Do you have an exceptional idea, or maybe several ideas grouped into one, for a healthcare business?
Do you have the perfect product or service that meets an underserved demand, and you just know with the right cosmetic work your business plan could succeed?
Then all you need in regards to cosmetics is your business brand.
In the world of business, a brand is a product or service that is distinguishable from other similar products and services by how it’s perceived or identified by others.
A business brand has characteristics that are marketable, memorable, and appealing that often come in the form of terms, symbols, or designs.
For example, everyone on a global scale knows that the giant golden “M” signifies McDonald’s. Now, what if a business venturer could have that impact in the world of healthcare.
In this article, we will be discussing tips on how to build and promote your healthcare business brand, utilising current examples of Canadian healthcare business, and advice for mitigating stress while building your brand.
Building a successful business brand: Where do you start?
Building a healthcare business brand can be incredibly stressful from the get-go.
You may bring a ton of great ideas to the table, but you are already overwhelmed by the most important goal: success.
Let’s take a look at the following case study:
Stacy is a registered nurse working in Toronto. She recently walked away from working in the nursing home industry to start her own private healthcare business. She is still in the beginning stages of launching her business and attracting clients, mostly those in the geriatric population who live with Alzheimer’s disease. Her goal is to provide a successful in-home health service for her clients, but her marketing experience is limited. She is a little stuck when it comes to developing her business brand, one that will be memorable and professional in appearance.
Like Stacy, other healthcare business people need brands that will help their new companies stick out, all while providing them with a healthy identity and perception that clients will carry with them for years to come.
Here are some tips on how to get started:
- Research the competition
Take the time to assess your competing companies who are providing similar services or products for your targeted audiences. Take a look at their brand and how effectively (or ineffectively) they’ve reached their target audience. Ask yourself what is missing and what you could offer in a better, more improved format.
- Identify your brand’s personality
How are you communicating your brand to your audience, and how do you want it to be perceived? Some common brand personalities may be: humorous, solemn, clean, professional, quirky, trusting, a little mix of a few things. Your personality determines the people that you want to draw in to use your healthcare services. In the case of Stacy, she is targeting clients with Alzheimer’s disease, their caregivers, and their family members. She may want to select a brand that communicates integrity, trust, and professionalism in the face of a scary neurological disease.
- Establish your company values and mission
Create a mission statement and your company values. Once you’ve done that, infuse those values into your brand. What are your company goals? What do you intend to do for your clients? What do you want your clients to know that you uphold?
- Choose a business name
Select a business name that sets the tone for your services and products. For a healthcare company, shoot for a professional name that is warm and gains the trust of your clientele.
- Create a catchy slogan
A slogan is a quote or a catchphrase that generally follows your business name, used to better market your business and to make your company more memorable. Create a slogan that is professional, simple, short, and easy to remember.
- Identify your audience
Always identify and re-identify your audience through the branding development process. For Stacy, she is setting out to create a company to serve patients with their Alzheimer’s disease, her primary target audience. Her secondary audience would be the caregivers and family members. In some cases, the family members may cross into the primary target audience if the Alzheimer’s clients are no longer cognitively able to make medical decisions for themselves. Make sure that, while you draft and edit your brand, that your intended brand continues to match your target audience.
- Define your voice
How do you want to communicate or market your brand? Do you want to come across as soft, gentle, loud, humorous, trusting, assertive, etc.? Identify your voice and keep your voice consistent as you market your product through multiple platforms (social media, private websites, etc.).
- Play with the visual elements
Now that you’ve gotten some of the nitty gritty work out of the way, pull out some art resources and graphic design programs. It’s time to play and create! If you’re new to graphic design and would like to develop a healthcare brand that is clean and professional, consider hiring someone.
Brainstorming ideas for a healthcare business brand
Remember, brainstorming is the fun part. Many people get caught up in the serious aspects of the business that they forget that rough drafts are just that…rough. This is the time to experiment, yell out weird ideas, and to make mistakes. Here are some ways that you can enhance your brainstorming capabilities for your healthcare business brand:
- Get a large whiteboard and a few markers
Pull out a whiteboard, chalkboard, or whatever is not a computer. Use your hands, make doodles, and come up with ideas on a board so that you can create without exhausting your eyes at a screen. Develop bubble charts, categories, drawings, etc. Have fun and just create!
- Get a team
It’s quite challenging to develop a new idea for a business brand when you have no one to bounce ideas off. Consider creating a team that is solely responsible for developing your healthcare business brand. See what ideas each individual can bring to the table. Make sure you delegate a solid mediator who can frequently bring the meetings back to focus and to make it work efficiently.
- Review current healthcare brands
Hop on the internet and analyse current healthcare brands that identify companies offering similar services or products. This keeps the ideas flowing, but it also prevents your team from committing accidental copyright infringements.
- Download some graphic design apps or programs
Start this process early, especially if you’re not familiar with graphic design. Download several graphic design apps, play with them, and find one that you’re comfortable working with. Start designing shapes, slogans, pictures, charts, etc. Experiment with different colours and effects.
Build your brand
Once you’ve created draft after draft, settle on a select few brands that you are considering for the final draft.
Possibly, conduct a survey to determine which business brand would be the most appealing.
Once you’ve selected the final draft, fine tune your brand.
Clean up the illustrations, match the business name, trim down the slogan or logo, and then get ready to launch it for marketing.
Promote and establish your healthcare business brand
Now you have moved into the marketing phase of your healthcare business brand. Get your brand recognized and out there for the general population, but more importantly your target audience to notice.
Advertise your company on online forums, social media, etc.
Pay good money to create a professional website for your company that shows off your brand.
Establish relationships with local healthcare systems (not your competition) that could potentially help market your brand. If you are working with an older population, traditional business cards may still be a hit.
Print off a few hundred and start handing them out.
Enhance your brand while mitigating stress
For anyone who has had the experience, launching a business is no small feat and comes with loads of stress. One factor that is detrimental, but easily forgotten, to keeping your business afloat is keeping the creator alive and healthy.
Thus, it’s important to practice stress reduction techniques throughout the business development process, including during brand development.
Here are a few ways to mitigate stress while getting your business brand marketed and your company off the ground:
- Organize your time wisely
Break up your business projects into digestible chunks. Don’t attempt to take on large projects that can’t be finished in one sitting. Expect to take breaks, expect mishaps, and expect changes in schedule. Keep your stepping stones small so that you have flexibility in your schedule. Discipline yourself by finishing small projects on time so they don’t stack up on you by the end of the week.
- Fine work-life balance
Keep your projects reasonably sized so you have time for other things in life that are important to you: family, fun, sleep, and self-care. Although developing a business takes dedication, you need to take the time to take care of yourself and others in your life.
- Adopt a fun exercise routine
Find a form of physical exercise that you find enjoyable while reducing stress. Examples may include jogging, yoga, swimming, tai-chi, boxing, dancing, etc.
- Practice nutritious eating habits
Keep your mind and body healthy with good eating practices while staying well-hydrated. Avoid sugary foods and drinks that make you crash at the end of the day.
- Get lots of sleep
At the end of the night, put the computer away, turn the light off, and go to sleep. The work will be there in the morning for you. Get plenty of sleep and let your body rest.
- Try not to control everything
Even though you may be the leader in your own business endeavor and have creative license over just about everything, you can’t physically or mentally control every change or factor that comes your way. Allow for mistakes, allow for a few missed deadlines, allow yourself to take time off when you or a family member falls ill, etc. Trying to have complete control over every aspect of your business project will leak into your personal life and only compound the stress. Allow yourself flexibility, don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong, and remember that you want to start a business because it’s a passion and not a chore.
Creating a catchy, memorable business brand is essential for effectively marketing your business to your target audience and keeping your company alive and well. Brainstorm some fun ideas, research your healthcare competition, settle on a design you and your audience will love, and promote it on every available platform. Enjoy your business creation while practice stress reduction techniques to keep yourself healthy and happy.