Due to the increasing competition in the healthcare industry, a lot of medical practitioners and natural health professionals find themselves wondering how they can improve their chances against their competitors and build their reputation. In this context, corporate design plays a central role for medical practices, as it both makes a practice stand out from its competition and foster trust in their future patients.
In fact, without a strong brand and a professional look and feel, it is very hard for any medical practice to attract and retain new patients. In addition, high-quality design is crucial to the development of a strong corporate identity. Through creative and consistent graphic design elements, medical practitioners have the opportunity to express their values and increase brand awareness of their products or services.
Corporate identity and logo design
The corporate identity is the combination of branding elements a company employs to make a visual statement about itself and to communicate its values and business philosophy. Multinational corporations are not the only firms which need to build a solid and consistent corporate identity: in fact, small and local firms can benefit from having a strong corporate identity too, especially in the medical industry.
Both for enterprises and small businesses, having a great logo is key to developing a corporate identity. Especially for medical businesses, the logo is meant to represent the core values of the practice and lend credibility to the practitioner. To create the perfect logo, it is worth investing part of the budget in a professional graphic designer. The designer should be extensively briefed and should be granted enough time to work on the project. In fact, there are several factors that the designer must take into account before starting with the first sketches: the brand identity of the practice, the core values that should be communicated and the target audience. For instance, a pediatrician and an osteopath are targeting very different age groups – accordingly, also the style of their logos will differ greatly.
The practice logo is created through a combination of colors, symbols, designs and fonts. Each element should be chosen carefully, not only according to its aesthetics, but also bearing in mind the associations and feelings that it triggers in the observer. In particular, selecting the right color palette is one of the most important steps in the process of developing a logo. Indeed, colors impact our emotions and unconscious behaviors. For instance, psychological research suggests that the color white is unintentionally associated to the ideas of hygiene and purity in our minds, and therefore, it is the perfect background color in healthcare logos.
In the healthcare industry, business cards and marketing collateral play a key role in representing a business and evolving its brand identity.
Although we live in a digital age, the business card is undoubtedly one thing that digital tools will not fully replace any time soon and it is still a great way of communicating your brand identity to your patients. Indeed, handing over your business card is a great way to provide your patients and partners with your contact details in a professional and personal way - not only at fairs and conferences, but also in your medical practice.
In order to be successful, a business card design should be remarkably original, but at the same time functionally structured. Your name, the name of your medical practice and all your contact details – which should include different channels, from your email to your address to your website – should be written in an easily readable font and clearly displayed.
Brochures and other marketing collateral also play a crucial role in the medical businesses, as they provide patients with meaningful information about the services and therapies offered in the practice.
Both brochures and business cards should be visually aligned with your brand: not only should they display the practice logo, but they should also display the same color palette, fonts and tone, in order to support and increase brand awareness among your patients.
Having a first-class website representing your medical business on the Internet is nowadays a priority - not only in order to acquire new costumers, but also to communicate a sense innovation and expertise to the existing ones. Both if you are about to launch your new website or if you are planning to redesign your current homepage, it is recommended to work with a professional graphic designer, in order to make your online presence look professional and up-to-date.
As with the business cards and other marketing collateral, it is important that the website, too, is designed according to your brand identity. In addition, it is crucial for medical practices to display high-quality pictures of the consulting rooms and the team, which might help to convey a sense of security and friendliness to potential patients.
However, your website should not only be beautiful, but, first and foremost, functional. Here, usability is the key. For instance, if you are addressing senior patients, you should make sure that the font size is readable and not too small. Also, all key information, such as your contact details and opening times, should be placed on the homepage and be easy to find. Is has been proven that the average user spends less than a minute on every single web page – for this reason, your website should be structured in a way that makes it easier for any user to locate the information they need within seconds. Color coding, fonts, white space – all the visual elements on your page should both be in line with your brand identity and increase the usability of your website.
To conclude, your website, your marketing collateral and your practice logo should all contribute to build your brand identity and increase brand awareness among your audience. This is only possible through an integrated and coherent design strategy. Especially in the medical business, where patients value not only services and qualifications of the practitioners, but also the reputation of the practice and the empathy and kindness of the practice team. Design plays a central role in communicating those values and creating a healthy brand.
About the author
Alessandra Maino works as Digital Marketing Manager at 99designs
, the world's largest online graphic design marketplace. Born and raised in Italy, Alessandra has been living in Berlin, Germany for four years. Together with marketing, design and branding, her passions involve nutrition, travel and literature.