, brochures, and prescription pads, but also some non-traditional items that are branded with your company’s logo, such as pens, jar openers, koozies, t-shirts, squeeze balls, and hats. Distribution of these marketing items to other businesses and throughout the local community is an excellent way to produce referrals and grow your therapy practice. **Pro Tip: A quick and easy way to market your therapy clinic is to give pens to your waiter every time you go out to eat. They will in turn give those pens to their customers to sign their bills, and those customers will often take those pens home.** Co-Branded Products Another excellent way to market your therapy practice is through co-branded products, such as Biofreeze, therapy putty, and VariGrip Therapy. If you sell Biofreeze in your clinic, the company offers free marketing flyers with small samples attached and customized with your therapy practice’s name and phone number. Our clinic does some of our own co-branding, by placing stickers with our company logo and phone number on several of the products that we sell, such as therapy putty and kinesiology tape. VariGrip Therapy offers an exceptional co-branding program for their high-quality variable resistance hand strengthening products. Our clinic has been utilizing this program since we opened our doors in 2017. The details for this program are included below. VARIGRIP THERAPY CO-BRANDING PROGRAM Promote your practice, your business, or offer VariGrip Sport or VariGrip Therapy as a healthy, unique corporate gift! Only VariGrip Therapy offers a Co-Brand Program so that Therapists & Retailers can include the clinic or store logo and promote their practice or their business. Each co-branded VariGrip Hand Exerciser and strengthener includes the VariGrip Therapy logo along with the appropriate resistance information on one side, and the clinic, store or business logo on the other side. Available in a multitude of logo color options, VariGrip Therapy’s co-brand program includes low minimums and short lead times, so you can receive your co-branded VariGrip’s in a timely manner. Minimum order quantity of 36. (Order Minimum for VariGrip Therapy can be split between resistances) Short lead time No set up charges or plate fees. (A few select colors, such as metallic and neon colors may require a plate charge) Sources: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/brand.asp https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219544 https://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickhull/2013/01/10/answer-4-questions-to-get-a-great-mission-statement/#73af1acb67f5 Dynatomy (Dynamic Anatomy) manufactures innovative, premium-quality hand/grip exercise & therapy products, including VariGrip Sport, VariGrip Therapy & VariGrip UNO-patented adjustable resistance grip exercisers, the patent-pending Constant Force-Extension Exerciser and FIddlLink hand dexterity tool. All products have been designed based on direct therapist feedback, interviews and observations. The results of such research include products with unique and ergonomic features that are specifically designed to improve strength, range of motion, dexterity, endurance, circulation and the general health of your fingers/thumbs, hands, wrists and forearms. Dynatomy’s therapy products are available direct or thru North Coast Medical, Performance Health, Meyer PT & other distributors. Dynatomy products are also available to consumers direct as well as thru national retailers such as CVS and Amazon as well as thru many independent retailers throughout the US as well as around the globe. To learn more about our company or our products, please visit our website at Dynatomyproducts.com, call us at 631-815-3805, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please be sure to LIKE us on Facebook.