Once You Are in the Forest...

There used to a store in my town called London's. It had a bold font for the logo, with a kind of British flag motif behind it. I knew where it was (near my favorite lunch place) but not what they sold. Their slogan was: Love London's! They did a short radio ad that included their name and location...but not what they sold! You know what finally got me in to the store? Their going-out-of-business sale. Turns out, it was a British soap, lotion and tea shop. 

To me, this illustrates one of the most common failures of marketing -- forgetting that while you are extremely excited and proud of your business, other people don't know what you do. Sometimes when you are so deep in the forest, you think that what you do is self-explanatory, or that you've already explained it. But potential new customers are always passing by at different times. Your name, logo, slogan and location should be engaging, but not mysterious (unless that is your specific strategy!)

One of the ways that I'm able to provide value to my clients is to point out that patients don't understand medical jargon, or a standard process, or even how to get around the campus of the medical center. Once you are inside, you forget that the quirky elevator buttons are confusing. (Floor 00 or Floor 0?) You might not realize that the visitors don't know to check in at the lab first, or that they need to give the valet their keys. This is the added value of using outside consultants -- they can tell you what people coming through the forest will need to know! 

It's also helpful to go somewhere else and try to navigate it yourself -- take a trip to a hospital in a different city and see how you fare, or go see a doctor in a different health system.  Get out of the forest!