Today’s medical aesthetic patients are looking for more than a good deal. While cost is a factor, most potential patients are looking for something more personal: a practice that understands their beauty and health goals, that they can trust with their most visible physical aspects (like their facial features!). They need to find a practice they can identify with, whose perceived personality matches their aesthetic vision. Nothing communicates these intangible trust elements more than a medical spa’s branding.
But what exactly is a medical spa “brand”? What does a medical spa’s brand need to communicate to its patients?
Jeff Bezos is reported to have said: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” In short, your brand is your patients' perception of your med spa.
Your brand (on a conscious or subconscious level) takes in all aspects of how you present yourself and creates an idea of who you are and what you do. Your brand needs to correlate with excellence and create a feeling of trust with your patients that they are in capable hands.
Your branding style choices need to communicate with your patients. For example: do you promise something to your patients? Your brand needs to convey those expectations! What is your mission or vision for your patients? Make the end goal clear in your branding. Are you offering high-end treatments or more affordable options? Your branding needs to cater to your target demographics!
Your medical spa’s brand should span both your physical office and all of your marketing channels. While a branding agency can help coordinate these efforts, every medical spa owner and team member should understand the basics of branding and be mindful of your practice’s particular brand.
Read on to learn our five foundations for building your brand reputation.
The few words that make up your med spa’s name will be the #1 statement that brands your practice. It needs to be memorable. Your name will likely be the first thing your prospective patients see, and they will need to remember and recognize it as they build awareness of your practice.
In your brainstorming, you will need to decide how you want to differentiate your med spa. Your name needs to communicate with your patients. While there are many routes you can take, your name needs to build your authority and communicate (at least in part) your mission.
For example, it could include your location (region, state, city, etc). Tying your practice to a location is beneficial as it implies you are a local staple. You could also use a doctor’s name in your title. If you have a prominent doctor in your practice that is well known in your community, building off that name can help build your rapport. Abstract terms that deal with beauty can also be beneficial as they communicate your medical spa’s values, mission, and results.
While you obviously don’t want to duplicate or choose a name too similar to a competitor, it can also be helpful to look at the different med spa names in your area as a starting point. What do they do to stand out? Which ones stick out as being memorable? Smart practices learn from what other medical spas are doing well.
In addition to your name, you can also craft a tagline (a short marketing slogan or phrase that communicates your brand message). Med spa’s names are short and you may feel limited in what you can communicate to (potential patients). Your tagline can help capture more of your brand message.
*Expert tip: Review your runner-up name ideas while crafting a tagline–incorporating some of those terms may help you form a more complete picture of “who you are” for your patients.
Ultimately, your name and tagline should create a brand mission statement that all your efforts tie back to.
While the words you use to represent your brand are important, coordinating your creative design decisions such as your logo, images, color scheme, font, etc. is also KEY to building your brand’s visual identity.
Think of it this way: if your brand was a person, what would their STYLE be? How would they dress? Haircut? Where would they hang out? Would they be dressed to the nines arriving at a fancy restaurant? Or would they be rocking the latest trends, strutting down the street shopping with friends?
Just like a person’s style can tell you something about who they are and what they do, your brand’s visual identity communicates what type of practice you are to your patients. If done right, your brand can cater to specific market segments.
Identifying your niche or target demographic is largely (and most effectively!) communicated through visual cues. For example, you could send the message that your experience will be exclusive and high-end (with premium pricing to match) with high fashion design elements. Or you could try to strike a younger millennial demographic, with trendy but more affordable and flexible treatment offerings.
So let’s get into some of the details of crafting your brand's visual identity.
Your branding should coordinate all your online channels, beginning with your website.
Before stepping into your physical space, most potential patients first visit your website to gather information and get a sense of your practice. Make those first impressions count! Designing your website is a fine balance between visual branding, information, and clear paths to booking or other calls to action.
Just like the reception area your patients first walk into, your homepage should create a sense of who you are with striking design and visuals. It serves as more of a directing guide with brief snippets and user experience tools that should easily direct visitors need to further subpages. These subpages are content heavier as they delve deeper into the specific questions and topics they need information about.
Regardless of each page’s purpose and form, your branding should coordinate your website. Using brand colors for your headings, coordinated banners, and logos on each page will create a cohesive brand identity.
More than any other online channel, visual branding is especially prominent on your social media platforms.
Take Instagram for example. The business space is largely a “brand parade” where businesses leverage visuals to promote their unique brand identity. The grid pattern allows for creative design choices such as alternating every other post between a brand color background and high-quality visuals to provide a coordinated aesthetic effect.
Popular influencers have honed into the promotion of their “brand.” Seek to highlight and collaborate with influencers that match your brand. You can also adopt successful tactics such as sticking to topics followers that generate the most engagement, coordinating colors on your visuals with presets, and linking relevant content and promotions.
TikTok is also dominating the medical aesthetics online scene with popular video content. Provide your potential patients with insider views into your practice and treatment experience. Patients want to see reall-life footage to get a sense of what treatment will be like, and your brand can shine through with these valuable views into your practice.
Promote your brand identity through strategic social media marketing.
More than other medical practices, med spas depend on their in-person branding and interior design.
Why? Because a medical spa (by definition) combines both a professional “medical” experience with a beautiful and relaxing “spa” experience. Both elements, medical efficiency and beauty, should be represented in your practice’s physical ambiance.
Not surprisingly, your patients' first steps into your practices’ reception area need to receive a large amount of focus. Building their first impressions, the waiting room needs to be striking, welcoming, and relaxing.
Consider designing your entry room to draw your patients eyes to a specific point, where your med spa’s name and or/logo are prominently placed. Often behind the front desk, this design choice reassures patients that they are in the right place while emphasizing your brand. Intentional lighting on your logo can amplify the effect.
While avoiding any appearance of clutter, make design choices throughout your practice that are stylish and modern. For example, a large amount of white with stylish pops of color or wood accents can be very effective. You can also use your brand’s color scheme effectively by adding accent walls that add dimension to your treatment rooms. (Check out our interior design guide for more branding and design tips).
Whether you hire interior design help or implement some changes on your own, your interior design decisions need to coordinate with your brand identity to deliver your “brand promise.”
Patients are looking for high-quality medical spas that they can TRUST to work on their most prominent physical features. Patients will overlook the drawbacks of location and cost if they believe your brand can deliver premium results and a superior experience.
Your medical spa brand is critical to your practice’s success. Your patients' perception of you will influence every interaction they have with your med spa. By focusing on your name, visuals, website, social media, and physical environment, your brand reputation will begin bringing loyal patients and regular bookings to your med spa.