No one goes into a career in behavioral health because they’re trying to strike it rich. You do it because that’s where your heart is, and you know communities thrive when they have access to the services they need. Your passion lies in working with people, but you also understand that your organization is a consumer brand that connects patients with your services. And, to fulfill this essential need in the lives of so many, you need to put real energy and focus into your behavioral health brand.
Despite your motivations for being in this field, you can’t ignore the reality of competition. Your competitors are trying to attract the same funders, doctors, patients, and dedicated employees. You need to highlight your differentiators—what makes your behavioral healthcare center unique and best expresses your value proposition—and having a clearly defined and communicated brand identity can help.
A successful brand inspires buy-in from stakeholders. When it comes to your behavioral healthcare center, your stakeholders include your management and investors, your clinical and operational staff and leadership, your current and prospective patients, and your program’s alumni. Your behavioral health brand should engage your stakeholders and inspire an emotional connection between them and your center’s vision and mission.
A strong, well articulated behavioral healthcare brand will attract fresh ideas and people, foster a sense of community, and improve your staff retention rates by providing your team a core mission to invest their emotional time and energy into. Without a strong brand—without a strong sense of identity that is uniquely your own—you risk losing out to your competition.
Boost Your Brand Tips
Here are some tips on how you can evaluate the strength of your current brand identity and take your branding game to the next level.
1. Differentiate Yourself From the Competition
All behavioral health centers have a similar goal: to provide services and care for those in need. Marketing and standing out from the crowd can feel out of line in the context of those services. But that’s exactly what you need to do. Don’t think of it as bringing down competing businesses but as lifting yours up and showcasing what makes you unique.
Your first step should be determining your differentiators so you can leverage them to your benefit. What do you provide in a way that others don’t? Consider having a third-party investigative audit so you can hear from all voices—patients, staff, stakeholders and community members.1 This type of thoughtful approach can help you really understand what makes your behavioral healthcare center distinct.
Look for common themes and patterns. Maybe it’s innovation, community involvement or your work with a specific demographic. You don’t have to downplay your other services in the name of highlighting one, but you should know what makes you special. Identifying and highlighting those attributes will set your behavioral health center apart.
2. Consider a Name Change
Changing the name of an established business shouldn’t be taken lightly. But you also shouldn’t be afraid of a name update if there are benefits. If your behavioral healthcare center’s name no longer matches your mission and vision, or if the community is confused about what services you provide, a new name might be the solution.
The name of your center, and the language used to define your mission, shouldn’t sound the same as your competitors. And the name should clearly communicate what you do. You don’t want a potential lead to confuse your center with another or have trouble finding your services when they need them.
If a name change feels like too big a step, add a slogan or tagline that improves and refines your branding. Don’t be afraid to be public about why you’re making the change, even if it’s a small one. Create a marketing campaign to specifically highlight the intention behind the new branding and use the opportunity to focus on what’s new.2
3. Recruit Brand Advocates
Your patients and their stories are an incredibly valuable marketing asset.3 Prospective patients may be feeling afraid and looking for reassurance. Seeing your success stories will inspire them far more than traditional advertising.
Share these stories with pictures or videos to highlight your mission and demonstrate what new patients can expect. Show them the experience and positive outcome they’ll have at the center. To connect your brand with integrity and achievement, there’s no better advocate than the people you work with every day!
4. Get Involved in the Community
Actively participate in local events to connect with people face-to-face.4 This shows you’re a committed member of the communities you serve and builds a brand identity that values local involvement. And don’t forget to highlight your efforts on social media! You’ll exponentially increase the value of your hard work and further reinforce the positive identity you’re cultivating.
By focusing on your brand, you’re engaging your ideal prospective patients, making them feel valued and cared for, and showing them you understand their needs. These values are at the core of your behavioral health center. But without investing in your brand, potential patients, employees and stakeholders will never know.
Nurturing your brand increases referrals, improves community support, promotes growth, and sustains your vision. Now is the time to revitalize and give the community the best of what you can offer.
Interested in learning more about how to evaluate and strengthen your center’s brand identity? Dreamscape Marketing can help. Contact us today at 888.307.7304 to schedule a strategy session.
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