Today’s tip is on Marketing Vs. Branding

Depending on what you read and how you’ve structured your business, you believe branding is more important than marketing, or that branding is useless.

The thing is, they are both crucial for your practice!

Can you imagine if someone doesn’t know what services you provide?  Why would your prospective patient or client see a consultation with you? Confusion in clients leads to them going elsewhere.

Again, if they don’t know that you exist in their geographical location, they will not be going to you but rather, they will be seeking an appointment with your competition.

When I first started out, I did lectures on topics that my prospective patients would find relevant and of value.  They were also in sync with my services.  Speaking at the library or local health fairs and giving opportunities for them to ask questions, allowed people to get to know me, my brand and the services that I provided.  Of course, I always had business cards on hand for those requesting them.

Could you do this?  You don’t have to go to a location (although people do like contact in getting to know you). You can also have a site online.

Marketing effectively will enable you to build a brand that is recession proof. No matter what the market is doing, those with the strongest brands, who have the strongest bonds with their patients and communities will always win and prosper.

We are living in a time when trust for anyone—the media, news, businesses, brands—is at an all time low.

If you are not creating content, showing your face and taking a stand, you will not be competitive moving forward.

5 Branding Tips

Here are five branding lessons you can learn from Hugh Hefner

1.Be your brand.

The Telegraph

For decades, Hefner remained the pipe-smoking, captain’s hat wearing,
silk-pajama-clad centre of a non-stop party at the Playboy mansions in
Chicago and later in Los Angeles.

However, it wasn’t the luxurious lifestyle surrounded by women that Hefner was promoting.  It was the iconic image.

From penning Playboy’s first article to pushing the boundaries by hiring black comics such as Bill Cosby when most clubs were segregated, Hefner made himself a permanent part of Playboy’s narrative and what the brand represented.

2. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new paths, regardless of the possibility of failure

Evan Carmichael wrote
in his blog:

While his first venture with the Playboy magazine received unparalleled
success, Hefner was not so lucky with his next pursuits. He expanded within
the publishing world with two magazines called Show Business International
and Trump, neither of which had a very long shelf life. He also initially
ventured into the world of television with the late-night show Playboy
Penthouse, but it too found little success. Despite these failures that
occurred early on in his career, Hefner did not give up on the idea of
branching out and expanding the Playboy brand. “There are many roads to
Mecca,” says Hefner. Indeed, when one road collapsed, Hefner was not
hesitant to try another.

3. Add relevant value 

The running joke for Playboy fans has long been that they “read it for the articles.”

However, Hefner was adamant that the Playboy empire was not all about sex.
Rather, that was merely a portion of the brand’s appeal.


… One of its selling points has been that the magazine was created for
literate, cultured men who also happened to enjoy photos of nude ladies. An
under-publicized and notable accomplishment of the magazine is that it has
a surprising history of groundbreaking interviews with luminaries such as
Miles Davis and
Steve Jobs and has featured the work of famed writers including Margaret Atwood, Jack
Kerouac and Norman Mailer.

4. Be adaptable and willing to evolve

In 2015,
Playboy announced that it would start covering up its models.

The change happened to boost readership among younger consumers.

Jonathan Adams wrote in the
McClenahanBruer blog:

“Facing a circulation drop from 5.6 million in 1975 to just over 800,000 [in
2015], a move into digital delivery of content via the web was necessary to
connect to a younger audience, widen content circulation and deliver
content in a popular way. While consumption of content in the workplace is
desired by consumers, nudity in the workplace isn’t an option. In August of
2014, Playboy’s website went non-nude to better allow for SFW and social
media viewing and saw the average age of its reader drop from 47 to
slightly over 30 while web traffic increased from around 4 million unique
visits per month to 16 million.”

The change lasted only a year, but it highlights the necessity of being receptive to new directions.

5. Be Unique and Significant to Others

Hefner was quoted in the United Press International

How Can You Use these tips in Health Marketing of Your Medical Practice?

  1. As was typical of Hefner’s organization, brand managers looking for the human element in their storytelling
    need look no further than their own practices or businesses.

Your staff can serve as the best source of stories, and executives can build trust becoming a part of digital branding.  Sharing insights helps boost patient confidence  and increases consumer confidence.

Put them in your blog posts and social media sites.

2. By learning from failures as well as successes, you can sharpen your branding skills and perfect a pitch or campaign for the next time around.

3. When posting to your Instagram, podcast or blogs, it doesn’t have to be controversial or racy to attract your target market.

Rather, assess their interests and needs, and respond by crafting content that caters to the data.

Analyzing consumer metrics will help to reach established and prospective patients. It will also
show your followers that you’re rewarding them for giving you their attention.

4. Use A/B split tests or test a few different versions with slightly different wordings. Use a few different methods and tweak them to see what gets the largest responses.  Doing so will ramp up website traffic, email opens and social media engagement.

Test email subject lines as well as headlines for your blog articles to see which gets the most clicks. Evaluate which changes increased visitors’ time spent on your website. Using the posts that were the most engaging write a guest article or guest blog for exposure to larger audiences.

5. Consider what makes you unique.  What do you or your practice offer that is a little different from all the others?  Is it the quality patient services and lack of wait time in the office?  Is it the portal and engagement with your clients?  Answer this for yourself and your branding will be greatly strengthened.


If you would like some suggestions on how you can expand your branding, call 561-325-9664 for a free consultation.