We recently wrote a three-part blog post for our friends over at ABMP about standards and best practices for branding your massage therapy business. Part one is included below, but head over to the ABMP blog to read the entire series.
Most solo entrepreneurs and small business owners decide to go out on their own for two reasons: they have a passion for what they do and want more control over the customer’s overall experience. Sound familiar? While amazing motivators for getting us off the couch and into action, the road to converting these intentions into reality is often much more complex.
You know that you have an amazing product and an amazing experience to offer your potential customers, but you don’t know how to really stand out in the market. The answer lies in rock-solid branding.
No matter if you’re a business-of-one or if you’re all-in managing a massage practice, branding can (and will) make or break your business. In an industry so centralized around face-to-face communication and personal interaction, the brand that you create should be equally as personal, purposeful, and positive to keep customers coming through the door.
To help you along the path for branding your massage practice or small business, we break down the basics of what a brand is and how to craft the perfect one for your business.
Branding: a brief definition
Branding is a discipline of marketing that encapsulates the qualitative, unmeasurable, subjective, and somewhat intangible aspects of your business. In its simplest form, a brand is an image. In more distinctive terms, a brand is:
“A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. The legal term for brand is trademark. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller.” — American Marketing Association
In this day and age, just about everything you come across has some sort of a brand influence. Take, for instance, the toothbrush you use in the morning, your favorite massage products, or your favorite brand of water; branding is one of the largest, often subconscious, influences in these everyday purchases.
Why you should care about branding
In layman’s terms, branding is the main reason why consumers choose one product or service over the other—Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi, Ford vs. Toyota, Apple vs. Android. A good brand strategy is designed to help your potential customers quickly identify your business and give them a reason to choose your services over someone else’s.
The end objective? Attract and retain loyal customers by creating an attractive brand, and then deliver on that brand promise with your products and services.
What’s in a brand
Brands are comprised of dozens of elements, with the world’s most recognized brands encapsulating hundreds of elements. But you don’t need to be the next Massage Envy to get a jump on your competition and develop an unforgettable brand.
As it relates to any massage business, here are just a few factors for you to consider.
Imagery and artwork associated with your businesses
Curb appeal of your practice
Location of your practice
Quality and variety in services offered
Quality of add-on services, product recommendations, etc.
Ease-of-use in booking an appointment
Tone and polish associated with all written documents, including receipts, website copy, emails and more
Want more? Head over to ABMP for Part 2 of this series.