An increasing number of health and beauty professionals are looking for an environment where they can reclaim a sense of autonomy with how they choose to practice their passion. Many also want to develop their own brand rather than existing under the banner of another's brand.
Whereas the obvious choice used to be setting up your own premises, people are realising that the large setup costs, long-term rental arrangements and distractions associated with operating a space rather than practising your core skillset are no longer a viable option.
Wellshare is a co-working space for health and beauty professionals that provides a lower-risk, lower-cost alternative without impacting the autonomy which is desired, especially with regards to their own brand development.
Branding can mean different things to different people. Some people think of a brand as a logo, some think of it as an identity and others see it as a set of services.
But branding isn't any of these things. The reality is that a brand is an emotional experience and a symbol of a single promise you consciously or unconsciously make to your customer. It represents the public perceptions about your service or business. The point of creating a brand is to engrain what makes you unique in the mind of others.
When a loyal customer thinks of your brand, it's tied to a feeling in their mind. There's an association there and your goal is to not only create that association but manage it too. There are many sterile, clinical feeling doctors’ surgeries which hold memories of feeling unwell. When a medical professional thinks about starting their own practice they should consider the design and comfort of a medical centre room to rent from the perspective of the patient.
Everything we smell, see, touch, hear, and do becomes associated with a memory in our mind. Branding is about making sure that when a customer sees your logo, walks into your place of work, or receives an advertisement, this connection in their brain aligns with what makes you unique. This is why choosing a beauty treatment room to rent is so important. It is key that your place of work aligns with associations that create a sense of who you are, what the service you are offering and why they want it.
A co-working space is an excellent alternative for clients looking to build their own brand so if you haven't done so already, take a tour today!
By building a powerful brand, you'll have crafted a powerful marketing platform, and a good brand makes the sales process a lot easier. This is why so many health and beauty professionals report that when they move their business to Wellshare and sign up for one of the 31 treatment rooms for rent, their client numbers increase. It's not that their service changes when they set up there, it’s that their overall brand has improved by leveraging the beautiful, modern and professional facilities on offer. The consumer considers every touchpoint of your service offering when forming an overall opinion of your brand. If your booking process is outdated, then your brand is outdated in the same way that logos that use colour schemes from the 80's also seem outdated.
The key to brand development lies in differentiation. The history of branding dates back to the mid-1800s when mass production and the transportation of goods were in full swing. So, producers placed their initials on their merchandise or burned their mark into crates as a way to distinguish themselves. This allowed buyers to make repeat purchases, and over time these brands became symbols of quality. The better the brand perception, the higher the price the products commanded. This concept is just as important today as it was in the 1800s. Without a brand, your service will become a commodity which, in the mind of the consumer, is easily interchangeable. The problem with commoditization is that the only differentiator becomes price and a race to the bottom ensues.
Consider an example of a commodity such as copper. If a consumer believes that all copper for sale is the same, then it stands to reason that if one supplier drops their price they will win the market share until another supplier drops their price even further. You must understand that your brand and the perceived value associated with it in the eyes of the consumer is the only thing that stands between you and the commoditization of what you offer.
Imagine your service is placed inside a crate, stacked on a ship with thousands of others like it. It's not just the mark on the box, it's what that mark stands for, it's everything that you've done to convince your customer to select your crate over the next. When consumers are faced with similar choices, brands provide the missing information. The brand is attached to the service, and a perception has been formed in the mind of the consumer. This perception may be formed instantly, or it may have been forged after many brand interactions. But perception is all about using cues to recognize concepts, and branding is really just communicating these concepts so that the brand may cue them.
Brands are tied to emotions, beliefs, and attitudes, and when a consumer sees the brand, they're connected to an experience, and this experience pushes them to choose one over the other. One of the brand's most important purposes is to create customer retention. Consider a common customer commodity purchase - Coca Cola. If a store carried Coca Cola and a store brand cola, is their affinity with Coke? And to what point? If the store brand cola is on sale, at what price point would they switch? Most people would continue to choose Coca Cola because it has considerable brand value when in reality many studies have shown that when consumers do blind tastings of Coca Cola vs store brand colas there is not too much of a difference in preference.
The stronger your affinity with Coke, the larger that gap in price has to become. Now, this is a simplistic representation of a much larger theory, but it is one of the most important principles for creating your long-term business success. The consumer preference of a brand dictates market share, and market share tends to demonstrate strength, and strength contributes to increased profitability. So, at the end of the day, it's your brand, and everything your brand represents, that truly defines just how profitable your business will be.
What actually makes a brand a brand?
This article focuses on executing a simply marketing process which is extremely important for all health and beauty professionals.
Google search --> Mobile optimised website --> Booking tool
Here's the summary:
First step - Win the search battle
More people search for a service based on location than based on price. They may not decide to book based on location alone but it is the most commonly searched differentiator.
Ensure your Google My Business Profile is filled out to perfection. Be location specific and include surrounding suburbs in your organic SEO strategy. With paid Google Adwords, showing up for "near me" searches is important. As is, making sure it is easy for people searching on mobile to find your office by bidding on location-specific keywords and using location extensions.
If budget permits and competition is low, create a comprehensive treatment-specific keywords list. Also consider keywords that reference specific preferences, such as "open weekends," "online appointments," and "comfortable waiting room."
Step Two - Win the website battle
As discussed in our previous post, on average a consumer will visit two websites before deciding to book an appointment.
Defeating your opponent rest on convincing the consumer that you are better in only two areas:
The keys to convincing the consumer you are more trustworthy include:
The keys to convincing the consumer you are better at solving the consumers current problems including:
Step Three - Win the booking process
Now a word of warning!
Don't go through all this effort to simply fall down at the last hurdle.
Make sure the booking process is as seamless as possible and can cater for as many use cases as possible.
Wellshare Digital is launching soon. For help refining your online marketing strategy please get in contact.
Understanding the behaviour of consumers is key to an effective marketing strategy for health and beauty professionals.
Closely behind referrals from friends and family, Google search is still streaks ahead of other digital channels for customer acquisition. And in this day and age, google search is primarily done on a smartphone. If your website isn't optimised for smartphone use then you really need to get onto this!
Here's a summary of research conducted by KANTAR (formerly TNS Australia) and Google which certainly caught my attention.
There are 3 different mindsets that consumers are in when searching on google for a health and beauty service. They want to know:
1. Where can I get the service
2. Who can they trust to deliver the service they are after, and
3. I know what I want already and am ready to book ASAP
Mindset 1: Where can I get the service
77% of smartphone users have used their smartphones to find local health services in the past six months. When people first identify that they have a problem, they look for information, advice, and where they can get treatment. Australians typically perform 3 searches with a focus on availability, pricing and directions.
Behind price, local convenience is an important factor in decision making. The 10-minute rule still largely holds true with people unlikely to use a service that is longer than a 10-minute drive or 10-minute walk away.
People typing "service x near me" has more than doubled since 2015.
Mindset 2: Who can I trust
Once convenience and service offering has been ascertained, consumers do more in-depth research to decide on a practitioner. The research suggests that Australians only compare and contrast two health service providers. It's you vs the other person. This is where trust and transparency become so important. Trust is established in a number of ways such as:
- Clear, simple and professional looking website.
- Create a connection through the use of storytelling about why the service provider is in business
- Displaying clear pricing (nothing frustrates a consumer more than having to enquire about the pricing).
Service specialisation is also key because people want to believe that you are an expert in solving their particular problem. Other trust symbols include patient testimonies (although be careful if you are regulated by AHPRA) and evidence of proven results.
Mindset 3: I know what I want and I need to book ASAP
When patients want a solution they want it ASAP. Everything about your online user experience needs to be optimised to facilitating this. If you still use a contact form on your website your business is outdated in the minds of consumers. The option of talking on the phone is still important with 66% of Australians saying it is extremely or very important to have the ability to call a business directly from a smartphone search results page. Alternatively, they like the ability to book an appointment online, as it provides more flexibility and control in fitting treatment into their schedules.
The key takeaways are:
- Make sure your Google SEO and SEM strategies are highly sophisticated
- Ensure your website is optimised for smartphone use
- Ask yourself whether your current website is optimised for establishing trust
- Make sure your online booking process is present and streamlined
I recently came across the method Google has been using internally to set goals. Here's the summary...
They get all employees to set out what are called OKRs - Objectives and Key Results.
The belief is that a true goal has to describe not only what you will achieve but also how you are going to measure its achievement. Here is the framing sentence:
I will ________ as measured by ____________.
I will (Objective) as measured by (this set of Key Results).
Objectives are supposed to be inspirational, qualitative descriptions of what you want to achieve.
Key Results are a set of metrics that measure your progress towards the Objective. For each Objective, you should have a set of 2 to 5 Key Results. Apparently the former Google’s Vice President, Marissa Mayer, used to say:
“If it does not have a number, it is not a Key Result.”
Here's an example for a health or beauty professional...
An objective might be “Create an Amazing Client Experience.” This sounds great, but how would you know if the experience is amazing?
Hence the need for the Key Results. A Net Promoter Score and or your client Retention Rate would be two good options. But measuring NPS and retention rate alone might be misleading. The practicalities of running a business mean that there is a financial limit to keeping your customer happy.
Therefore, you should always include a countermeasure such as Client Acquisition Cost. You should always be conscious of costs when trying to keep your customers happy.
Objective: Create an Awesome Client Experience
What I like about OKRs?
AGILE GOALSThey involve shorter goal cycles - weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. I think you need to be adaptable in this world and constantly evaluating your position. Find the cadence that works for you.
SIMPLICITYSo simple and easy to understand making them appropriate for all experience levels within a business. They can be really quick to do which means more to spent on achieving the goals rather than simply setting them.
TRANSPARENCYOne of the most fascinating aspects in my reading is that the OKRs in Google are publicly accessible across the organisation. This helps to create transparency and alignment across a business.
CHALLENGING GOALSThe idea of OKRs is that you shouldn't achieve your goals - in fact Google aims to achieve about 70% of them.
This helps to stretch and challenge their employees to set difficult goals.
Common OKR mistakes1) Using OKR as a task list.
2) Setting too many OKRs.
3) Not aligning your OKRs with your staff or team.
4) “Set it and Forget it.”
To see an expanded summary of how Google do OKRs internally, click the link below:
Entrepreneur, retired doctor. Passionate about helping health and beauty professionals build their own brand.