1. Colours - Choose one to three colours that you will be using throughout your whole practice. These need to be in the same shade and used in consistent ways so that others will soon see them and recognize that it is your business that is involved. All marketing materials should have the colours. You might also want to incorporate the colours on your website or blog, office decor and perhaps even in your clothing.
2. Symbols or logos - Once you have designed or hired someone to create a logo for your business, use it on all items that represent your business. It should be on the letterhead, websites, mailing labels, brochures and products that you provide for others.
3. Font - Choose the size, style and colour of the font that you will use consistently for different printed words. For example, I tend to use a burgundy script for my name in the signature and a different font for the credentials listed below that.
4. Photo - My physician recently told me that he thought the best thing about my brochure was that I had my picture on the front. He explained that this practice helped the clients who didn't know me to have an instant connection with a friendly face. I tend to use the same photo on everything so that people will be able to quickly realize that the item they have in their hand is from my office.
5. Unique items - Some people choose to wear or carry or drive something that will brand them. Patch Adams wears brightly-coloured and unusual clothing. Colonel Saunders dressed as a southern gentleman. Shirley Temple wore her hair in ringlets. These all become unique ways of branding themselves.
I live on the prairies where ranchers use a hot branding iron with a specific shape to mark their cattle. This is a way for everyone to easily identify which cows belong to each of the ranchers in the area. The idea of branding is the same for business. When you use colours, symbols or logos, specific fonts, your photo and unique items over and over again, others will soon be able to recognize your business without explanation.