The Massage Therapists Guide to Branding

As long as you have a logo, colour scheme and fancy business name, you have a brand, right? Nopey nope no. This is a huge misconception. Yes, your logo and colours are part of your brand, but they don’t make up the entirety of it. Just like our big green ogre friend, a brand has layers, it goes deeper than what meets the eye, so stick around for this one because, I’m going to tell you everything that makes up a darn great brand… and I promise I won’t even mention Apple…

Let’s take a step back for a minute here and think about all your favourite brands. Think about the fancy ones, the clever ones, the sporty ones, the “cha-ching” expensive ones and everything in between. The thing is, we are influenced by brand names and their messages whether we are aware of it or not. Take your phone for example. Why have you chosen that phone? Or those tights you wear to the gym? Or that watch that counts your steps?

“We are influenced by brand names and their messages whether we are aware of it or not.”

Why do we buy into brands?

You might say, it’s because they represent our beliefs, philosophy and values. They make our lives easier and efficient. They make us feel good about ourselves. They make us feel a part of a movement and community.

Either way, we are prepared to pay a premium for a brand that achieves one or all of the above. So how can you make your client feel those things? Like I said, a brand has layers so let’s peel them back (pun intended. Just couldn’t help myself!) One by one.

1. Your Why

Firstly, let’s go right back to the beginning. Why did you decide to get into massage? Why have you decided get into business? If you can answer this question with one hundred percent certainty, reason and gusto, then everything becomes easier to navigate. When we know our “why” it gives us purpose, the actions we take have meaning and setting goals that represent our “why” becomes the big driver of our success. So please, if you don’t know why your in this business doing what you do, then take a step back and figure out what makes you tick.

2. Your Mission and Values

What do you stand for?

What do you pride yourself in?

What is it that you want clients to feel and what do you want your business to represent?

Take Endota Spa for example. “As a haven where women can escape life’s everyday stresses we aim to relax you from the moment you step through the door. You will be greeted by our signature scent and offered a cup of calming herbal tea, before you are taken on a sensory journey with transformative results.”

Their mission is to transport women to a sanctuary. A place they can escape to and relax.

Another example here from Massage Envy’s.

“Purpose- We help people feel their best. Vision- Total body care at Massage Envy is an integral part of everyone’s well-being journey. Values – The set of guiding principles for every individual across the Massage Envy organisation. These aren’t just words on a piece of paper. These are the building blocks of our culture, because we’re grateful for the opportunity to help others. We approach our work with positivity and empathy for every member and guest that walks through the door and, just as importantly, for one another. And we strive to earn and to keep the trust of those we serve by delivering exceptional and memorable service.”

Your mission and values statement doesn’t need to be plastered all over your website, social media and marketing materials BUT, you must know what you represent and stand for. It will influence your marketing and your message just as shown in Endota’s message. There website doesn’t state that this is their mission statement but the message is clear.

So what is your mission?

3. Know Your Client - Niche Baby, Niche

Who do you serve and how do you help them? Knowing your niche is crucial in connecting with the right people. YOUR people.

For example, take these two statements.

Statement a. “I help to release muscular tension and make you feel great.”

Statement b. “I help to ease the aches and pains of your beautiful changing body as your baby grows.”

Now these are some pretty standard statements I might just add. BUT if you’re a pregnant woman it’s not rocket science to know which one you are going to pick.

Knowing your niche will influence the way you “speak” to potential clients. (And if you specialise in women’s health; specifically pregnant women then, EVERY pregnant woman is a potential client. So why put out generalised statements when you want to talk directly to her?!)

So get specific. Know your niche, and talk to them.

4. The Benefits You Offer

So you know your niche and how you can help them, yes? Well let’s reiterate the fact that your message needs to talk about the benefits of seeing you. Every time you write or speak about your service, I want you to think about the outcomes you provide. Nobody wants a list of facts. Massage will improve circulation. Massage helps to reduce muscular tension blah blah blah. If I’m pregnant, and my back aches, I don’t really care that massage improves circulation, I care about the pain in my back being gone!! So tell me how I will feel after a session with you, not a list of features from wikipedia.

5. What Is The Look and Feel Of Your Brand?

This is where a mood board can come in handy, which will help you with a logo design. What colours represent your brand? What feeling are you trying to create? Do you have a sports clinic that uses strong, bold colours like reds, yellows, blues or do you want a softer relaxed feel with pale pinks, blues and greens or maybe you want an earthy vibe with greens, purples and browns. Either way, producing a colour palette that represents the look and feel of your brand will help strengthen your brand and what it represents. A brand colour scheme will also help keep your marketing materials, social media, website and even clinic on brand! That is, using your colour theme in your clinic and everywhere else will help clients recognise these colours as you and your brand and even associate these colours specifically with you even when they aren’t in your clinic.

6. Your Voice

Wispy and wonderful. Strong and authoritative. Calm and relaxing. Fun and playful.

The way you speak, (verbally and on paper), also represents your brand. This is why knowing your niche, mission and values plays a HUGE role in your branding. It will help determine your voice. For example, if you are a sports based practitioner and your mission is to help runners prevent injury, then your tone of voice could be strong and authoritative because you are educating them on the principles of injury prevention. If you specialise in oncology massage then your tone of voice will be softer, empathetic and nurturing. Or maybe you work with women in providing a spa sanctuary, where your tone of voice will be relaxing and ethereal. Or maybe You are your brand and it’s your personality that draws people in. Again, once you know your niche, your mission and your message, your tone of voice will follow.

7. Identity, Audience, Promise

When we really break it down, your brand should have a clear Identity (points 1, 2, 5 and 6), Audience (point 3 and 4) and a Promise (points 2 and 4).

Your brand is more than a name. It’s how people perceive you, so understanding your values and what you stand for and represent will help clients connect and relate to you. It will make them proud to buy from you. It will make them feel understood and part of a community. 


You, Your Business, Your Brand

To reiterate my first point, You as a practitioner are a brand as well as a business are a brand, so making sure you have absolute clarity on the above points will make sure your brand stays consistent across all platforms.

Know your client.

What makes them tick.

What brings them joy and helps them achieve their goals. 

Deliver on your promise.

Every. Single. Time.

This is what I believe makes an outstanding brand. A brand that is trusted, recognised and loved.

Have anything to add? I would love to hear from you.

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