Branding Your Practice, by Randi Drinkwater, MASSAGE Magazine Business Tip“Make my phone ring, please” doesn’t need to be part of the everyday vocabulary at your alternative and integrative health-care practice.

My phone never rings when I run an ad. That’s because it’s not supposed to.

If you’ve ever sat by the phone waiting for it to ring after you’ve run an ad in your local paper, you are not alone.  Print advertising is by far one of the most misunderstood mediums of all the marketing tactics. In a layman’s world, it’s only natural to think that if we tell people about our product or service, they are sure to want to know more.  And that might have been the case, were you not competing with all the other “noise and hype” that is put out there every day by advertisers just like yourself, hoping to pique somebody’s attention and get them to call you.

Sorry. Ads are not designed to make the phone ring. It’s that simple. They play a much more subtle, yet no less important, role in the marketing mix commonly referred to as branding—aka, letting people know what your company stands for.

Branding is not about what you do or the benefits of your product or service, it is indeed something much more.  It’s the values your company stands for, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The keeper of your brand–-What makes a good print ad
It all begins with your practice’s brand, be it integrity, quality, performance, service or some other value so inherent in your company that if it disappeared, would your company exist today?

Values are clearly articulated and delivered to the people you are most likely to do business with through a comprehensive marketing campaign. A branded message paves the way and opens the door for you to engage with your potential customers.

With so much riding on your brand, your communication of that brand has got to be crystal clear—easily communicated and understood by every person that comes into contact with your company. Without exception, a good brand will pass the test of time. See if you can guess who these long-standing brands belong to:

  • “It’s slow good” 
  • “We try harder”
  • “Breakfast of Champions”

Make no mistake about it. Heinz Ketchup didn’t just run one ad. It took many insertions of the same ad in the same publication with the same brand message before even one person remembered its “slow good” brand.

Randi Drinkwater, Branding Your Practice, MASSAGE Magazine Business TipFor more than 25 years, Randi Drinkwater has successfully spearheaded high-impact marketing solutions for such global companies as IBM, Cisco Systems, and WorldCom/MCI/UUNet. Today, Drinkwater resides as CEO for Alternative Growth Streams, ( a marketing-membership Web site designed exclusively to empower alternative and integrative practitioners to grow their practices and get more patients/clients. She is well known and respected throughout the industry and is the recipient of the BPAA Atlanta Peach and Southeast Addy award for marketing excellence.