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    Establish brand to boost aesthetic practice progress

    Technology startups offer aesthetic specialists entrepreneurial lessons

    Los Angeles — Although they sell microchips rather than mommy makeovers, the technology startups of Silicon Valley provide lessons for dermatologists and other core aesthetic specialists, according to an expert.

    As a Silicon Valley resident and serial startup company investor, Scott W. Mosser, M.D., says he pays attention to startup technology companies’ business plans and progress — or lack thereof. As a plastic surgeon based in San Francisco, he adds, he has gleaned the following lessons for core aesthetic specialists:

    1. Know your brand. Physicians often claim to know what branding is, he says, “But they don’t properly respect the extreme value that a brand has.” Dr. Mosser defines a brand as the additional value an entity possesses purely because of the way people perceive it. Although Coca-Cola may cost twice as much as off-brand competitors, he explains, people gladly pay the premium because “Coca-Cola has successfully communicated brand value to us, and we receive genuine pleasure from experiencing the brand that we don’t experience from other brands. A brand is really a public mindset.”

    Creating such value requires thoroughly knowing what brand one wants to create, and meticulously crafting a customer experience that is extremely consistent with that brand, he says. The process begins with creating a mission statement.

    “Be honest with yourself, because it’s much easier to create a brand that’s genuinely consistent with who you are and the way you view the world. Think of how you want the world to see you — your very best traits — and how to communicate that through a patient experience,” Dr. Mosser says.

    To that end, “Write down nouns, adjectives, verbs and even short phrases that very concisely describe different elements of your brand.” Examples include words such as authority, safety and compassion, he says.

    “Once you have this list of approximately 20 core concepts, string them together in the form of a mission statement,” using as many of the terms as possible. This statement should describe who you are, why you do what you do and how you want the world to see you, he adds.

    Then, Dr. Mosser says, building a brand requires making every business-related decision — from your choice of logos to lab coats — consistent with the mission statement.

    “As long as you use that mission statement to guide all process decisions regarding the patient experience, over a period of years your brand will essentially build itself based on those concepts,” he says. Conversely, one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is allowing their brand to create itself through sheer happenstance, Dr. Mosser notes.


    John Jesitus
    John Jesitus is a medical writer based in Westminster, CO.


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