How to market your medical practice – Part 1

Whether you’re starting out in the medical industry, looking to take your existing practice online or want to freshen things up, there’s a few considerations that form the foundations for all your activities:

  • Creating your brand
  • Building trust and confidence

These two elements work together with somewhat blurred boundaries. They come together to form something powerful, yet intangible. Too often, we see priority given to one at the cost of the other. We believe a ‘together’ instead of an ‘either or’ yields optimal results. Let’s dive in.

How to brand a medical service

Your brand is defined by how your patients (potential and existing) feel when they interact with your practice. Your brand needs to accurately represent you, your specialty and your experience. Creating your brand and identity can, at times, seem challenging.

You know how you feel about your brand but expressing how you feel in a way that allows another person interpret, shape, structure and distil those words into a visual representation seems impossible. News flash, it’s totally possible! And is part of our logo design process.

Your brand is so much more than just a logo. It’s the language used when patients are greeted on arrival. The colour scheme of your practice, the layout and staff uniforms. Combining all these tangible and intangible elements makes up the overall experience of your customers. You have an incredible opportunity to combine all the above and have it associated with your logo, your name, ultimately your identity. This identity can be the difference between patients choosing you or the competition.

Wolf IQ

What about medical logos?

Your logo should be simple, steer away from complexity. Employing an approach of ‘less is more’ often yields impressive results. Stop and consider any logo that immediately comes to mind. Is it simple? Refined? Straight to the point? You bet!

Our attention and memory prefer refined simplicity over noise and complexity. The ability to convey what you do, along with an indication of the products or services you offer is a huge advantage. If the opportunity presents, let an icon do some of the ‘heavy lifting’. As they say a picture paints a thousand words!

Avoid colors that trigger negative or unpleasant emotions. Colours that soothe and calm are worth investigating. The medical space tends to prefer cooler colours and generally, preference leans towards blues over reds. Blue is known to instill calm, security and confidence. Having an element of blue in your medical brand, although slightly cliche, is a good idea. Gaining some insights into the psychology of colors will help immensely.

A top level overview of how colours can make us feel:

  • Blues can evoke confidence, calm and authority
  • Greens can generate a feel of social justice and environmental protection
  • Yellows can conjure playfulness and warmth
  • Oranges can promote confidence and borrow yellow’s playfulness
  • Red can elicit strong emotions and passion, often associated with blood and fire

There are also colors that fit in between, like purples, oranges, and lilacs. Monotone colors like white, black, and the shades of grey. These are great to show confidence in a brand and can work well with dynamic imagery.

Asking what feelings or emotions you would like to evoke in your patients can help. We typically suggest staying away from red in the medical space. As a medical practitioner you may find zero emotional reaction to the colour red. In contrast your patient may have had a negative experience and the colour red can bring up that experience with lightning speed.

Choosing fonts to use in your medical brand

Typography and fonts also have the ability to evoke an emotional response. Think of something classic, like Times New Roman. It has the tails on letters such as T’s and I’s. It is historic and can make us feel comfortable. It implies a brand is well-established and has tenure behind it. If executed poorly, it can look stuffy and dated. In contrast Arial and Helvetica don’t have the tails. Generally, they portray a modern feel. Use caution and avoid the ‘overly playful’ route. This can detract from the confidence in your brand. Our clients often get three or four fonts from a similar family to choose from.

Examples of medical logos

Should my logo include an icon?

This really comes down to personal preference. A urologist for example could instinctively move towards using a kidney icon as part of their logo. The kidney is synonymous with the specialty, much like joints to orthopaedics and hearts to cardiothoracics. Icons give the patients the ability to derive immediate association.

As helpful as icons are, grey areas exist and some icons can introduce complications. Where the possibility of confusion exists, opt for ambiguity or drop the icon all together. Your goal should be visual balance versus communicating a message. Stop and ask what implications exist if I drop the icon all together? Will my audience still receive the same message? If the answer is yes, then guess what? Let it go. If the answer is no, you’re on the right track. Remember; clean, simple, and concise.

As important as your brand is, we remind our customers they aren’t locked into this brand forever. As your business grows, your brand evolves, opportunities to refine will present along the way. You’ll end up with a brand that evolves, just like your practice.

Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of taking many brand and re-brand journeys with our clients. We get a kick out of helping businesses owners articulate the indescribable when it comes to their brand. Heath’s approach to brand and identity needs to be experienced and can be booked in at a time that suits you.

Enjoyed the read? You’re going to love our follow up article:

How to market your medical practice – Part 2

Written by Heath Maguire

Heath is the Creative Director at Wolf IQ and is known for his natural curiosity and consultative approach. He is just as comfortable talking strategy as he is with hands on digital execution.

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