Customers are fickle and are used to shopping around for the most convenient services. Google search results dictate your business’ visibility. Patients can enter and exit your practice within three seconds and two clicks.
Welcome to the digital age!
The internet presents endless options for your existing and potential patients looking for optician services. So how can you stand out from the competition and secure customers’ business? Online branding is the key. IKEA, Adidas, Coca Cola, Netflix are world-famous brands that enlist the power of online branding to capture their target market’s attention – and loyalty. So how do they master it?
First impressions count and often your website is the first place your customers will find you. Your web design needs to communicate your unique brand identity and connect with patients. Who are you? What does your optician practice offer beyond your local competitors?
First and foremost you need to think about:
- Who is your target market? Are you appealing to multi-generational families in Cornwall? City professionals in Edinburgh? Students in Durham?
- With this patient-base in mind, what’s the story you want to tell as a business? Is there a focus on children’s eye care, high tech clinical services or the latest high fashion frames?
Using these two considerations you can begin to shape your online brand and build a narrative that connects with your customers. In this way, a potential patient can visit your website and instantly recognise your unique company values – professionalism, clinical expertise, high fashion, local champions, for all generations, etc.
So how can your website effectively sell your brand identity?
- The Visuals – Initially, you might want to think about the visual style of your website. It should function as a digital shop window to your practice. Does the colour palette match your in-store displays? Think carefully about the photographs, graphics and fonts you use. Make sure they are consistent with your company values. Once this groundwork is laid, you need to ensure your branding is consistent across your website, social media channels and email communications. This consistency helps build trust, as your patients will instantly recognise your visual brand and associate it with outstanding services, high quality eyewear, and a friendly team.
- The Story – But branding doesn’t stop at colour schemes and font sizes. The story you tell is even more important to your optical brand. For example, if you run an inner-city practice in the heart of Manchester you might be targeting a professional clientele who are looking for cutting-edge optical services and high fashion eyewear. Your home page might emphasise these services through copy, premium imagery and offers directing them to discounts off the latest brands. Whereas, if you’re a rural practice in the Yorkshire Dales you might wish to promote your community approach, featuring photos of local customers from all generations. Video content is a great way to put a human face on your independent practice. It allows you to showcase your team and differentiate your business from your competitors.
- The Web Design – Last but not least, your website has to be up to scratch from a technological perspective. The layout needs to be user-friendly, content needs to be fast loading and the whole website must be mobile-optimised to ensure a seamless browsing experience. And an absolute must-have is the ability to book appointments online.
Overall, your website needs to paint an authentic picture of who you are as a team and a practice.
Corporate branding isn’t going to fit with a family-friendly rural practice, just as a rainbow colour scheme might not appeal to a sophisticated city slicker clientele. What’s the story you want to tell? And how can your website’s branding help communicate that?