Marketing: Establish your brand

Q. Is it important to have a brand?
Thursday, May 24, 2012

A. As the HME world continues to become more competitive, it’s important to realize what a powerful tool your brand can become. 

At its core, your brand is the personality of your company. The act of “branding” is simply the way you communicate these positive characteristics to your patients, caregivers and referral sources.

By using consistent visual elements (such as your name, logo, corporate colors, font, images, etc.), your customers start to recognize your brand. These are the elements that draw attention and are the first step to creating familiarity and, eventually, trust. 

Once you have the visual elements in place and customers recognize you, it’s important to give them a reason to keep paying attention. Engage your customers by including valuable information. Be a resource. Talk to them about the products and services you provide in a way that is relevant to their everyday life. 

The final piece of the puzzle is to support your marketing promises. If “a professional staff” is part of your message, make sure the voice on the phone matches the brochure. Show them why you are the best choice. 

Overall, the most important part of developing your brand is consistency. It is clear that consumers have increasing control in choosing their healthcare providers, and customers need to hear your message more than once to take action. Think of car dealerships, for example. Chances are you aren’t in the market to buy a car this very moment, yet I’m willing to bet you can name a least one or two dealership in your area. You know who they are because those dealerships have established strong brands.

Anna McDevitt is president of Laboratory Marketing. She can be reached at or 248-227-6930.