Brand Strategy for healthcare professionals with Mike DiFrisco – Part II
This is a three part series. Continued from last week.
HEM: It must cost a lot to get personal branding done, right?
DiFrisco: Not necessarily. I believe most smart people know more about what they do or offer than a high-priced consultant or agency. That’s why I launched How-to-Branding.com, to provide the resources and tools for small businesses to do it themselves. Personal branding, however, does take time. It’s not a flip of a switch or an overnight proposition. It’s about consistency, patience, and one-voice messaging.
HEM: Why has personal branding become more relevant now than what it was in, say, two to three decades ago?
DiFrisco: The simple answer is that competition is fiercer than ever before. Consumers have more choices. Have you walked through a grocery store lately? Have you done a Google search only to find literally 10 million or more search results on a service you are search for? Branding is the equivalent of “pre-selling.” By having a relevant, authentic, and differentiated brand position, your business or practice will have a better chance of cutting through the clutter; of being meaningful and compelling to someone.
HEM: You’ve mentioned that you find how similar branding principles transcend business types. That means there is no need for a brand strategist to be familiar to the field of medicine. Would it be beneficial, however, to have a medicine background?
DiFrisco: Generally, that’s true. Whether I’m consulting with an accountant or a neighborhood specialty store or an orthodontist, the principles that govern the development of a brand strategy are essentially the same. That said, however, it’s helpful to be familiar with the space in which you’re consulting. For instance, now that I’m doing some work for dental professionals, I have a more intimate understanding of their specific challenges and what patients are really looking for when they choose a dentist or accept a treatment option.
HEM: What are the challenges you face when you work with healthcare professionals who desire to be personal branding?
DiFrisco: The biggest challenge is getting healthcare professionals to understand the importance of focus, because it’s counter-intuitive. Specialize. Offer something unique. Narrow your range of services. Most people believe that expanding is the way to go because they can “get more customers (or patients).” But the specialist always beats the generalist. The traditional “general dentist” is the kiss of death. Oh sure; they’ll get some business. But they’ll never stand out in the sea of sameness. You first need to simplify, then you can amplify your message.
HEM: What are the key differences between personal branding of a periodontist and a Fortune 500 pharma company?
DiFrisco: While all branding is about how your reputation is perceived in the marketplace, personal branding is even more focused on the reputation because often, healthcare professionals or small businesses don’t have the deep pockets to “manufacture” their brand in marketing and advertising space. Corporate branding and personal branding are well connected. The only apparent difference is that instead of marketing a product or service, a person is being promoted and sold to a prospective patient.
HEM: What are the key steps in branding that a healthcare professional should remember?
DiFrisco: Copycatting is the fastest route to obscurity. I would challenge any healthcare professional to see if he can quickly and confidently fill out the following brand construct as a basic understanding of key steps:
For whom: ________________________________________________
What need: ________________________________________________
Against whom: _____________________________________________
What’s different: ___________________________________________
Note to our readers, “Well, how did you do?” Do leave a comment.
Tune in to the last part of the interview next week.
You can contact DiFrisco on mdifrisco AT brandxcellence DOT com