How do you name your healthcare clinic?
Does your clinic name matter?
Absolutely! Your clinic’s name is as important as your own. It’s how your patients refer to your clinic, how they search for you online, and what they think of when they need your treatment.
Your clinic’s name is also your brand and your brand needs to be able to differentiate you from the competition. Making a memorable brand includes more than just a logo. It also includes your mission, vision, brand promises, values, and more which you can learn about here.
In our most recent study (conducted in 2021), we reviewed 1,499 Canadian chiropractic and physiotherapy clinics to determine what commonly makes up their names. Our research led us to ask (and answer) the following questions:
What is the most commonly used word in clinic names?
As expected, “chiropractic” was the most widely used word in clinic names. If your clinic name has “chiropractic” in it, then you are like 53% (or 795) of all the clinics that we reviewed. Whereas “physiotherapy” only consists of 14% (or 216) of the 1,499 clinics that we reviewed. In fact, the second most repeated word is “centre” which showed up 295 times, thus making up 20% of the total clinic names.
Below is a table that shows the frequency of the top 10 most commonly used singular words in clinic names. As you can see, there is a dramatic difference between the use of “chiropractic” and the use of the 9 other subsequent words.
Should you include a service in your clinic’s name?
The short answer is no.
This is because most clinics are multidisciplinary, integrated or collaborative. Having a service in your name limits you; especially if you decide that you want to grow and expand your services in the future.
In our experience, clinics with services in their names find it harder to promote other disciplines. This may be because the clinic looks like an expert in one modality as opposed to the others.
Should you have “Health and Wellness” in your clinic’s name?
Using ‘Health and Wellness’ in a brand name is common for chiropractic and physiotherapy clinics. Out of the 1,499 clinics that we reviewed, we discovered that only 29 clinics (or 1.9% of clinics) use “Health and Wellness” in their name. Singularly, “health“ is used by 250 clinics (or 16.6% of clinics) and “wellness” is used by 223 (or 14.8% of clinics).
Although, “Health and Wellness” is not overly used, it is a tautology; this means that you are repeating the same thing, but using two different words. For example, “frozen ice” is also a tautology because both words have the same meaning. In this case, there is no need to use the word ‘frozen”. “Health and Wellness” may have a nice ring to it, but there is no need for both words.
Consider dropping one of these words from your clinic’s name. This will help shorten your clinic’s name which makes it easier for patients to remember and to search on Google. As Forbes magazine reminds us, “a brand name should be short and easy to say” (Dooley, 2021).
We also reviewed the top 10 most used phrases within these 1,499 clinics. As seen in the table below, “Chiropractic and Wellness” is the most used phrase. Overall, the use of these top 10 phrases make up 20.6% of the 1,499 clinic names.
Should your clinic’s name have your personal name in it?
This depends on what your strategy is. Is your strategy to create a personal brand? This would include speaking at engagements, writing books, selling courses, and establishing yourself as a thought leader. If so, then using your name as your brand is a useful strategy. However, if you are looking to sell your clinic in the future, then having “Dr. Bob” in your brand name is going to make it difficult to sell your clinic to someone else. This is because the new owner doesn’t want patients tied to the departing doctor or that doctor’s methods. Instead, they want patients that are dedicated to the clinic and that clinic’s brand. Additionally, the new owner would have to rebrand the clinic which would be a large cost and undertaking on top of having just purchased the clinic. Furthermore, if there were any issues or damages to the reputation of the doctor whom the clinic is named after, then the entire reputation of the clinic would be impacted no matter the change of ownership.
In regards to recruitment, clinics that are named after a doctor may also find it difficult to recruit practitioners because practitioners may want to develop their own personal brand.
In our findings we discovered that of the 1,499 clinics that we looked at, 53 (or 3.5% of clinics) use “Dr.” in their names.
What are the most popular words to use in a clinic’s name?
Within the 1,499 clinic names that we reviewed, we discovered that the 15 words that are used the most are:
What are the characteristics of a high quality brand name?
Here are some iconic brand names: Lululemon. Nike. Apple. Coca Cola. Google. Visa. eBay. Starbucks. Amazon. Notice they have some characteristics in common? They are short, memorable, easy to pronounce, inspire positive emotions, and they are distinctive in their industry. We also think they’re fun to say. These brand names may not be descriptive of their products or services on their own, however, the brand and experience imbues them with a meaning that is unique to them.
Names like these are hard to come up with, but the time spent to create these is worth it because names like these stand out. This will take some time to brainstorm and figure out, but consider what we said at the beginning of this article: Brand names are like a person’s name. You wouldn’t call your friend ‘Dr. Bob Jones of Dr. Bob’s Health and Wellness Clinic’. You would simply call him Bob.
Due to this we encourage you to consider showcasing your clinic’s services and team in ways other than your brand’s name. You can do this in your marketing and communications via your website, brand visuals, social media, signage, brochures, and patient experience. Consider using media channels such as Facebook and Instagram, Google Ads, email campaigns, and direct mail to showcase your services and team.
Overall, if you are coming up with a name for your clinic, we recommend that you choose a clinic name that is short, memorable, and different from the clinic names listed above. This will help you build brand recall with patients and stand out from the competition. If you do come up with a name that is abstract, we recommend researching the possible meanings in other languages, because what sounds new to you may have a whole other meaning to someone else.
What if you already have a clinic name but it has the above characteristics?
The above research is by no means an indicator of your clinic’s performance or a fault in your branding. It is purely educational. Therefore, we recommend that you do not rebrand just because your clinic’s name contains some of the aforementioned characteristics.
If you are opening up a clinic, wanting to modernize, thinking of re-branding, or wanting to simplify your clinic’s name, then we recommend that you consider the above research to help you choose a unique name.
However, if you’re an established clinic then we don’t recommend changing your name because that will impact your brand recognition, brand recall, Google SEO ranking, and it can confuse your current patients. What’s great about your clinic’s name is that your patients already know you and remember you by that, so there is no need to change it!
If you have any questions about choosing a clinic name, we’d be happy to offer guidance and branding advice. Feel free to contact us to start the conversation.
Dooley, R. (2021). How long should a brand name be? Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerdooley/2021/03/23/how-long-should-a-brand-name-be/?sh=7f0db3b4d9c1
Naming: what makes a brand name great. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://frankefiorella.com/identitywise/naming-what-makes-a-brand-name-great/