Beauty and the Biz
This episode is entitled: Plastic Surgeons and Branding
I am often asked about branding for plastic surgeons, so I wanted to weigh in on the question, “Do I need to “brand” me?
Frankly, there’s no one right answer. There is only the right answer for you.
First, what is branding?
Branding is the process of communicating your unique differentiator that sets you apart from your competition.
It leaves a memorable impression on prospective patients and tells them what to expect from you when they do become a patient.
Branding also increases the value of your practice, provides your staff with direction, and makes acquiring new cosmetic patients easier because they are attracted to the “persona” that gives them a certain perspective of you.
Examples of surgeons and branding techniques include the use of logos, website design, imagery, your advertising, customer service, your reputation… to name a few.
But it’s also how your phones are answered, how your staff dresses and acts, how clean your bathroom is and every other detail that tells patients what you value.
To simplify your own branding, here’s an exercise to build your own successful brand:
- Define how you want to be perceived. Ask yourself, how do you want patients to describe their experience with you
- Based on your answer, organize your practice based on that experience
- Now communicate that experience with other prospective patients
- And be consistent
This exercise will also help you determine your target market. Because if you are not liking the quality of patients you are seeing, your branding is off.
Certain patients don’t just show up at your door by accident. You are doing something to attract them so review your branding to “up-level” it.
However, in my experience, here’s a more likely scenario that happens with your branding….
You get a lot of calls from the sales reps from your local TV, radio stations, magazines and billboard companies telling you to “increase your Branding and Name Recognition” by advertising with them.
The contracts are usually long term and can run hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
The media agencies show you their demographic charts of their audience and promise you celebrity status since you’ll be recognized throughout your community.
You’re tempted because you believe you’ll be a lot busier if more people know about you, right?
So, the question becomes,
Is it Smart to Invest in “Name Recognition and Branding”?
Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s dig deeper.
Let’s look at the making of a Brand.
Branding is what makes prospective consumers feel a certain way about you and your services.
It’s a multi-billion-dollar industry that caters to the big guys like Mercedes, Apple and McDonalds.
The big companies are spending a small fortune on media placement, so the ads are pretty much everywhere and then they hope that people react positively to them.
The issue is there is NO WAY to track results since these are “Name Recognition” ads.
Ad agencies in New York make millions off of these Fortune 500 companies because they are rewarded for winning awards for being creative – NOT for bringing in tangible results.
Since you are not Coca-Cola with an endless ad budget, you can’t afford to invest in name recognition advertising.
Their branding ads don’t have a measurable call to action so there is no way to measure your return on investment.
Here’s my recommendation…
Before you spend another dime on this type of practice advertising, answer this question:
Do you, as a plastic surgeon, really NEED to be a household name?
Does EVERYBODY need to know you or just those who are interested in cosmetic surgery?
How much is it worth to you to see your name and face in lights and have people say,
“Hey, you look familiar”?
(Be honest. If that’s what you want, that’s fine, but it will cost you).
Your brand as a surgeon defines what you stand for. It’s your values. It’s the emotions you evoke so prospective patients FEEL safe AND TRUST YOU.
For you, branding is in the details. It’s the many factors that help prospective patients choose YOU over your competitors.
Details like your website, your online reputation, your phones, office and furniture and on and on.
So, I suggest you first concentrate your branding efforts on things such as:
- 5-Star Patient reviews
- Excellent before/after photos
- Website design that is easy to navigate
- Friendly, warm staff who treat your patients like family
- A patient experience that is better than the one they get with your competitors
This is much more important than being recognized by the public who would never even consider plastic surgery.
And, if you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to Beauty and the Biz and leave me a review since that helps me reach a larger audience.
Thanks so much and talk soon!
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