Bragging Rights: How Personal Branding Benefits Doctors

personal branding advertisement on newspaper “Almost every culture has its own metaphor about what happens to people who are judged by their peers to be overreaching,” according to an article in the Harvard Business Review. “In Australia, it’s tall poppies—the tallest one gets its head whacked off. In Japan, the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”

There’s a delicate balancing act among physicians and surgeons in the United States when it comes to blowing their own horn. It seems there’s a line between “assertive self-confidence” and excessive “bragging rights.”

On one hand, doctors want their marketing and advertising messages to be unique, and to standout among the competition. At the same time, they work to avoid offending healthcare colleagues with a message that’s perceived as claiming professional superiority.

Driven by the forces of reform, healthcare has changed dramatically in the past few years. Competition is increasingly intense, and medical providers have been devising carefully crafted organizational as well as personal branding messages.

In particular, “personal branding is seen as a positive way to differentiate oneself in the American workplace,” per the Harvard Business Review article.

And as we’ve written about previously: “Much like a professional reputation, the definition and purpose of branding is the process of creating a unique name and image. More than ever before, healthcare branding establishes a clear and memorable differentiation.”

Personal branding for individual doctors is a useful and effective extension of the differentiating brand message of a medical practice or organization. It is a means to control and direct what is unique and relevant about who you are, and thus guide how the audience perceives your professional reputation.

In addition, personal branding can…

  • Spotlight distinctive strengths and capabilities;
  • Establish credentials and credibility;
  • Inspire champions and influencers;
  • Extend visibility and public awareness;
  • Increase patient demand and allegiance;
  • Engender stronger patient compliance;
  • Increase professional referral confidence and frequency; and
  • Enhance personal and professional satisfaction.

For more additional articles in this series about branding services and the value of personal branding for doctors, see:

 Creating a Powerful, Differentiating Brand

Brand v. Bland: The Top Seven Reasons Healthcare Branding Means Business

When We Say “Your Brand,” You Should Be Thinking “Professional Reputation”

Stewart Gandolf, MBA


Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer & Creative Director at Healthcare Success
Over the years Stewart has personally marketed and consulted for over 1,457 healthcare clients, ranging from private practices to multi-billion dollar corporations. Additionally, he has marketed a variety of America’s leading companies, including Citicorp, J. Walter Thompson, Grubb & Ellis, Bally Total Fitness, Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan. Stewart co-founded our company, and today acts as Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director. He is also a frequent author and speaker on the topic of healthcare marketing. His personal accomplishments are supported by a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.



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