When most professionals in allied health think about branding, they often imagine colors and beautiful pictures that catch the eye. When in actuality that’s just scratching the surface! Branding goes way beyond the visual aspect. Branding is like an iceberg – what you see is only a small part of the whole picture.

Branding isn’t just about flashy logos and eye-catching visuals; it’s the whole experience. It’s how people perceive your allied health practice through every interaction. It’s the words you use, the way you communicate, and the overall tone of your messages. Branding engages multiple senses, creating an impression that goes beyond the surface. Think of it as a holistic approach – does your brand convey the right essence? It’s about constructing an experience that resonates with people on a profound level, connecting with them through various channels. So, in the world of branding, it’s not just about what they see; it’s about the lasting impression you leave. Today we are going to talk about all the things that go into branding– more specifically, what goes into the visual aspect of branding, and what goes into the messaging aspect of branding. Let’s get started!

Visual Branding

1. Logo
Your logo is the face of your practice. Typically, you would have a brand visual guide that provides explicit guidelines for its use, covering everything from acceptable variations and colors to clear space and minimum size requirements. Your logo is the first impression, the visual cue that invites clients into your allied health space. Consider creating a brand visual guide to keep consistent and share with team members.

2. Color Palette
You should also adopt a defined color scheme with specific codes, ensuring consistency across all brand-related materials. Especially when working with a team, it can be tempting to try to just match the color off of looks, but with a visual branding guide, those color codes are easily accessible and thus more likely to be used consistently.

3. Font
As Sara Hyndman so beautifully put it, “Fonts turn words into stories.” Specify fonts and typography styles for various contexts, providing a consistent typographic language. Your chosen fonts become the literary characters, conveying the tone and personality of your therapeutic narrative.

4. Imagery
Choose images and photography that align with your brand. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about crafting a visual language that speaks authentically to your therapeutic philosophy. And while words create a story, images can speak even louder than words at times.

Brand Messaging

While visual branding is what you see, messaging is about what you say. Creating consistent messaging for your brand is just as important as visual branding. Have you ever been confused by a website, social media, or better yet read a social media post and navigated to the company’s website and been totally confused. If you said yes, you are not alone. That company failed to keep their message consistent and clear. There are different parts to the messaging component of a brand as there are to the visual component. Understanding these concepts will help you to not only create a brand, but stay true to it.

1. Brand Archetype
A brand archetype is the personality of your brand. You express this in the voice, tone, and even imagery of your brand. There are 12 different archetypes or personality of brand. Whether you align with the Hero, the Sage, or the Explorer, each archetype carries specific traits that resonate with certain audiences. It’s not just about what you say but how you say it, aligning your brand with archetypal energies that resonate with your target audience. Your brand’s archetype provides clear instructions on the tone and style of written and verbal communication, defining your brand’s personality. Whether it’s a comforting whisper or an empowering declaration, your words should echo your practice’s ethos and a brand archetype can help you stay on track. If you are interested in learning more, you can read more here.

2. Customer Personas
Within your brand’s messaging, the inclusion of customer personas is pivotal. These detailed profiles represent your ideal clients, encompassing their demographics, behaviors, and preferences. By understanding the nuances of your audience, you can tailor your messaging to resonate more effectively. One thing to note is that the customer persona will not be an exact replica of your ideal customer. The idea is to create a rough sketch of them in your mind, to understand their likes, dislikes, motivations, and general personality traits. Don’t get caught up in every detail, but pay attention to the details that matter. For example, if you are a child psychologist and you build a customer persona to market to adults who are looking for a child psychologist, then they probably would have children.

3. Know Your Audience
You may know the ins and outs of your practice and its values, but your team may not, or you may struggle to keep it consistent 100% of the time. By knowing your audience, you can create a messaging standard that encapsulates your mission, vision, and values, providing key messaging points. Consider using the following as headings or categories or just use these to guide you: clients’ needs and desires, client fears, how you help them, and what failures you help them avoid. When something as important as this is spelled out clearly, there is no room for error.

4. One-liner and Taglines
Know that you know who your ideal client is and the correct voice and tone for that audience. You are able to start creating content that falls in line with your overall brand. The cornerstone of a solid brand is the one-liner. A one-liner at it’s core is the problem your ideal client struggles with, how your practice can help them with that problem, and what life can look like after they work with you. A one-liner is a very clear and concise painted picture. It helps your ideal client self-identify with the problem and gets them excited about the potential solution and outcome.

Aside from a one-liner, a tagline clearly articulates what end result. It is often the third piece of the one-liner. It can be fun, it can be transformative. It can be a lot of things, but what it absolutely needs to be is in line with your one-liner.

Once you have created a one-liner, use it as a guiding light to ensure consistency in message. Memorize it and check to make sure that all your other content is consistent with it.

5. Social Media and Online Presence
Your brand is all over social media. You may want to think about your preferences for social media engagement, posting frequency, and content types for your brand. It just makes things more organized and helps you to have a broader view of the way things are run.

Finishing Touches

In wrapping up, your brand extends beyond mere aesthetics. It’s not just about looking good; it’s the key to building trust and recognition out there. Following your own rules and guidelines isn’t just a formality; it’s how you make your brand strong and trustworthy. In the world of allied health where connections matter, having a clear brand is crucial. Enjoy the process, and let your brand do the talking!