Every year on the first day of school, my dad would sit me down for a word of advice. And every time, without fail, he would say the same thing: “Kelsey, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
That phrase is forever ingrained in my memory as a first-day-of-school mantra, but I think it also rings true for addiction treatment branding.
Think about it. A solid brand can deliver a polished first impression and reassurance to a client who may be overwhelmed by the prospect of committing to treatment. Instinctual decisions made from first impressions can mean the difference between someone continuing to research your treatment center or moving on to the next option.
Before we dive into the benefits of brand-building, let’s take a step back and define exactly what we mean by “branding.”
Branding is often confused with marketing — the two are undoubtedly connected, but there are minute differences. Branding is all about building a unique image and name for your facility, while marketing is about promoting your brand.
Gabe Grover, the Sr. Design Manager at Recovery Brands, defines a brand as the persona an organization projects at every client touchpoint. “It’s not just a website. It’s not just the type of graphics we use. It’s everything. It’s how we consistently present things in our voice and visual language.”
1. A strong brand can be a noticeable differentiator for prospective clients narrowing down their options in an initial search for treatment centers.
Before a potential client dives into the nitty-gritty of what your treatment center offers in terms of qualified staff and evidence-based programs, your brand speaks volumes about your organization. Gabe describes a brand as a “visual language” that communicates reassurance to a potential client.
Studies indicate 90% of the information processed by the human brain is visual. This means your brand projects the professionalism and quality of your treatment center long before anyone reads about the qualifications of your staff or the quality of your programs.
2. A well-executed brand can deliver reassurance to clients and build a sense of trust.
Individuals searching for addiction treatment are often in crisis. Before embarking on a journey toward recovery, they must first trust in your organization. They need reassurance that your staff can and will support them during the vulnerable process of surrendering to sobriety.
Gabe notes that “the biggest upgrade any treatment center can aim for is to humanize their brand… you’re not just this certification or that specialty — you’re people helping people.” A well-designed brand can communicate the human aspect of your treatment center and build a sense of trust.
3. Your brand can be an internal tool to unite your employees and guide decisions for organizational health.
With solid and consistent branding, it’s obvious when something is out of company context. Branding is the line that’s drawn around your organization’s identity; it allows everyone to operate and make decisions based on a unified understanding of company values.
Gabe explains that when a company is unified around a brand, it increases the speed at which an organization can operate and make decisions. “We’re not reinventing the wheel every time we want to present a piece of material. The brand is a flag in the sand that says ‘this is the standard.’” Unifying a company in that way– where everyone speaks the same language — can enhance efficiency and allow everyone to operate from the same heart.