Wearing Scrubs Outside Of The Clinic? A Marketer’s Perspective

It’s a debate almost as old as scrubs themselves: should scrubs be worn outside of the clinic? My take: perception is everything so, hell no!

Marketing is essentially the art of persuasion. It is the art of influencing the perceptions of others so that they buy our product, recommend our practice, take the steps we want them to in order to achieve our end goal. You’re persuading your customers that your product is the best, your cars are cooler, or in the case of medical practices (regardless of specialty) you’re attempting to persuade patients that you are professional physicians with high standards and that you deserve a reputation befitting the high quality of patient care you deliver.

Seriously, it doesn’t matter if not changing into your civilian clothing is more efficient when you want to run out and grab that well-deserved bite to eat during a busy clinic schedule. It doesn’t matter if some studies claim that wearing scrubs outside the clinic is not any less hygienic. What really matters is the perception that patients have, and that perception is that clothes worn in the clinic should be clinical, i.e. clean.

I have spent years working directly with medical practices. I know the reality behind the scenes, yet even I cringe a little when I see staff in scrubs huddled in a booth across from me at the Mexican restaurant, getting off public transit, or trudging out of the gas station with their much-needed energy drinks.

If I cringe regardless of my “inside knowledge,” imagine what less-informed patients are thinking and what that is doing to your overall reputation as a practice.

While I’m at it, this same advice applies to beauty salons and any other business where staff wears scrubs. The logo on your scrubs isn’t free advertising: it’s letting those who perceive clean scrubs as part of their care or treatment know exactly where not to go.

I’ll end where I started: when it comes to selling, perception is everything.

Emotion Versus Marketing

I’m an emotional being. Very much so. If I wasn’t life would be so much easier.

Today I wrote a post that was entirely based on what I thought was a logical / marketing approach to breaking out of a stereotype.

Unfortunately my post was met by some with very emotional responses. Some were so emotional that it took a reply comment before they revisited my post to see what I actually wrote rather than what they first perceived I wrote ( and I thank them for re-visiting).

But why should a post about what is essentially a marketing question be met with such open hostility?

is it because of the demographic involved? Or is it something more?

Thoughts are appreciated, even from those who tell me I wasn’t being logical at all 🙂

Breaking – Study Shows That People Are Snobs!

I never would have thought it to be true, but Sara sent me a link tonight, where a study has concluded that slapping on a higher price makes wine taste better (PDF).

A $90 wine was provided marked with its real price and again marked $10, while another was presented at its real price of $5 and also marked $45.

The testers’ brains showed more pleasure at the higher price than the lower one, even for the same wine, Rangel reports in this week’s online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

I am a wine drinker and I would like to think that I’m a rather selective one and that I  never let the price worry me. I’m more about the wine itself. It’s body, flavor and aroma.

If a cheap bottle tastes good, I like it. If it’s crap and expensive, I like to think I’d call it as it is.

Slapping a high price tag on a crap cheap wine should not make me think it’s nice. Right?

The funny thing about this is that it’s not just wine that sees this “price to pleasure” response.

I see it every day in the technology world.

It’s full of pompous idiots who only purchase the most expensive items because they believe that expense equates to  quality. Windows Vista Ultimate anybody?

Or how about Mac users? I’m not bashing Mac, but I am certain that among the legion vast of Mac users there are very many presumptuous gits who bought Mac because it was the most expensive.

I have friends who when choosing upgrades for their system cannot be convinced that a higher price tag does not mean a better product and end up forking out extortionate amounts of money for poor, or at least not best of breed equipment.

You’ll find examples of this in every situation where you have multiple choice for multiple price.

It’s unfortunate but some of us are just snobs!

Thankfully, those of us that aren’t will have more money to spend on the better things in life. 🙂