Building a Great Wellness Brand
Two Topics – Powerful Leverage for Your Practice
This is a two-part article covering essential sister topics that are critical to the success of your medical practice, as well as to your individual success as an administrator or practitioner in the field of Functional and Integrative Medicine.
(1) This first article is about your need for a brand and a platform, “Building a Great Wellness Brand“.
(2) The second is about how your presence on the internet can either make or break your ability to stand out as a unique supplier of wellness products and services, “Building Great Web Presence“.
The Essentials of Branding and Platforms for Wellness Professionals
Differentiation in any industry is difficult. Standing out as a unique provider of Functional and Integrative Medicine services is exponentially more complicated. In the rapidly evolving fields of healthcare and wellness, you need a brand and a platform that enables you to promote and propel your brand. You’ve invested heavily in the education and career specialties of your practice. These two vital tips will maximize your return on those investments.
New Translation of the Archimedes Principle
In the 3rd century BC, Archimedes of Syracuse famously said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world”. The modern equivalent is, “Give me a brand and a platform from which to project it and I shall move the world”.
Marketing experts across every industry stress the need for corporate brands, personal brands and “platforms” to give your brand a voice. These factors are essential for success in today’s noisy world. That challenge is even more difficult for practices and practitioners offering Functional and Integrative Medicine services. This article profiles that complexity and offers solutions that benefits providers and patients alike.
Four Key Reasons Why Your Differentiation is Hard Work
1) Building Trust and Dispelling the “Alternative Therapy” Myth – Let’s face some hard truths … at least four or five generations of Americans have been indoctrinated into the belief that they can trust traditional, allopathic medical doctors, including the treatments they prescribe. Simultaneously, we’ve all heard the myth that doctors of osteopathy, chiropractic doctors and “alternative therapy” practitioners are “quacks”. Somehow, the medical and healing practices that worked for thousands of years became discredited “alternative” therapies and quackery upon the birth of modern medicine and pharmaceutical science.
This dual mythology makes for a very steep hill to climb for you in building trust and credibility with patients. Meanwhile, the perception of trust is often already baked in with your traditional medicine counterparts. The majority of allopathic medicine physicians (MD), nurse practitioners (NP), physician assistants (PA) and therapists already have the inherent trust of their patients, which gives them the luxury of focusing solely on their practice. On the contrary, you carry the extra burden of constantly climbing the trust and credibility mountain while also focusing on helping your patients.
2) The Job of Curing People is Hard – The path you’ve chosen to actually cure people of chronic illnesses and acute conditions is a far more difficult road to travel than merely treating symptoms with pharmaceuticals and surgery. Therefore, the story you must tell about your methods, protocols and range of treatment modalities is far more complex. Quickly and efficiently conveying those messages to an often-skeptical population requires experience, skill and finesse. That professional competency is the art and science of marketing.
3) Patients are Getting Smarter and More Discerning – The Internet has turned everyone into a health expert. For any given symptom, a few minutes of Google searching will bring back libraries full of information, as well as speculation about what that symptom might mean. By the time your prospective patients reach your website, they are already armed with loads of information that they will compare against your specialties and credentials. Studies show that up to 85% of patient decisions to choose a care provider happen before they ever contact a practice. Your story must be clear and compelling to convince these discerning patients and their families to choose you.
4) Competition is Fierce and Getting More So – The expanding diversity of treatment modalities and methods is creating a broader and more complex set of decision choices for patients and their advocates. Savvy practitioners and therapists are finding more and more creative ways to tell their stories about why they’ve got the better approach. Your message must slice through that fog to clearly differentiate your practice and unique range of specialties.
The Power of Why – Communicating Your Passion
Perhaps the biggest reason to build your brand and platform is what the master marketing strategist, Simon Sinek calls “Start with Why”. According to Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. The goal is not just to motivate people who need what you have, the goal is to inspire people who believe what you believe.”6
The process of developing your brand forces you to think about and articulate what you believe. Communicating what you believe will inspire and motivate patients to want the unique services you provide.
To illustrate this point, we’ll profile how we constructed the “why” and brand of MindBody Talent.
We understand that “what” MindBody Talent delivers is five categories of services that we provide to Functional and Integrative Medicine practices and practitioners: (1) executive recruiting, (2) strategy consulting, (3) coaching and training, (4) branding and marketing, and (5) technology solutions. That combination of services may make us unique in our chosen markets, but what makes those service lines really compelling is “why” we deliver them.
What We Believe – The Driver of Our Passion
We believe in the need to transform the fields of healthcare and wellness through the application of Functional and Integrative Medicine solutions. We believe that our country is long overdue for a revolution in healthcare. And we understand that our role is to help fuel that revolution by providing our services to Functional and Integrative Medicine practices and practitioners.
Providing MindBody Talent’s service lines interests us intellectually and creatively, but the “why” of our services stirs our souls. It also connects us into clients and colleagues who are stirred by similar passions.
Successfully articulate your “why” and your patient panel will be full of exactly the kind of people you most want to treat.
The Critical Need for Your Brand and Platform
Your brand tells your story, communicates your difference, builds and strengthens your credibility, and convinces your prospective patients to call you instead of hundreds of other options for treatment. Your brand helps you define your why. But a brand alone is like a solitary voice in the woods that nobody hears. Enter the “platform”. Your platform leverages the full range of modern communication channels to transport your story and your why to the audiences you most want to reach.
In the age of the internet, social media, blogs, video channels and online advertising, your patients are inundated with the messages of a very loud marketplace. That includes a myriad of potential solutions to their ills and paths to a healthier life. Your platform is essential to enable them to hear your message.
According to Michael Hyatt, branding expert, former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, “In the last ten years, it’s been increasingly difficult for anyone to get the attention they need to succeed in such a noisy world. Without a platform—something that enables you to get seen and heard—you don’t have a chance. Having an awesome product, an outstanding service, or a compelling cause is no longer enough.”4
Your Field of Dreams Requires a Brand and a Platform
We speak with frustrated medical and wellness practitioners every day who have invested heavily to develop compelling and innovative specialties, but struggle with their patient flow. They don’t have enough patients … or lack a consistent momentum of patients … or aren’t attracting the kind of patients they most want to treat. “Build it and they will come” may work for baseball fields in Iowa, but it doesn’t work for medical and wellness practices. In today’s chaotic and competitive environment, achieving your field of dreams requires you to have a clearly defined brand and an active platform to promote it.
Leverage Experts for Marketing So You Can Focus on Your Patients
As a medical and wellness professional you are an expert in your branches of science and medicine, including your methodologies for navigating wellness protocols for your patients. You’re generally not a marketing expert, nor should you be. Your time, brain power and energy are best spent saving and improving lives, not trying to craft marketing messages, design awareness campaigns or decipher Google Analytics charts. Our best advice to you is to leave the art and science of marketing to experts in that field so you can maximize your time and effort working to keep the rest of us well and thriving.
The principals of MindBody Talent have been successfully building brands, creating awareness and generating patient flow for the healthcare industry for decades. We’re skilled and passionate about transforming the state of health and wellness for our generation and the next. Engaging us or someone else in our field of expertise will enable you to build and grow the practice of your dreams. Just make sure you choose experts who understand the nuances of Functional and Integrative Medicine, in addition to the complexities of crafting brands and developing platforms for professionals like you who are seeking to enhance your share of the world.
Select the right marketing experts that can help you construct your brand and platform. Then watch the patients flock to your extraordinary practice.