Table of Contents
A behavioral health entity is a business, and like any business has its own brand identity. Learn about the steps you can take to ensure behavioral health brand success.
When you begin the work of marketing your behavioral health program, strict attention must be paid to branding. Branding is important, as this is how prospective clients and people in the community will view your facility. Effective branding leads people to relate to and trust your program. Most importantly, if branding is successful, it leads to prospective clients reaching out to your program first when needed.
Aren’t Brands Just for Consumer Products?
Most people will first think of everyday products when asked about brands. Right away, the logos for Coca-Cola, Apple, or Nike come to mind when you mention branding. However, behavioral health services are also a consumer industry and a growing one at that.
The stakeholders of a behavioral health program must come to realize that they, too, will benefit from the brand identity. Branding is simply a communication tool, a way for the program to convey the purpose of its program to the public. Once the program leadership understands the power of persuasive branding they can tap into it and watch their business flourish.
Why Branding and Brand Recognition Are Important
Modern society is a visual society. People respond to visual cues these days much more so than they do written information. Say there are two behavioral healthcare programs competing in a town. One has a strong, recognizable brand driven by an effective marketing strategy. The other counts on search engine entries like “rehab near me” or word of mouth to attract new clients. Both will appear in the Google search, but the branded rehab is the one that prompts action from the consumer.
Building a brand is a science that involves multiple steps. It isn’t enough to have a well-designed logo. For branding to elicit business it must be projected in numerous ways and in a continual fashion. Repeated exposure to these various levels of branding is what leads to brand recognition.
What Is Involved in Brand Success?
Branding begins with a defined mission statement or purpose that drives every aspect of the behavioral health program. It is impossible to begin the branding process without a clear vision of the program’s mission. However, too many programs mistakenly believe that having a website is all the branding they need. They create a tab for the mission statement and think their work is done. Wrong.
Yes, you need a website, yes, you need a mission statement, and yes, you need a well-designed logo. These are the basic first steps of building a brand. Branding success will depend on taking a layered marketing approach. Consider these ideas:
- Publish a regular blog on your website, and share the content across at least two social media sites.
- Add new posts on social media at least twice a week.
- Build partnerships in the community via charity events, local medical groups, and mental health providers.
- Set up a booth at sober events, or provide an inspiring guest speaker for an A.A. meeting.
- Encourage clients to leave online reviews, as these are a rich source of influence for future client growth.
In essence, put your program’s mission statement into action.
4 Ways to Improve Behavioral Health Branding
The stigma attached to mental health and substance use disorders remains an obstacle to overcome when brand building. This is something that most consumer products do not have to grapple with when branding. To overcome the negative bias, take these steps and improve your brand’s success:
- Know your client base. Your clients are people who struggle with mental health or addiction disorders, so your branding must connect with them. Use relevant stock images that represent the market and demographic. If you have a luxury brand, learn how to cater to that client. If you offer a couple’s program, carve out that niche through your branding. Content must convey the brand as authentic, caring, professional, and exude trustworthiness.
- Define your brand. Convey a message in your branding. Identify your client’s core issues and provide a solution. Communicate the services your rehab offers, levels of care, the special philosophy it adheres to, or what makes it unique.
- Be consistent across client touchpoints. Design a single logo and stick to one color palette, then use these across all marketing channels. This includes social media, email blasts, print marketing collateral, and ads. It is the repetition of these visual brand elements that helps build recognition.
- Improve your reputation. Nothing beats delivering excellent care and results. Your clients and their family members are the best sources of reputation building. Their testimonials, to friends, peers, on social media, and in reviews, help strengthen your reputation. In addition, cultivate your reputation among professionals in the industry by joining organizations.
Most Importantly, Be Dedicated to Excellence
As stated above, your best source for brand success is the client. By never losing sight of this reality you are already many steps ahead. Encourage clients to share their thoughts about their experience by taking an exit survey. Programs can use these comments to continually improve their services.
Have your clinicians earn continuing education units to keep their skills updated and honed. The better the staff, the better the quality of care, and the better your reputation. This is an important point, as your program will be better positioned to attract high-quality professionals and reduce turnover.
Behavioral health branding success depends on cultivating and refining your message to resonate with the consumer in a positive way.
Circa Behavioral Healthcare Solutions offers transformative consulting services for professionals in the behavioral health industry. For more information about our services, please reach out to us at (888) 458-6619.