It’s an ironic fact that your medical brand’s most valuable asset is often the one given the least attention—its name.
Maybe because people aren’t aware of the widening costs of a poorly named brand, or the streamlining effects of a well-named one.
“Care Health Center, Care For health Clinic, Healthy Center Clinic, Valley Health, Southpark Dental, EastPark Dental, Midtown Chiropractic, and Saint Francis Pediatric”
Why are there so many sound-alike names?
The short answer is simple: Most good names are taken. Plus, it’s always easier for practice owners to copy what’s already out there than using their genuine creative formulation.
A disregard for the practice name will submerge your brand into a sea of lookalikes and incur future bottlenecks for your medical business.
In contrast, a great name will accelerate the success of your brand and provide patients with razor-sharp clarity about what you do and why your medical brand is different.
My promise to you is that, by the end of this article, I’ll provide you with the key elements that make for a timeless brand name and a step-by-step process to help you craft a buzzworthy name. I will also share with you examples to inspire your creativity.
Topics I will covers are:
- Benefits of a great medical business name
- How NOT to name your practice
- The 7 pillars that make up a great name
- How to name your medical business (step-by-step process)
- Medical Brand Names Examples
- The secret to a fruitful practice name
Let’s dive in.
Can a name do all that?
If you’re about to open a new medical business, be it a practice, clinic, hospital, or even if you’re planning on rebranding your organization, you must know the unmatched perks of a great brand name.
The right name can be a brand’s most valuable property, driving differentiation and accelerating acceptance. The wrong name can cause thousands, even millions, of workarounds and lost revenue over the long-term.
An example of a great name is Carl Zeiss, the maker of optical lenses. Does Zeiss make great lenses? Who knows? But the name makes the lenses “sound” great. The word “Zeiss” has hints of “glass” and “precise,” and evokes thoughts of German technological superiority
― Marty Neumeier
Another good example is Smuckers, The jam manufacturer company. The name benefits strongly from onomatopoeia. “Smuckers” sounds like smacking lips, a preverbal testament to a yummy jam. The name is also unique, short, spellable, pronounceable, likable, portable, and legally-defensible.
As we can see, a great name radically increases the memorability of your medical business in the minds of patients. It can provide a vivid picture of everything you stand for and the values you hold.
How NOT to name your medical brand
Before we get to name your brand, let’s explore some pitfalls so you can dodge the bullet.
Avoid location-based names
As of 2021, every city almost always has a medical practice named after it. You’ve seen it, SouthPark Care, Chicago Dental, NYC medical Center, London Audiology, and Sydney Chiropractic. While the logic behind this sort of naming is understandable, it’s insufficient in today’s age. If you head over google maps and type a city + category of medical business, you’re guaranteed to find at least 2 identical practice names.
Not only that, but these names are low on imagery and hard to distinguish from the endless City+Category names. You want your patient to associate your practice with a feeling, experience, or a differentiator. What you don’t want is making them confused, distracted, or forget you altogether.
Is your medical business’s name predictable?
Let me guess the name of dental practices within a fifty-mile radius of where you live. Smile Dental? Tooth Dental Clinic? Aesthetic Dental Care? You get my point. These names are so much alike you wonder why people choose business names to create distinction.
In healthcare, names are particularly predictable and same sounding. But, don’t we want to be straightforward and predictable so patients know what we do? Instead of being clever and unclear? Well, Not necessarily.
The founders of Yubop were turned down when they first proposed the name. As one investor said, “It just doesn’t sound like a serious company.” Yet, they decided to go forward with it.
5 years later, Yubop is a household word. The tagline “Who bop?” has become a viral catchphrase in marketing, with customers using it in their everyday talk.
And word of mouth is now so strong that the company’s advertising budget is significantly lower than average, while profit margins are higher.
The 7 pillars of a great medical brand name
let’s dive right into the 7 pillars of a great medical brand name.
1) Distinctiveness: Is your name different enough?
A great name should be differentiated from names in its class. Your brand name must hold unique characteristics that no other names can easily copy. Your practice name should not be predictable or sound like a derivative of other names.
2) Brevity: The shorter the better
Is it short enough for people to remember it? If it’s a multi-word name, it runs the risk of being forgotten or shortened to non-comprehensible letters. Aim for it to be as brief as it can reasonably be.
3) Appropriateness: Does it fit well?
Does it fit well with the purpose of your medical business? Is it reflecting what you do? or hint at it? A good name should convey a message about the practice and its differentiator. If it works just as well for any other business, it isn’t the one.
4) Easy Spelling And Pronunciation
Can people easily spell it after hearing it spoken? Is it just as easy to pronounce after reading it? Spelling the name should not turn into a spelling bee or make people feel ignorant. Keep it simple and sweet.
5) Likability: Will people enjoy it?
Will people enjoy using it? Names that have a “mouth feel” or an “earworm” sounding pronunciation will have advantages over other names that don’t.
6) Extendibility: how flexible is it?
Does the name hint at an imagery depiction? Can you visualize it as a physical object? Is it easily used in other contexts and can it be juggled around? If your name isn’t easy to use for wordplay, keep looking.
7) Protectability: how safe is it to use?
Can your name be easily defensible? How about its URL availability? Can you trademark it? A Good name is easy to protect and will be safer to use in the long term.
How to name your medical business: Step-by-step process
Now we know what makes for a great name, let’s go into the process of crafting one.
Stage 0: Prep ⏰ [15-25 minute]
In this stage, we get a summary about your medical brand, what it stands for, what it does, and how it benefits your patients. The goal here is to gain as much background and information about your brand so that we derive the name from it.
You can download this worksheet to start gathering some insights about your brand.
Just like people, your brand’s personality draws some to it and repels others. defining it in human terms makes it easier to identify the ideal patient that will be attracted to it.
Using the next sheet and try to decide on a brand personality for your business. Is your brand playful? Authoritative? Sympathetic? Or is it serious and to the point? These personalities will help us pick a name that suits your brand and its attributes.
Stage 1: Brainstorming a Word Bank ⏰ [15-25 minute]
Now we have all the needed prep, let’s create a word bank or a tree of words that are related to your brand. The goal of this exercise is to collect as much vocabulary that’s associated with the personality and core of your brand. These words will drum up ideas and inspirations for you to come up with a name that mirrors the characteristics of your practice.
Use this mind-map template to create your word bank.
Stage 2: Naming Process ⏰ [20-45 minute]
After you’ve got your word bank, it’s time to start generating names. Use the next sheet to categorize the names you’ve come up with. Make sure to use your word bank for inspiration and wordplay.
Brainstorm as many names as you can and put them in their respective column. If you get stuck, return to your word bank to get some ideas.
Stage 3: Name Evaluation ⏰ [10-15 minute]
Now that you’ve come up with enough names, let’s evaluate each one and pick our winner.
Using the name evaluation sheet, pick your top 5 names and start ranking them based on the 7 criteria we discussed before (Distinctiveness, Brevity, Appropriateness, Spelling and pronunciation, Likeability, extendability, and protectability). In addition to that, you’ll see some important questions about the name so you can evaluate each one.
Use a ranking score of 1 or 0 (yes or no). Try also giving this to friends/family for more insights. Make sure that the name you pick ticks all of the important attributes of a great name.
After you finish, you’ll have a total score for each name. The highest scored name wins.
Medical brand name examples
If you google clinic names or medical business names, you’ll find 100+ randomly generated and half-assed brand names that might give you a visceral response of disgust. For this reason, I decided to share with you a couple of medical brand names I’ve crafted with my clients. Some are real medical businesses and others are prototypes.
Dental Clinic Names
Physical therapy clinic names
Medical Clinic Names
Pediatric clinic names
Chiropractic clinic names
Veterinary clinic names
Mental health clinic names
The secret to an unforgettable medical business name
A resilient brand name can catapult your medical practice to go the distance —literally and figuratively. It’s your most valuable asset and what will stick in the roofs of patient’s minds. A great name will accelerate the rate at which your medical business grows and make it easier for you to scale in the long run.
But the name you choose is as good as the brand behind it. Building a future proof brand to back up the name will further solidify your practice and help people connect with it on a deeper level. A level where your brand will have an uncanny ability to attract patients and loyal advocates.
If you’re looking to name your brand or if you are in the process of a rebrand, drop me a message here. I’d love to help you craft a creative name that suits your business.