What is “Brand Image?”
When someone mentions Starbucks, Nike, or Apple, their telltale logo often appears in your mind. You may also think about recent headlines you’ve seen about the mega brands and things they’ve done — good or bad — to influence the world around them. When you mention your brand to someone, what do you hope they envision?
A brand image is just that, an amalgamation of your business practices, mission, vision, and morals, all rolled into one. Maintaining a strong brand image is an excellent way to ensure potential patients and partners alike hold your practice in high regard. However, inconsistency creates a weak brand image, so be sure to define your purpose in all aspects of your business before promoting your brand.
Why Having a Strong Brand Image is Important
In today’s landscape, your brand image emanates what your business stands for. Many potential patients, especially millennials and Gen Z, will choose a company, product, or service not because of its quality but because of its values. A Harvard Business Review study found that 64% of consumers say that shared values are the primary reason they have a relationship with a brand.
So What Does This Mean for Eye Care?
Your brand image is your public voice. When it comes to healthcare, and more specifically, eye care, having a brand voice that sets you apart from the rest is crucial. In a space where it can be challenging to display individuality, centring your brand around your mission statement, vision, and values can go a long way.
How to Create an Effective Brand Image
If you’re unsure of your brand image or haven’t put much thought into building it, there’s no need to fret. To start building your brand, you can follow a few simple steps:
Understand Your Brand & What it Stands For
The best way to understand your brand is to start defining your mission, vision, and values. Everything your practice does, from patient care to refilling contact lens prescriptions, should align with your mission and values.
A strong brand image will attract patients with like-minded values and will also drive employee engagement. Studies have also shown that mission-driven employees stay at a company longer and are more likely to be higher performers.
Figure Out What Problem You’re Solving!
For most eye care practices, the problem they’re solving is pretty straightforward. However, creating a brand positioning statement can help tell potential patients how you will solve it. Doing so is a chance to display what sets you apart from competitors by playing to your strengths.
This could be anything from state-of-the-art technology to having doctors specializing in dry eye therapy. Communicating your unique value in a one or two-sentence statement is a great way to present yourself to the public (and it makes an excellent heading for your website!).
Identify Your Target Audience
The ability to craft marketing messaging towards your target audience is a powerful tactic to get the right patients in your seats. If you don’t know who you’re trying to reach, a little market research can help. Try looking at demographic and psychographic data for your community to identify a handful of fictional representations of your target patients. Knowing your ideal patient is vital in portraying the right brand image.
To Sum it Up
Your brand image is everything about your business rolled up into one. This is something your patients and potential patients will think of when they hear your business’ name. What they picture is up to you to define, based on the messaging you put out into the world. Staying consistent with your morals and values is the most effective way to ensure your brand image is precisely what you want it to be.