In a highly competitive market for attracting clinicians and medical facilities, your firm has to have something that makes it stand out. Differentiation or how you set your firm apart from the competition through specific elements is the #1 opportunity to increase your firm’s competitive advantage in the market. Despite this fact, most owners build brands that try to be everything to everybody and end up lumped together with the masses of “me-too” brands.
People don’t value brands that don’t do anything differently. It makes them believe that you are easily interchangeable. As a result, one of two things happens.
You compete solely on offering the best rates or lowering your prices
You fail to retain candidates or clients as long as you should
Either way, both of these scenarios ultimately lead to lower net profit for your firm.
On the other hand, the firms with strong differentiators are the firms that grow the fastest. They’re more targeted in their marketing efforts so they speak directly to their most relevant audiences. They instantly create superior value through their market-message match. And finally, they build relationships and instill loyalty because of their unique offering.
Differentiation is typically thought of as building a brand in a way that is different in some way from its competition or by offering unique features in the way you service candidates or clients.
However, brand differentiation can also be how you engage with your prospects from when a need for your services arises to after they’ve engaged with you in business.
Solve Unique Problems – Why do your prospects need you in the first place? Wouldn’t going above and beyond and doing what other firms in your market wouldn’t dare automatically make you unique?
Engagement Experience – How do you reach your ideal audiences? Building a superior digital presence or dominating a channel like tradeshows is one way, but building a unique user experience across your touchpoints can separate you from the pack.
World-Class Support – What happens after they’ve chosen to engage with your firm? Separating yourself from the crowd with prolonged guarantees or personalized services can differentiate you from run-of-the-mill firms.
Your business’s unique value proposition to the market is the center point of where you stand within the market and what your audience wants the most. Here’s a simple framework for branding your firm as unique within the marketplace:
One method for determining where you stand in a market is to conduct a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat) analysis of your business.
The first part of any SWOT analysis is to collect and analyze your organization from a standpoint of your market, the competition, and your business’s internal capabilities (employees, financial resources, etc.).
The second part of a SWOT analysis is to evaluate the data points to determine whether they constitute strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats for the organization.
After you’ve gained an understanding of your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, the next step is to find what your audience wants the most.
The first step to understanding your audience is to profile them based on who they are, what their challenges look like, and how they’d benefit from your service. This can be accomplished by surveying previous clients or candidates, reading your (or your competitor’s) testimonials and reviews, and reviewing your historical data and analytics.
The results of this research will help you to align your SWOT (defined in the section above) with the wants and needs of your prospects. This will also inform your selection of differentiators to make your expertise more appealing.
Standing out to candidates and facilities is tough. Given the host of competitors clawing to win and fill new contracts, combined with a labor shortage across the healthcare industry, the brands that make an impression are going to continue to eat the lunch of those that don’t!
I’m doing some sessions with my clients on how to differentiate your firm in the medical staffing market and they are seeing their numbers improve within the first week of our sessions.
I’m looking for 2 national firms that want to take an in-depth look at our strategy for differentiating their firm against other medical staffing firms so they can attract more candidates and medical facilities. Inquire here.