In recent years, more companies have placed greater energy on developing brand loyalty. This involves certain marketing techniques and strategies to solidify a customer's long-term allegiance. As it turns out, these principles don't only apply to toy manufacturers or luxury car lines. Doctors can also develop their own distinctive brand as a way to better engage patients in their ongoing treatment experience. Thankfully, there are far fewer spreadsheets and marketing reports required when physicians are cultivating loyalty. 

Make patients a priority
It seems obvious, but patients should be the core emphasis of any physician's office. However, in terms of developing brand loyalty, it's important that you emphasize that point to your actual clients. To that extent, patients need to know that their role in their ongoing treatment is your office's central focus. That often means catering a practice and its marketing outreach to patients' specific preferences. Companies like Amazon and Google have developed consumer-oriented perspectives, letting their clients know that their engagement is what drives business decisions. It shouldn't be any different for physicians, who need to keep the ever-changing demands of their patients in the forefront to achieve long-term success. 

Understand human desires
One of marketer's primary tasks is to try and predict the wants and needs of customers. In order to do so, they rely on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Developed in 1943 by psychologist Abraham Maslow, this model helps define the five primary needs of every human being:

  • Physiological: These components humans need to physically survive, including food, air and water.
  • Safety: This refers to a sense of wellbeing humans require to feel engaged. It includes emotional, mental and financial safety.
  • Love and belonging: Most humans want to feel some sort of intimacy and connection, be it romantic or platonic. 
  • Esteem: Respect is an important part of the human experience. People want to feel a level of acceptance and integration.
  • Self-actualization: Maslow himself summed it up as "What a man can be, he must be." Having potential, and then activating it, is a necessity for humans.

By understanding this hierarchy, companies can market their services to fulfill a specific need. For instance, a car with added safety features would obviously satiate that primal need for wellbeing. If a customer can continually have his or her needs met by a company, he or she is more likely to return with subsequent purchases. Physicians, meanwhile, can apply this same concept to their practices, espousing themselves as providers of various needs. This, in turn, will help demonstrate a sense of importance and necessitate patient loyalty. 

Learn to pitch yourself
Salesman rely on the pitch in order to entice customers. It's a powerful and succinct way to sum up what they have to offer and explains why customers need a company's continued presence in their lives. Doctors should also think about how they pitch themselves to both new and continuing patients. The catch is, though, that physicians must steer clear of self-promotion, or otherwise they may turn off certain patients. The following are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Use language that is both comprehensible and memorable.
  • Think about the patients you encounter and target their lives specifically.
  • Keep it quick and simple. 
  • Clarify what your practice has to offer and what advantages you hold over other offices. 
  • Continued use of the pitch will make it seem increasingly natural.

Consider the pitch  just one way to help further promote your commitment.

Rely more on technology
Thanks to the Internet, marketing and brand development is easier than ever before. Because of that increased access, a robust online presence isn't something a functioning practice can ignore. At the very least, you need to ensure you've set up a basic contact page with the office's address, phone number and hours of operation. More deeply, the most effective physicians work to create a relevant website. That means working with a Web development company to ensure a functioning and appealing home page. It's a site that is both authoritative and easy to use and doesn't visually overwhelm viewers – you're promoting medical services, so keep it simple and informative. Especially savvy doctors will use their Facebook page to share office-wide news and updates. It's another easy way to convey an essential sense of personality, something that patients can connect with emotionally.