Is Branding a Research Site Necessary?
Branding is extremely important when trying to establish a credible business. Whatever it is that you are selling - food, tools, beauty products, pet supplies, a type of service, etc. - your business needs a brand. Believe it or not, in addition to companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Target, clinical research sites and health institutions must also have a solid brand behind them. Some people believe that a concrete brand is not necessary for the healthcare industry because the demand for healthcare will always be prevalent. The fact that the demand will always be around is true, but there is still competition in the healthcare industry, and standing out from the crowd is crucial to attract new patients. Recognition, trust, professionalism, personal connection, expectation, and business direction are all important and beneficial aspects of any business that will not show through to current and potential patients if a clinic, clinical research site, or hospital is not branded. Here are some explanations as to why each of these elements are crucial to branding success:
Recognition and Professionalism
A research site must be easily recognizable and familiar to all “customers”, which include patients, sponsors and CRO’s. Branding will be a great help in making sure the research site is well known. Having a consistent brand, including a site logo, website, business cards, letterheads, any advertisements, etc., will ensure recognition and professionalism to the public eye. This will also allow the research site to be easily identified and distinguished from its competitors.
Although aesthetic aspects of a brand are extremely important, so are the non-visible aspects. How your employees are being trained, your research site’s internal atmosphere, how your business phone is being answered, and how patients are greeted upon arrival are all matters that are still considered a part of your brand. All customers expect to get terrific service, and expect to be treated with excellent care. Keeping your brand image consistent will be sure to gain the loyalty and comfort of your patients and customers.
Another benefit in branding your research site is that it provides a clear business strategy and direction for success. For example, making sure you have a vision or mission statement for your business is key. This gives a strong and clear message to your patients and customers regarding what your business stands for, and what you are striving to do. It informs your customers, and will always be a constant reminder to your staff of the values your business holds.
Branding creates a connection. A company that is well branded will connect on an emotional level to their customers. Relate with your patients in a way that makes them feel good about being a part of a clinical research trial. You want them to leave your site feeling positive. Initiating the brand recognition, expectation and direction will help in creating that connection to your customers.
So there you have it – branding is definitely a critical aspect of your research site. Patients are essentially putting their lives in your hands, so you want to make sure that they are comfortable with their care, that they trust you, and that they feel your research site is a legitimate business who truly cares about their overall health.