Every business needs clear and consistent branding. This applies to physiotherapy clinics too, even although many therapists struggle with the idea of viewing their business as a brand! However, as a practice owner, you need to make sure that everything to do with your physical therapy business is consistent and giving the same message. That is why you need to consider developing brand guidelines for your PT clinic!
Brand guidelines are not as complicated as you might think. In fact, they are usually set out within an ordinary word document. Your brand guidelines are basically a description of how your business name and logo should be presented. The things that you will need to include in your brand guidelines are as follows:
Logo – Your logo is probably one of the most recognisable things about your clinic (and therefore your brand), so you will want it to look its best. Your branding guidelines can include the sizes, colours and other requirements. Include hex codes for the colours and specify a minimum size. Sometimes a logo can become squashed and unreadable when it is too small, so set out a minimum size that keeps it looking its best.
Naming Conventions – It is common for a Physiotherapy clinic to have a legal business name and then some informal, shortened variations of that name that they also use. Your brand guidelines should state which name(s) should be used and in what context. For example, the legal name could be 'John Smith Physical Therapy LLC', but it is likely that on a day to day basis a shorter variation is used like 'John Smith Physical Therapy' or Smith Physical Therapy'. Be clear about what name you use and in what type of situation.
Digital Media – Your brand guidelines also need to include all of your digital platforms including website url, Facebook page, Twitter account and other relevant social media accounts. When used in digital media these will be included as links, but for print it is important to include an icon followed by the account name or url. For example, a print campaign could use @JohnSmithPT next to a Twitter icon, but for Facebook the icon would need to be accompanied by http://www.facebook.com/johnsmithphysicaltherapy .
Contact Information – Always make sure that you include the appropriate contact information in your brand guidelines including address, phone number, email and fax along with any other relevant contact details. This stops someone looking you up and maybe picking the wrong information to include.
Key Information – Some PT clinics also like to include a brief overview of the clinic with their brand guidelines for consistency. This might include a list of the services provided or a very brief history of how the clinic started.
It is important for your clinic to have brand guidelines in order to make sure that all marketing involving your clinic is consistent. It is likely that you advertise in local publications like a local newspaper, chamber of commerce directory or some other publication. It is also likely that you do not get to approve a draft. However, if you can issue the publisher with your brand guidelines, they will be able to present your clinic in the way you intended by following the guidelines.
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