We were approached by the founder of Queensland Physiotherapy, Ian Alberts, to design the business from scratch. At the time Ian was employed by another practice, and had demonstrated a strong track record of acquiring and retaining patients over many years. He had developed a strong reputation for success in the demanding field of sports injury management, and was renowned for his willingness to use his hands rather than relying primarily on machines.

Ian’s clinical success combined with his charisma and sense of humour had allowed him to develop a loyal following, and he felt the time was right to ‘stretch his wings’ and open his own practice.

Ian had chosen Albany Creek as the place to open his practice. As a resident of the area, he had substantial knowledge of the local market and connections to several influential community organisations. He believed Albany Creek was underserviced by existing practices, particularly the western growth corridor where he lived.

There were two strong incumbents in the market, although both of them were located on the other side of the suburb. Ian knew he would have to present a compelling, professional alternative in order to solidify his place in the area.

Our task

Our task was to design a physiotherapy practice that would be capable of competing on equal footing with the incumbents. Ian’s main requirement was that the business would look immediately credible, well-established and professional.

Specifically, we were charged with delivering the following:

  • Brand identity including business name, logo and colour palette
  • A strategic marketing plan to guide the first two years of operation
  • A website capable of taking online bookings and integrated with their chosen practice management software.

MACK Marketing’s solution

We knew that the choice of business name would be critical in jump-starting market acceptance and patient numbers. Given the nature of the industry, we were intent on selecting a name that imbued a certain gravitas on the business. So we decided to buck the modern trend of amalgams, mimetics and neologisms and instead simply selected “Queensland Physiotherapy”.

The name Queensland Physiotherapy worked on several levels. For a start, it implied that the business was much more than a startup; that it was long-established and did not need to rely on clever, gimmicky naming for success. It also gave the impression that the business had multiple locations throughout the state. Overall the name created a sense of trustworthiness, which is exactly what was required.

The colour scheme was also an important consideration. The practice was to be located adjacent to one of the area’s two large shopping malls, and so needed to be eye-catching and distinctive. However, to avoid marring the dignified impression generated by the name, it could not be so eye-catching as to be garish. We chose a bold orange as the primary colour to denote warmth and energy – reflecting the personality of its owner. We contrasted the orange with a mid-grey to create a sense of balance and remain dignified.

To create our strategic marketing plan, we first took a deep dive into the Albany Creek local area. We analysed the incumbents in detail to understand their strengths and weaknesses and how Queensland Physiotherapy could best compete with them. We also profiled the demographics of the local inhabitants, categorising them by age, sex and family status and from there deriving a selection of key target markets.

From there, we defined a market position and Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for Queensland Physiotherapy that we believed would allow them to quickly and effectively penetrate the market. We developed services, pricing and suggested a range of pre- and post-opening marketing activities to help build awareness and attract patients.

Results

Queensland Physiotherapy opened to a flood of interest. It achieved its first year revenue target in less than 6 months, and its first full-year revenue was equivalent to its target for the second year of operation. Ian now has several other physiotherapists and allied health professionals employed in the business and is considering opportunities to open a second practice.

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