Building Your Medical Fitness Center Brand: External Branding

Chris Davidson

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December 8, 2021

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category

minute read

PUblished

December 8, 2021

A brand is a powerful tool. Certain slogans, logos, images, and even sounds evoke a feeling for a long time after we first encounter them. Nike’s “Just Do It.” The Starbucks mermaid. Netflix’s “dun dun.” In addition to that instant recognition, each of these brands have attracted a loyal customer base through unique engagement strategies.  

In a niche industry like medical fitness, you may sometimes be at a loss at how to craft a brand that will market your facility and draw in new and prospective members. You want to have a brand that creates a distinguishable presence and stands out from other facilities. But that’s easier said than done.  

In this two-part series, we’ll discuss two different types of brand building you can do: external branding, which focuses on the customer, and internal branding, which directs its attention to your team. In each, we’ll break down the most important steps and tactics to build your medical fitness center’s brand.  

Read on for Part One, Story + Structure: Building Your External Brand.

Every great brand starts with a story. And every story has a strong structure. Think about the tales you love. From Star Wars to Wizard of Oz, great stories have clearly defined characters who are on a mission or have a problem to solve.  

One of the first steps an author takes is to determine those structural elements. Who are the characters? What are their motivations or conflicts? Creating a strong brand begins with defining that structure. Here are some steps to break it down.  

1. Know Who You Want to Reach: Audience and Market

Start with a list of the different people you serve. Who are they? What are their goals or problems to solve? A clear understanding of the personas that make up your audience will help you focus in on what they value from your facility and how you can shape your brand to align and maximize that value.

If you are looking to expand your membership types beyond those who are using your facility for rehabilitation or medically prescribed purposes, research your potential audience and customer base by seeing what draws them to certain types of health clubs and gyms. Is it the price? Does the facility offer more programs for families? Most importantly, how can you distinguish your facility?  

Being a medical fitness facility can put your organization at an advantage because your staff will have more in-depth knowledge about exercises and holistic wellness options that can serve as preventative measures to keep members from having to seek treatment or hospitalization as often. You can also provide additional services such as health assessments and health education courses.  

2. Establish Who You Are: Brand Promise + Personality

Next, define who you are as a company. How do you help your members and prospects solve their goals or problems? Figuring out how you relate to your audience’s journey and the experience you provide them helps you define your brand promise, or the unique value you offer.  

Who do you need to be to deliver that brand promise? To best connect with your audience, how do they need to see you? As a trusted expert? A friendly neighborhood resource? Define the most important characteristics your facility needs to have to achieve your brand promise. In answering those questions, a personality of your organization should start to emerge.  

Having a clearly defined brand promise and personality will root the next choices you make in an authentic place. Your brand will be designed to actually connect with the people you want to connect with.

3. Create Consistent Content: Brand Experience

If you are part of a hospital or rehabilitation center, you may already have a style or branding guidebook that provides instructions for all these elements. However, if you can establish your own unique brand experience, be sure to keep consistency in mind.  

Decide the tone that you want to convey and make sure it is consistent with the brand personality you’ve defined. Is your personality an esteemed educator? A friendly resource? Or an innovator, disruptive in your space? How you live out your brand personality is your brand voice, and it should help you tell the story of who you are.

Depending on the answer, your brand voice may lead you to create more serious content on your channels, like an infographic with health statistics. Or you might approach things a little more lightheartedly, with fun video content.  

In terms of the visual brand experience, think about your brand personality here too. If your brand hinges on personal service, warm images of people forming connections will help make that message clear. If you’re focused on providing the most innovative practices, a vibrant color palette could help you convey that sense of excitement.  

Consistency also means using the same brand voice, logo, typography, graphics, color palettes, photo styles, and icon across all your channels (website, social media, and email).

4. Communicate with Your Audience: Driving Engagement

Now that you have some structural elements of your brand defined, you can determine the best route to engage your audience in that brand experience. With the current state of marketing, the options for engagement are seemingly limitless.

A robust and easily navigable website is the absolute minimum for your online brand experience. Your site should be in your brand voice and help members and prospects see themselves in your center. Make it easy for them to sign up, get involved, and show how they’ll be closer to fulfilling their goals. An email newsletter could be used to promote articles relevant to your audience’s desired goals or journey.

Remember that any content you develop needs to match the brand personality and promise you’ve articulated.  

Social media is a great place to drive engagement with your members and your brand. You can provide a mix of informational content, as well as create space for members to interact with your facility and make connections with other members.  

Finally, finding ways to partner with the community such as co-hosting a 5K with a nonprofit or your hospital system can be a great way to draw in people who might not normally think of a medical fitness facility as a wellness destination.  

If you’ve workshopped steps 1-4 and have the structural elements of your brand defined, you’re ready to take your brand building to the next level.

Stay tuned for the second part in our series on brand building, Culture + Consistency: Steps to Build Your Internal Brand, where we’ll look at the ways you build on the story and structure you just developed.  

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Static and dynamic content editing. A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

  • Just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection
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Into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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