Physical Therapy Practice Branding and Marketing Basics

Branding and marketing is key to your physical therapy practice's success. This blog posts takes you through some important strategies to help win you business from patients and physicians alike.

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Branding is how you convey your identity and your services

Having a brand can seem like this incredibly difficult thing to put together but some simple and straightforward considerations will help make your practice a branding success. A successful brand will ensure that patients and referrers alike know exactly what you're all about.

Picking your practice's name

The most basic part of your brand is your practice's name.

Start-up and new practices are in a perfect spot to pick the perfect name.

Existing practices may have a bit more of a challenge but not impossible to consider tweaks if it makes sense. First, let's talk about the most common choices:  

Example 1:LOCATION Physical Therapy
Some examples might include Springfield Physical Therapy or San Francisco Physical Therapy. Pros: This is a very popular choice. It's natural for many to choose because it instantly will give prospective patients an idea about where you are and what you do. Cons: The downside is not something that many practices figure out until it's time to open a second location in a neighboring community. In this case, the practice may find itself trying to either pick a second name or explain to people that this one practice operates in multiple locations despite the name.  

Example 2:LASTNAME Physical Therapy
Some examples might include Smith Physical Therapy or Jones Physical Therapy Pros: Often times the founder is a treating physical therapist and will build a following in the community. This can be a tremendous asset to have the namesake of the business as part of the business. Can work well with multiple locations. Cons: If you ever decide to sell the practice, the namesake may or may not be a positive thing for the buyer, especially if the original namesake is planning to exist the practice following the sale.  

Example 3:WORD Physical Therapy
Some examples might include Best Physical Therapy or Perfect Physical Therapy Pros: Most other practice names fall into a category of being a name followed by physical therapy. Things like "Best" or "Well" or "Professional" often enter the name and provide fairly stable options. These options are fairly "generic" and work well in multiple locations and bare no indication of the owner or the location Cons: On the negative side, the fact that the name doesn't immediately say where you are may leave people needing to look you up on a map to tell if you would serve them. You should carefully weigh your plans and how you see your practice in the future (we mean WAY out in the future) when picking a general theme for your practice's name.

More to think about when picking a name

Ok, now what? How about a logo.

Now that you have a name picked out, it's time to get a logo going. Whether you're a new or seasoned practice, find a graphics designer in your area and pay them to create 10 logo options for you to consider and pick the one that you like best. We know that there are generic logos out there or that you can use clip-art or maybe even make something in paint but the money you'll spend on a graphics designer is relatively short money if you think about it as an investment into the future. You also want to design a logo that will look great in your physical therapy software and physical therapy EMR in general. Here are some basics to help you select the best logo possible:

  • Keep it relatively simple. Your logo should be eye-catch but straight forward. Overly intricate logos are hard to read and can be hard to reproduce successfully on marketing materials.
  • Your logo should be 1-3 colors max (or 3 if you insist). The simplicity of colors will make it easier to reproduce your logo on things like shirts (for your employees) or marketing materials, like giveaways.
  • Your logo should look good when it's huge, when it's small, or when it's normal. You may end up sponsoring a local event or race or printing really small giveaways for a fair you're going to in your town, you need to make sure your logo will work in all scenarios
  • Make sure you have 5 - 10 options made up to give you some choice.
  • Try and look at competing practices in your geographic area and avoid picking a similar design or color scheme so you can differentiate yourself
  • Think about whether you want to have a tagline and whether you want that tagline to be incorporated or part of your logo

Rounding out your marketing collateral

While you have your graphic designer doing your logo, have them whip up a business card and some stationary for you. You may even have them put together headers for your twitter and facebook pages if you're going to have those (read more about website basics in this blog post). It's best to do this all in one-fell-swoop even if you don't have an immediate need for all of these items.

The bottom line

Your brand is how you showcase who you are and what you offer. With a little bit of planning, you can make some smart decisions on naming and designing your practice's marketing materials that will serve you well for years to come.

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