Consistent and thoughtful branding across all touchpoints of a company creates credibility and familiarity among its audience. Strong branding (content, aesthetics, function, mission) shows that you are invested in the professionalism of your trial site and helps encourage that same investment back from your audience. Their comfort with your site will allow them to view their participation in your research as more of a partnership rather than a cold, transactional encounter. Thus the formation of trust is essential in creating brand loyalty.

Do your audience homework

To begin creating your branding strategy, you first need to go back to the fundamentals – your audience. Who is your target audience? What are their specific needs and wants? How can you best reach them based on their preferences? Once you fully understand the behavior and lifestyle of your target patients, then to build a strategy to directly appeal to them. 

You then need to analyze your trial site for strengths that will appeal to your audience. What makes you unique and sets you apart from other trials conducting similar research? Do you offer one of the most cutting edge procedures or drugs? Are your doctors recognized for being at the top of their field? Is your staff known for exemplary service? Do you offer a convenient app or patient portal? Identify what makes you stand out and embrace it. Also, take a look at competing practices. What are their strengths and unique advantages? What are their weaknesses and areas of lacking? All of these details will come together to help shape your strategy.

Develop your identity

Once you have determined the audience that you want to attract, you need to make sure that your clinical trial site can be easily identifiable as part of the overall study brand. Name, logo, color scheme and all pertinent information need to be the same across the board. Social media, website, business cards, print ads – every medium should represent your trial in a cohesive and unified manner.

Also consider adding a brief, one-sentence tagline to your materials that really drives home what your site values. This is the message that you put out into the world and want to be associated with. Is the patient experience your top priority? Are you welcoming of patients from all economic backgrounds?  You want your messaging to showcase authenticity and consistency, knowledge of your audience, expertise on the problem you want to solve, and connection with your community. Let your values define your brand and attract the perfect patients for your practice. 

Put it into action

Now that you have the research and preparation ready to go, it’s time to put them into practice. Allow your audit and branding to not only boost your marketing plan but to guide it. Keep your branding visuals consistent across all channels (both on and offline). Use what you learned about your audience to target your content and message to the people most likely to be receptive. Are you branding yourself as the best patient experience for your area and study focus? Say it loud and proud! Furthermore, consistency doesn’t stop with your visuals. Every employee in your practice needs to be on board with your mission and working to uphold your core values. Consider creating an employee handbook that provides guidelines including what you expect in terms of patient interaction and engagement and how the brand is portrayed on social media. Staying true to the message you put out solidifies your credibility and builds trust with your patients.

For your clinical trial site, being trustworthy and credible to your audience is crucial. That’s why professional and consistent branding is so important. Building a strong authentic brand for your study site draws people in, keeps patients happy, ensures that employees remain engaged, and contributes to a great overall experience for everyone involved. 

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