Brand Strategy for healthcare professionals with Mike DiFrisco – Part I
While we chiefly work with clients who need our medical writing and content development expertise; for the purpose of this blog, we like to explore various aspects of communications beyond the writing field. For the next three weeks, we will focus on personal branding for medical and healthcare professionals.
We recently worked on a huge project that involved content development work taking into account the brand story and personas. That meant having an in-depth understanding of branding aspects such as positioning, unique selling points and brand essence. One of the brand strategy blogs we love to read is ‘How to branding’ run by blogger and brand strategy expert, Michael DiFrisco. We spoke to DiFrisco (who is USA based by the way), as we wanted to delve into a particular aspect of branding for healthcare professionals (such as dentists and psychiatrists) who may be small business owners and entrepreneurs.
This article is a three part series.
HEM: How often do you work with healthcare professionals who are interested in personal branding?
DiFrisco: I primarily work with small businesspeople and entrepreneurs. However, healthcare professionals often recognize that their practice is a small business and, therefore, they need to consider some of the same marketing and communications issues and challenges that their type of businesses deal with. Recently, I’ve been doing more consulting with dentists because I’m doing some work for a large and well-respected dental association. In addition, my dad was a dentist, and so I feel a certain affinity for the profession. I like to think that I know how dentists think.
HEM: Why is personal branding important. After all, if a healthcare professional is really good in his work, people will come to him anyway.
DiFrisco: People—and especially patients—like to do business with people that they trust. And that’s what branding is: it’s shorthand for trust. It’s your reputation in the marketplace. And a reputation is like a shadow: it precedes you into the marketplace and prospective patients will judge you by that reputation alone. This reputation can be managed and crafted to an extent, but it’s based on reality; the reality you offer to your patients, the consistency with which you offer it, and the alignment of patients’ expectations with their experience.
HEM: What is more important – personal branding of a healthcare professional or his reputable suite of services. After all, there is no point in having fabulous branding but lousy service.
DiFrisco: True. One of my favorite branding quotes is from management guru, Tom Peters: “You can’t, by and large, brand crap.” The solution? Offer a better reality. Align your promise with your actuality in a consistent manner. In order to do this authentically, a healthcare professional has to know his stuff; he has to be passionate about his mission; and continuously hunger to learn for more.
You can email DiFrisco on mdifrisco AT brandxcellence DOT com