Brand building is an essential part of business development, but it’s important to remember that your brand is more than just your logo or tagline. Your brand should be the magnetic message that attracts the right audiences to your business. For Apple, that crowd is tech-savvy millennials with an eye for design. For Nike, it’s athletes who want to perform and look their best. But what about home care companies?
The home care industry is booming but many agencies still find themselves plagued by obstacles. How can they stand out in a crowded market? How to attract hard-working, emotionally intelligent, and reliable caregivers? The good news is that a well-built, meaningful brand can be a compelling magnet for attracting both caregivers and clients to your door. The following steps can help agencies create brand magnets and reap the rewards:
- Know Thyself. Good branding begins at the core of your business – your “why.” Your “why” is your company’s identity. It’s the reason the owners started the business, the passion they have for caring for others, the difference they want to make in the world, and the story they tell others about who they are and why their company does what it does. Your “why” should be ingrained into everything from your marketing content to your recruitment efforts, training materials, and overall company culture. If your “why” is “to make a living,” then expect to attract caregivers who just want to “take home a paycheck.” If your “why” is to improve the experience of aging, then expect to attract caregivers who want to make a difference in the lives of others. If you do not know or are unable to express your “why,” you’ll be hard pressed to explain to others why they should work with or for you.
- What Makes You Unique? In the home care industry, nothing creates a strong magnetic attraction like a unique brand message, one that can offer something, to both clients and caregivers, that others cannot. When considering your “why,” also think about what sets your agency apart from the crowd. What is your philosophy on career growth for caregivers? Do you offer your caregivers more training than other agencies or specialized training? Do you offer a percentage of tuition reimbursement? Do you provide caregivers with higher than average pay or unique benefits? Do you offer an easy-to-use, technology-based system for accepting assignments? If you were hoping to start a new career as a caregiver, what would make you want to work with your agency over the one down the street? You might be thinking to yourself, “I know this agency’s business is to care for people in their own homes, but do they care about their caregivers?”
- Don’t Skimp on Messaging and Design. While we’ve mentioned that a brand is in fact more than just a logo, a large part of an attractive brand is well-crafted messaging and attractive design. When people look at your brand, they need to see consistency. From your website to your flyers and brochures to your employees and offices – your brand messaging and design should be consistent, high quality, relevant to what you offer, and reflective of your brand values. Professional brand messaging and design exemplifies your company’s commitment to quality, and that’s attractive to both potential caregivers and clients. Many agencies spend time and money making sure their consumer-facing marketing materials are expertly created, but then don’t spend the same effort when it comes to their caregiver recruitment efforts and training materials.
- Appeal to Millennials. Workforce demographics are rapidly changing. Millennials now make up a significant part of the workforce, and they approach their careers in a very different way than past generations. One of the key personality traits common in millennials is the need to understand how their contributions are making a difference. In the aging care industry, this translates into treating each caregiver as the vital part of the team he or she truly is. Caregivers can have a dramatic effect on quality of life for older adults in a unique one-on-one setting. Make sure your brand emphasizes the impact your caregivers can make on the lives of others.
Be mindful of the importance of technology to this generation known as the “digital natives.” This means your branding should reflect your own tech-savvy through a professionally designed website and social media presence. Make sure your application process is digital and user-friendly, etc.
Attracting new clients and talented caregivers is a necessity for home care agencies today, and so much of that battle is fought through good branding. Creating a strong brand magnet takes time, thoughtful planning and strategy, and often the help of creative marketing professionals. To learn more about the importance of home care branding and marketing, visit corecubed.com.