Branding: “The Last Bastion for Differentiation”

By Allyson Pahmer

As I was ruminating on the theme of “branding and defining physical therapy” for my letter this month, I was reminded of my school days when I started a term paper with a visit to the complete World Book Encyclopedia (proudly occupying a whole shelf of my bedroom bookcase) to define the topic at hand and spark a creative idea. I was struck by a line in today’s equivalent of the World Book (Wikipedia, of course) that read, “Many companies are beginning to understand that there is often little to differentiate between products in the 21st century. Branding remains the last bastion for differentiation.”

What struck me was the definitiveness of that declaration, but perhaps it’s finally true. In a world where consumers can find the lowest price for an item in seconds on their phones, what makes them choose one retailer over another? How much thought have you given to why patients choose you over your competitors? Are you focusing on ways to differentiate your practice, your services, and your expertise from the clinic down the street?

The Private Practice Section (PPS) offers tools to help you with that differentiation. Our five-part video series on Marketing 101 (free to members in the PPS Learning Center) addresses topics such as building your brand and reputation through social media, converting loyal patients into brand ambassadors, and using your website and microsites to advocate, educate, and increase brand awareness.

Another tool available to you is the monthly press releases created and distributed by the Marketing and PR Committee. These provide an easy way to enhance the credibility of your services and company, and, according to committee chair Michelle Collie, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, “Increased credibility in your practice builds trust and confidence in the community of your expertise.” In other words, credibility builds your brand.

More marketing help can be found in the Learning Center in our webinar archives. Topics such as “Advanced Branding Concepts for Physical Therapy,” “Managing Your Online Reputation for a Busy Healthcare Practice,” “Social Media for Physical Therapy Practices,” and “Improving the Service Experience You Provide in Your Practice” are just a sample of the vast marketing topics available in the archives.

As we embark on a new year together, PPS will undergo a bit of brand enhancement ourselves: Watch for the new PPS website to launch in the first quarter of 2017. We can’t wait to unveil this great new tool for our members to access the resources and information your PPS staff and committees have worked so hard to create for you.

Our best wishes to you for a healthy and prosperous New Year!


Allyson Pahmer
Executive Director, PPS

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