A Clinical Marketing Lesson from Chanel

Last week, I was close to running out of foundation and knew there was no way I’d be able to get to Nordstrom’s before it was gone. As an avid online shopper, I have no idea why I insist on going to a department store to buy my makeup, but it’s just something I’ve always done. I Googled the exact color and name of my foundation (which is made by Chanel) to see which online stores might be offering the best deals. After a 30-second turbo search I gave up trying to read through all the fine print and just placed an order on Chanel’s main website. At checkout, a surprise gift was offered — what a nice touch! “Which of our samples would you like to try?” I placed the order and then promptly forgot all about my purchase. That is, until two days later when a chic-looking white box appeared at my doorstep bearing the iconic Chanel logo. They had upgraded my ground shipping at no extra charge. Things just got better from there. Inside the white box was another box — the kind that might contain a $1500 pair of sunglasses or a $10,000 watch. For an instant I thought someone had sent me a gift — surely Chanel wouldn’t go to this much trouble for a $60 foundation?

Oh yes, they would.

Inside the box, my foundation was beautifully gift-wrapped. A black silk-like drawstring purse held my three complimentary samples (they certainly weren’t tossed into the box as an afterthought). And my receipt was neatly and tastefully tucked inside a black cardstock envelope, carefully placed underneath the gift box.

Chanel had indeed succeeded at creating an extraordinary experience for me, the client. Even for something as insignificant as a purchase of foundation. And that’s what makes them Chanel — one of the most premier and highly sought-after luxury brands in the world.

Do you consider your practice a “luxury” brand? If you want to command higher prices and attract the most affluent patients in your practice, then creating an extraordinary experience for your patients is critical.

While I see many aesthetic physicians who have worked hard to deliver their patients a spa-like experience (rather than a medical clinic-type experience), nowadays that’s expected. Having luxurious chairs for patients to relax in, playing soothing music and offering a selection of flavored teas and snacks is the experience your patients get when they pay for a $30 manicure at the local nail bar. When patients “experience” your practice they need to be wowed — particularly because you’re asking them to invest in a $7000 lipo procedure or a $20,000 facelift. These are premium services. And, just like Chanel, you need to deliver the same extraordinary experience to the patient who invests in a $150 oxygen facial at your medical spa. You just never know when that $150 patient will decide they’re ready for a breast augmentation or other surgical procedure. The point is that if, like Chanel, you can deliver an extraordinary experience at all price points in your practice, your patients will never go anywhere else — no matter how enticing your competitors’ clinical marketing may be.