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Are You a Mouse or a Rat?

By: Steven H. Dayan, MD, FACS
Posted: March 4, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of
Group of surgeons, with two shaking hands

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What sets you apart? While reflecting on how you want to be perceived as a physician, also consider what makes you different from your contemporaries. Do you offer a specific treatment or utilize a proprietary technique? Does your practice offer late night or weekend appointments? Do you have a partnership with a day care center or cater to mothers with small children? Are you bilingual? Once you figure out what makes you different, build it into your brand, and use it to distinguish yourself from others in your field.

What are your practice goals? Next, determine what your goals are for your practice. Do you aspire to reach a certain ethnic or niche group? Do you want to have a large-volume clinic where you can provide low-cost treatments, or do you want to be recognized as a high-end luxury practice catering to a luxury crowd? Once you determine how you want your practice to be viewed by others, it will be easier to create a brand that meets these goals.

Create a mission statement. Part of developing a brand is to first create a mission statement. This may sound cliché and sophomoric, but it really is helpful. After creating and announcing a mission statement, it will become much easier to manage your staff. It also can help you understand who you are and what you want to achieve. The mission statement should be clear, concise and simple, and stated in real words that everybody can understand. Remember that staff members will use it as their guiding foundation. Once you decide what it will be, then all of your materials must reflect your brand. Yes, your brand can change, but not too often.

Next issue’s column will cover the “I” of the MICE formula—information—and how to get your message to the consumer in an inexpensive, effective and efficient manner.