Branding is a great word for the practice of imbedding the image of your hospital into the minds of your clients. Essentially, you are making an indelible mark on them so that when they think of animal care, they think of you.
Many believe that this is achieved by getting a logo and staying consistent with your practice’s color scheme. In fact these practices are just the icing on the cake. The real substance of branding is a clear vision of who you are and day-to-day actions by your company members that live out that identity, an identity this is first articulated in your Mission Statement.
Many organizations have taken the time to write Mission Statements, but fail to integrate them effectively into their day-to-day operations. The key to a successful Mission Statement is guileless truth: why do you do what you do? The second important component is inspiration, for you are not just trying to explain what you do, but infect others with the enthusiasm you feel when you do it.
Veterinary practices that successfully brand themselves have logos that go beyond dog and cat iconography. They select images that are representational of their Mission. How they market is only half of their success. The other half is what they choose to market, since what they boast about says as much about the company as how they choose to boast about it.
Branding, like all other business endeavors, isn’t a task, it’s a process. Don’t begin with a pallet, a paint brush, or a jingle. Begin with a pen and a written articulation of why you do what you do and why you are uniquely relevant at it. What follows is a journey of exploration and the best branding is born out of it.