There are so many urgent issues to deal with when a. starting a business, b. running a business or c. rescuing a business, that branding (and often marketing as a whole) is an area that is neglected. When faced with the workload associated with a long list of plans detailing actions to get the myriad parts of the whole operation working smoothly and profitably you could be forgiven for letting branding slip to the bottom or off the list completely. Or could you?
Invest in branding?
Branding isn’t cheap. At least good branding isn’t cheap. What’s the difference you might ask? One logo is much like the next isn’t it? Just throw something together and it’ll be fine. We can upgrade later. Perhaps you even mean that last bit when it crosses you mind. Well, there is a difference. Branding isn’t about visual identity anyway. It’s not about logos etc. They are important and help your brand to be recognised but branding is different. Branding is about working out what you are all about. Who you are as an organisation and what you want to stand for. Then it’s about getting that across in a way that people (your customers) can actually feel. More than just telling them, actually creating a feeling in them through all of their senses that stimulates their emotions as well as their thoughts. Lastly it’s about linking those feelings with your organisation and this is where the brand identity comes in. In a nutshell that’s the process. Lots of smaller steps. Lots to think about at each stage but all in all it’s about people and how they feel.
Now have a think about what makes your customers choose to be your customers. The answer is that they feel like it. They might also think during the process but that comes after the feeling. Your customers choose to be your customers because they feel like it. The most powerful, lasting way in which we can influence that feeling is branding.
Still think branding should be at the bottom of the list?
3 reasons not to invest in branding; and why you should overcome them
- Branding is expensive – Branding may seem expensive because it is difficult for business owners to assess the value they receive in return. No doubt about that. That doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Perhaps you haven’t met the right people who can articulate the value for you – someone who can demonstrate the work they have done for others and explain their process in a way that makes sense. Hello! – Getting professional help from a qualified, experienced and proven brand consultant will unequivocally result in a more thoughtful, robust, effective and long lasting brand that adds value to your organisation on a continuous and growing basis over time.
- You can do it yourself – How hard can it be right? Draw a few pictures. Knock them up in Word or something similar. Off you go. You could but that would be a bit like building a house yourself (analogy does not apply to successful self-builders). You might end up with something that looks a bit like a house but without the training and experience of an architect and builder it is unlikely to perform well or last long. – Branding is a mixture of understanding and insight, evidence and intuition, creativity and science. There are approaches that are effective and those that really aren’t. Working with a professional will provide you with a professional result.
- It’s hard to know who can help – Your brand is precious. It literally is the interface between you and your customers. It is all your customers know of you! It can be hard to know who to trust with something so important, especially of you don’t know a great deal about the area. – Look for a brand consultant with a body of work that relates to your sector, who has been successful (with the customer testimonials to prove it) and whose work you like the look of. Read what they write, speak to them and see if you get on with them. Then make a choice. Pick the ones that you think are right for your organisation.
Healthcare experience meets branding expertise
Get in touch for a no obligation consultation about your healthcare brand and we’ll be glad to help. STAT.