Editor’s Note: Physicians Practice’s blog features contributions from members of the medical community. These blogs are an opportunity for professionals to engage with readers about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The opinions are that of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Physicians Practice or UBM.
If you were to see a little blue square with a white lower case “f,” you would immediately recognize it asFacebook. How about the little flying blue bird? Does it make you think of Twitter? And everyone knows the golden arches means McDonald’s.
Take a look at your phone apps. The shorthand on your screen consists of symbols, usually the logo for the company. These visual representations are a powerful and fast way to identify a business. So what about the logo for your practice? Do you even have one? If you do, is it unique and memorable? How
about the name of your practice: does it evoke what your practice does or stands for?
When I was forming my new practice, I spent many hours thinking about all of these things. A good logo and brand appeal don’t happen by accident.
I had some very specific ideas in mind with respect to my practice’s name and logo. First, I wanted my surname (Fox) prominently featured in the practice name. I most certainly wanted something more creative than “Fox Clinic” or “Fox Medical Practice.” It took me a few weeks to come up with an appropriate name. Obviously, anything with vixen in the title wouldn’t do. I finally came up with the name “FoxCare” as it really conveys the idea that my new integrative medical practice would truly care for patients and their families. I know it seems obvious, but that’s what marketing is all about: emphasizing the obvious.
As for my logo, I wanted to keep with the theme of caring. Since I take care of children (and thus families too) I wanted a logo that suggested the same. My logo depicts a smiling mama fox curled around her sleeping baby fox kit. I wanted to send the message that I care for little ones just like a mom would do.
I also took great care selecting the color scheme for my logo (which also was incorporated into my practice’s decorating scheme). I am a hand-weaver and have written a weaving book that focuses on color theory. Because I know how much color affects a person’s emotions, I wanted a color that conveyed a peaceful but confident mood. The colors of water, aqua, and teal blue are perceived to be clean as well as calming, so I chose a vibrant teal/aqua color for the background of my logo.
If you want to create a logo that advertises the unique qualities of your practice, keep the following ideas in mind:
1. Do you have a logo? Is it contemporary and does it visually represent your practice goals? Does your logo need a facelift? My advice is to hire a graphic artist as they have access to all the latest design software and can produce a logo in every conceivable medium. You are going to need to provide your logo in many different digital forms (for various usage). Hire an expert. It will be more than worth the cost!
2. Your logo should be simple, easy to identify, and hopefully send a message about your medical practice. Think deeply about what you want the public to think about your medical group. If you, a staff member, or a loved one has artistic ability, that’s a great place to start. Sketch out some ideas but refer back to my first suggestion to produce the actual logo.
3. Consider rebranding your practice by adjusting your practice name. Many practices simply use the last names of the senior physicians. While that is an established tradition, does it really send a message about what your medical practice stands for? For example: Smith, Smith and Smith Orthopedic Group doesn’t create the same emotions as “The Bee’s Knees Orthopedic Group.” I know that is a silly example, but you get the point. Which one is more memorable and evokes positive emotions to you?
4. Play to your strengths. As I wrote above, my practice name, FoxCare plays with my last name, Fox. If you have a memorable name, feel free to use it. A brand is nothing more than something that people associate with certain ideas and feelings.
Your medical practice has an ethos, a mission, and a practice culture that keeps patients coming back to your group. Do not underestimate the power of your logo. You need to recognize what is special about your medical practice and then broadcast that message to potential new patients.