As any good marketer will tell you, a brand is not just logo. A brand is the face, character and personality of the company. It’s the feeling people get when they walk through the door or receive a treatment.
A brand is the embodiment of everything the company is about and if developed successfully it will encourage trust and credibility and create a tangible difference to the growth of your practice. However, in order to create the perfect brand, you need to tackle the brief in a thorough way. Here are some simple steps for you to consider
1) Define your existing identity
- What is the practice history?
- Where is it going?
- What is your market position?
- What makes you unique?
- What is your ethos?
- What are your short term, long term goals?
- What key values do you want your brand to reinforce?
2) Discover how you’re doing
Its a good idea to survey you patients in order to find out the positives and negatives of your patient experience. What level of care does the patient receive? What could be improved?
Are you perceived as tradiitonal or forward thinking? patient or technology focused?
The insight you find through examing feedback can help you in defining what it is you want your patients to experience.
You should begin to explore existing logos and brands to see where your practice fits in. All ideas spawn from an idea, so dont be afraid to draw inspiration from existing brands (so long as your final outcome isnt too similar). Often the most useful decisions you make at this stage will be deciding which directions dont work for you. After all, you want the business to be unique and a step ahead from your competitors.
4) Create a brand strategy
This should include the key message you want the branding to communicate. In this document, you can outline:
What parts of the brand you intend to be rigid and longlasting, and what parts will be dynamic and flexible.
What is your core ethos, mission statement? As a guide this should be around 300 – 400 words and encapsulate what you want you practice to stand for.
A list of intended projects and goals that will be set up to promote the new brand.
The brands relationship with the businesses main marketing stategy, and how it intends to syncronise with it.
5) Conceptualise a logo and consider its expansion.
Now the brand has now been created, all that is left to do is visualise it. Although a brand isnt just the logo, the logo design is still pivotal. When designing a logo, consider these points:
Is the logo simple?
Is it memorable?
Does it scale down well?
Is it original?
Can it work in mono as well as colour?
Does it encapsulate the brand?
Is it timeless?
Using Resources like LogoLounge can help you gather inspiration from lots of different markets and disciplines.
6) Create brand guidelines, and inform/inspire
your staff to abide by it.
Once you have agreed your logo and artwork you need to get yourself organised. Half of the battle will be in the implementation of the brand not the initial conceptualisation. In order to implement your brand efficiently, you need to:
Create a thorough set of brand guidelines that include information such as brand/logo treatment, allowable house colours and allowable typefaces. These need to be created as if you were asking an unfamilar person to design a poster to your brand style. It should be a step-by-step guide to implementing the brand in its correct way. When creating brand guidelines, remember to be rigid, but also allow creative flexibility. Its this creative freedom that will allow your brand to progress over time. A good reference to creating thorough brand guidelines can be seen here.
Ensure that the business staff are fully aware on board and urge them to consider it in all relations with external contacts. Even the way emails are worded can be influenced by the brands ethos. Whether the brand is professional and slick, or fun and colloquial every area of the business needs to embrace this as its attitude when carrying out every task.