Article Date: 6/1/2007

Make a Change for the Better
View from the top

GARY GERBER, O.D.

Make a Change for the Better

Keeping your practice's image up-to-date shows you're in touch.

Most things in life go through continual change. Seasons, music, clothing and car styles, popular colors and just about anything else that has a visual or sensory image. Take a look on the Coca Cola or Campbell's Soup Companies' Web sites, and you'll see how the look and feel of the companies' logos and advertising have changed through several generations. While the core products — soda and soup, respectively — contain essentially the same ingredients as the last 100 years, the products' packaging have changed.

Big picture

Give the image your office projects the same considerations as these well-known brands. For example, while you may be in a third-generation family practice that has always prided itself on personalized care, your office can still reflect this legacy, but with a 2007 appeal.

Consider how some Las Vegas hotels accomplish this. The Venetian's theme, for example, is based on old-world Venice. Yet, in a competitive hotel environment in the year 2007, it's wired for Wi-Fi Internet. And, it has a color scheme and logo that melds old-city charm with a contemporary look.

You should constantly re-examine and update your practice's logo and color scheme to send the important message to patients that you're current and up-to-date. Paneling and shag carpeting, even if clean and in good shape, won't work in most markets. Mauve was cool ten years ago, but might not be a good fit today. But, don't worry. Drastic changes aren't necessary, and a good graphic designer can easily walk you through this transformational process.

Paneling and shag carpet won't work.

Paneling and shag carpet won't work.

The little things

The way your staff is dressed should also reflect any changes in your company's image. If over the last five years you've morphed your practice from one with an optical retail emphasis to one of medical eyecare, make sure this is readily apparent in your staff attire. So, rather than have dispensers wear business attire, a more medical look might work for this practice.

The same goes for fixtures, furnishings and technology. If you're trying to position yourself as the ultimate cutting edge, high-technology practice, replace your dog-eared charts with an electronic medical record keeping (EMR) system.

Close to home

In the spirit of practicing what I preach, our own company, The Power Practice, has recently gone through an image update. We changed our Web site (www.pow erpractice.com), and logo and, if you look at the top left of this column, you'll notice a new photo of myself which reflects how I've personally changed my role in my company. When our company formed, there were two of us. Now we employ 11. With this added support, I'm now able to actively pursue one of my other passions: magic. If you've been to one of my presentations lately, you've seen — and hopefully enjoyed — some magical illusions. This change is reflected in my photo. The growth in our company is also apparent in the colors and graphics on our Web site. But, just like Campbell's soup, our core service — helping doctors make more money — is the same.

Examine your own practices' timeline and history, and determine whether your prospective patients see a true and timely reflection of your current core company benefits, belief system and services. If you started your practice and didn't offer vision therapy, but do now, make sure this is apparent. Be introspective and honest. If the image on the outside of the box doesn't fit what's inside, change it. OM


DR. GERBER IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE POWER PRACTICE, A COMPANY SPECIALIZING IN MAKING OPTOMETRISTS MORE PROFITABLE. LEARN MORE AT WWW.POWERPRACTICE.COM OR CALL DR. GERBER AT (800) 867-9303.



Optometric Management, Issue: June 2007