brand consistency

Why brand consistency matters for your medical practice

As a specialist in private practice, do you give your patient a brand experience that is consistent with your marketing messages? In other words, do you practise offline what you preach online?
2021 Australian Web Awards

Why brand consistency matters for your medical practice

Els van der Veire - Co-founder Digital Practice

Els Van de Veire

May 13, 2021

Brand inconsistency and negative reviews

Brand consistency introduction

Big corporate brands know exactly how to communicate online, using congruent and identical visual elements and messaging across different media formats. That is referred to as brand consistency. Their videos, social media, websites, letterheads, billboards, branded cars,… are all aligned with the brand identity.

And yet, even big corporate sometimes fails in making the offline customer experience consistent with the online messaging. So in real life – it just feels different compared to what the brand promised online.

In those situations, we are only one step away from… a negative review! If your online messages are inconsistent with how your patients experience your brand, you can expect a negative review or two.

So let’s dissect why brand consistency is so important for your medical practice.

Message versus experience

Brand consistency messages compared to the patient experience

Before we delve into the topic of brand consistency for the private practice in particular, let’s do a simple test. Please answer two quick questions:

  • Does your website in any shape or form refer to “our friendly staff?
  • Can you honestly say that your staff is absolutely friendly?

If your answers are “yes” and “yes”, you have passed the test. If your answer is “yes” and “maybe”, “most of the time”, “sometimes” or “some are, some aren’t”, there is another reason to keep reading.

Patients rarely enter your medical practice without having read about you online. They may have seen promising social media posts, or they went over the copy on your website. They may have checked your Google My Business profile as they were looking for directions on their way in.

The big question is: Do you deliver on the promise? Whether the brand promise is made on your website, on social media, or on Google My Business, are you meeting the patient’s expectations?

  • Did “your friendly staff” actually “assist them well with filling out the paperwork”? Or did your receptionist direct your new patient to an empty seat in the waiting room with a clipboard, without even looking them in the eye?
  • Does your “multidisciplinary team” really “have the benefit of knowing your medical history”? Or did your new patient have to re-explain their story to every practitioner in your team?
  • Was the “specialist’s report of findings” really “sent to the treating physician”? Or did the patient have to call your secretary asking to resend it?

The bottom line is: do what you say you’ll do. Don’t include any big promises only because they sound great on your website or social media posts and thoroughly check if you are actually delivering on them.

Using the same elements across media

Using the same elements to achieve brand consistency

I see a lot of medical websites. As a matter of fact, I see dozens of medical websites every day. Some promote their social handles, and when I see inconsistencies between the two, my heart bleeds.

Over the years I see these mistakes coming back over and over again:

  • A different logo (the biggest sin!)
  • A different font
  • A different colour scheme
  • A different tagline
  • Different tone of voice
  • Different messages

So why is brand consistency so important? The most obvious benefit is recognition by your patients. It sets you apart from your competition. Recognition is not just about the visual aspect. Your patients also need to recognise the messages and the content. So if your tone of voice is very different on social, or you only promote one type of treatment on Facebook, you confuse patients.

brand consistencybrand consistency
brand consistencybrand consistency

Reconstructive surgeon Dr Jeremy Rawlins’ social media posts are using the same shades of blue, same style of photography, same fonts, and same logo/tagline as his website.

Your messaging has to be consistent across all media platforms.

If you are a bariatric surgeon and you perform 75% sleeve gastrectomies, and 25% gastric bypasses, you would still mention gastric bypass surgery on your website. So the same goes for social media.

When you create a new logo, make sure your graphic designer provides a vertical logo and a horizontal version, and one that fits in a Twitter/Facebook/Instagram profile (often a circle or square).

When your web designer uses certain fonts, ask them which ones, and use the same fonts in your collateral and social media posts.

If your logo and or website are made with a specific colour scheme, ask for the hexa codes and use the same colours across all supports: your videos, your collateral, your social media posts, the signage in your medical practice.

If your brand agency has created a tagline for you (e.g. Women’s Health Done Differently), use this tagline across all media. Don’t use “Women’s Health Sydney” on your social media, and “Women’s Health Done Differently” on your website.

Your tone should be consistent too. If your website content is very scientific or factual, and your social content is very bubbly and casual, you are confusing your patients. This often happens when you outsource your social media to an agency that hasn’t taken the time to really get to know you.

One agency for all your digital needs

One dedicated medical marketing agency for brand consistency

I can hear a deep sigh when you go over these strategic observations. If you have been stuck in marketing procrastination mode for a while, let’s break the cycle. Book that free strategy session and we will start building your visibility. A solid 12-month plan will radically change your perspective for the months and years to come. Many of the specialist doctors I work with zap out of procrastination mode as soon as I share a Case Study in a complementary Zoom strategy session.
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