Marketing: Put your stamp on pet care

Marketing: Put your stamp on pet care

Build a brand and create loyal clients.
Jun 01, 2009

Coke versus Pepsi. Chevy versus Ford. Nike versus Reebok. These products evoke strong preferences and it's not just the taste or the look that drive people to choose one over the other. It's the overall idea—the brand—that people love.

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The same is true for veterinary practices. Clients absolutely appreciate a convenient location and the newest technology, but it's the overall tone—the brand—your practice projects that brings clients back. Get started building a strong brand and you'll end up creating a strong practice with loyal clients.

Why develop a brand

Taking your practice from a business listed in the phone book to a brand your community recognizes and trusts distinguishes you. Clients know they have choices in veterinary practices, and their decisions about which one to visit are based on many factors, including brand.

The way people look at brands is changing. Older generations tried a product first then discovered the brand's overall qualities later. But today's generations are looking first to brand identity. Just what does that mean for you? Potential clients want to learn about you before they call to schedule their first appointment. Your brand helps them tell your clinic apart from the others and explains the benefits of choosing it. In short, it helps them figure out whether yours is the type of practice they want to visit with their pets. If your practice hasn't established a clear brand, they may never learn who you are so never venture in your door.

A strong brand also helps your practice reinforce the bond with established clients. Use it to reward returning pet owners for continuing to choose your practice. For example, connect with them by giving small gifts like leashes, coffee mugs, or bottled water with your practice's logo on the label. And bonded clients provide a strong resource for identifying your practice's strengths and weaknesses, which will help you build your brand. Asking for their feedback will also make clients feel appreciated and better served, increasing their loyalty even more.

To learn how to build a brand in 5 steps, click here.

Kelly Stazyk is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C. Please send questions or comments to