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Branding tips for building your dermatology or cosmetic surgery practice

With medspas and new dermatology and cosmetic surgery practices popping up all over the place, standing out in the crowd can prove difficult.

Building a brand is essential to maintaining patients and drawing in news ones, according to presenters during a practice management session at the 2013 Vegas Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology meeting on Thursday.

Tracy Drumm, vice-president of aesthetic practice marketing firm IF Marketing, has boiled brand marketing down into three keep points: experience, relationships and outcome-based marketing.

When patients enter your practice, they should have the most positive experience possible, Ms. Drumm says.

"Have someone in your staff walk around your office and make notes where you can add some nice touches to enhance the experience," she says. "Your office should be a place that people look forward to going to."

Adding a company logo to a giveaway can be help build brand-awareness, but not if the item is a label on something disposable like a water bottle, she says.

"Consider the longevity of the piece you're buying to put your logo on," Ms. Drumm says.

Ms. Drumm suggested putting a company name and logo on a tube of lip balm because it will last for a while, and it's relatively inexpensive.

If the décor of your practice is top-notch and organized, the next thing patients notice after walking in the door is your staff. Building relationships and trust with physicians, nurses and other staff members is important. This can easily be achieved by putting together a welcome folder that contains short biographies of doctors as well as a welcome letter and possibly the doctor's CV, Ms. Drumm says.

"What we want to remember is people buy from people before brands," Ms. Drumm says.

In addition to physician profiles, having patient profiles and success stories will speak louder than simply showing before and after photos. Practices can put a packet of patient profiles out that not only includes before and after photos, but also a relaxed, fun photo of the patient and a few sentences the patient wants to share about their life before and after the procedure.

"Commodities compete on prices, brands compete on intangible attributes," Ms. Drumm says.

When working on building your practice's brand, you should also think about marketing campaigns and targeting specific audiences with varying media, says one of the best Los Angeles plastic surgeons, Grant Stevens, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Stevens, owner of Marina Plastic Surgery in Marina Del Rey, Calif., has used emails, newsletters, his website, radio spots and billboards to attract attention and build a brand around the phrase, "Freeze the Fat". The efforts have led to a huge growth in the number of patients who come to his practice because they are interested in the CoolSculpting (Zeltiq) results from the "Freeze the fat" campaign.

"Sixty-six percent of ‘Freeze the Fat’ patients were new patients," Dr. Stevens says. "Sixty-two percent of those were aesthetic neophytes and 40 percent became established patients."

About 40 percent of the CoolSculpting patients his practice sees are male, so Dr. Stevens targeted that demographic directly by adding ESPN radio ad to his campaign.

"When we introduced the brand ‘Freeze the Fat’ radio ads to ESPN, everything changed," Dr. Stevens says.

From Dermatology Times

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