Developing your brand: part two
Manrina Rhode examines the importance of seeing your brand values – and the needs of your target audience – clearly.
A brand is the expression of an individual or company.
You can’t market a brand without first creating one – and you also can’t create the brand without understanding what’s the message behind it. Hopefully this series will help you to do that.
I hear about how they post every day and try to engage with their public but even when people see their posts they don’t engage or follow their page. My reply is always the same: what do you hope someone gains from following your account?
Often, this is not something they have thought about.
Most people think about what they can gain from posting – appearing successful or making patients want to come and have a certain treatment. People who do this are posting for themselves, rather than their clients.
If you want people to engage with your page and posts then they need to be gaining something from your posts. They need to be inspired in some way or be made to feel better about themselves.
It’s also the same with creating a brand. It’s not enough to create a brand to honour yourself. You need to be solving a problem for other people.
What problem is your brand solving?
Once you have worked out the particular problem your brand is solving, you need to look at why you are the right person/people to do this.
The answer to this can’t be ‘to fix patients’ teeth’ – it has to be something specific to your brand, something that sets you apart.
Why should patients choose you?
Consider the evidence you put forward about why people should come to you. This could be:
- Patient testimonials
- ‘Behind the scenes’ footage
- Social media presence
- Articles in industry and public publications
- Before and after photos.
There will be people with a similar idea to yours: your competitors.
Who are your aspirational competitors? There will be people out there already doing what you want to do. Look to them for inspiration.
Who are your direct competitors? These are people already doing what you are doing at your level; offering similar products or treatments at a similar price point. Once you are aware of who they are, their failures (and their successes) can be a great learning point for you.
If you are not able to get people to pay you what you feel your service is worth then you are probably struggling to communicate that your brand solves the problem worthy of that fee.
When people believe you are the solution, they will find the money.
Do people really see your brand the way you want them to?
Check your social media – read the comments and pay attention to the words people use when they describe your brand (good or bad).
Ask your patients what five words they would use to describe your brand. How do they talk about your brand to friends? Go beyond this: find out what drew new patients to you at their first visit – and ask lost customers or patients why they didn’t complete their purchase.
Looking at yourself and your own work is important – but so is considering your target audience. People buy from people who are like them: people they can relate to. So until you know who you are, how can the public know if they want to buy from you?
Faking it until you make it doesn’t work – your patients are smart and they will see past the facade.
Thankfully, the answer to this problem is simple. Work out your strengths and play to them.
Try answering the following questions:
1. What are your values, interests, what are you naturally good at?
There are groups of people who need to resonate with who you are and what your brand represents before they will want to be part of your team.
In my case, it would be #teamManrina – your team is made up of the people who respect you and who are your cheerleaders.
2. Who are your team – the people your brand needs to resonate with?
Your own team could be anyone from potential clients, your practice team, existing clients or referring clinicians.
When it comes to selling a product or a service, you need to be very clear about who you expect to buy from you. What you are offering won’t be for everyone – but if you can work out who you are aiming for, those people and some others should be happy to come to you.
It’s important to work out who that target client is. Everything about your brand we’ve looked at previously – your ‘why’, how your brand makes people feel, your logo, strapline, colours and brand signature – will affect who you attract.
3. Who is your target audience?
Build up a picture of exactly who your target audience is: think about age, gender, ethnicity, and location. Depending on what your brand is trying to say, you may also want to consider their sexual orientation, what they value, the media they consume, their profession, lifestyle and spending power, and perhaps even their emotional needs.
4. What is your brand promise?
You are promising to deliver something to your audience. This is consequently why they are coming to you over anyone else. Why are you promising to deliver it?
This leads us full circle to the question I asked in part one of this series: what is your why?
I hope you found this useful as an introduction to setting up your brand. As I explained in the first article, after doing all this research for myself I went on to hire a professional branding agency to help me put this all into practice.
Please direct any questions to my Instagram page @drmanrinarhode.
This article first ran in Dentistry magazine. You can read the latest issue of Dentistry magazine here.
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