Brand Development

What is your practice’s brand? Most owners will answer high-quality PT or PT and performance training (for more athlete-centric clinics). Others will say blue/yellow or white/red based on their logo colors. Some might even say more general phases such as holistic health and wellness or customized care/treatments. While none of these answers are wrong, they do not really epitomize any practice’s brand.

What is a PT practice brand?

A brand is a name, term, design or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others. That is the key component of a brand—it distinguishes your product from other similar products. First, what is your product? It is physical therapy, healthy patients, expert services and treatments? As a practice owner or marketer, you need to establish your product before you can start successfully marketing it. The product should be specific to your clinic and different from those offered by the “average” PT clinic. For example: saying “physical therapy” is your product generalizes your practice in with millions of other providers. Now what if you said your product is “sports therapy”, now that narrows the scope a bit.

Let’s take it a step further and say your product is “performance improving sports therapy”. What does that say about your brand? “Performance improving” implies that you focus on returning the patient to a physical state that meets AND exceeds prior performance metrics. You also measure results as a means to confirm the patient’s improved abilities. “Sports therapy” indicates that you work with athletes and/or patients that enjoy maintaining an active lifestyle. You have a specialty in this area and tailor your physical therapy towards sports/fitness conditions. Now you have a product that both guides your brand and supports its business goals.

What do you need to have a rock star physical therapy brand?

Name: Your practice name needs to be easily understood, recognizable, and memorable. Some tips for a well-branded name include:

  1. Using geographic or location-based references: “Green Mountain Physical Therapy” or “Manchester Physical Therapy”
  2. If you are well established as a provider, your name as a reference: “Trickett Physical Therapy”
  3. If you are servicing a niche market or have a unique specialty: “Richmond Pediatric Physical Therapy” or “Chesterfield Women’s PT”

Tagline: This is the key phrase that ties your name into your brand. We recommend:

  1. A phase that is between 3 and 5 words as longer phrases are often difficult to understand and remember.
  2. Words that are unique and encapsulating, but not exclusive. You want the tagline to encourage and support your treatments and services, but not in a way that makes them seem unattainable for the average person.
  3. Avoid qualifiers (best, #1, top-notch etc.). Unless you’re a Guinness record holder for PT, you probably should not claim to be the best. If you win an award for your treatments, such as Best PT in Richmond, hype that as an accompaniment to your tagline.
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Design: It’s all about the logo. This is often where practice owners need to be more open to options. We suggest:

  1. Hire a professional graphic designer. Repeat: Hire a professional graphic designer. Professional designers have infinite experience creating logos and can generate endless options, color schemes, and arrangements.
  2. Be open to ideas. It is great to come to the table with examples of other practice logos or colors that you like. This can give the designer guidance and inspiration. Do not expect them to copy another clinic’s design and change the colors to match yours. You wouldn’t want to see your logo being “borrowed” by another practice right?
  3. Think about where you want to use the logo. Print marketing, website, social media, t-shirts, bumper stickers, building signage, billboards etc. You want the designer to give you a suite of variations on your logo.
    • Wordmark: Your practice’s full name as a graphic element.
      • Plus stacked with your tagline.
    • Lettermark: Your practice’s monogram or initials. Green Mountain Physical Therapy becomes: GMPT and Green Mountain PT + taglines
    • Iconic: a graphic element that can function either as a stand along image or in combination with your wordmark/lettermark.
      • Use alone: on social media (for profile pictures and thumbnail images), on print marketing, or on giveaways.
      • Combine for: website header’s, newsletters, building signage, business cards, or large displays.

Want to learn more about branding your practice? Or are you a new practice owner getting ready to start marketing your clinic?

Contact the experts from the beginning to ensure that your brand supports your promotional plans and will enhance your marketing’s results. We have dedicated graphic designers on staff to consult with you and your account manager on logos and to coordinate your branding across your newsletters, physician mailers, website and more!

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