Building a Dietitian Brand: the Canadian experience
  • In 2016, Dietitians of Canada, with the input of members, the DC Board of Directors, and the support of a communication agency with expertise in branding health professions, started the development of a Dietitian Brand. The first step included member consultation to identify the views, opinions and perceptions of dietitians. This work fed into public and stakeholder research which was conducted in early 2017. The result has been the development of a clear, definitive brand positioning for the registered dietitian in Canada. It is intended to unify Canadians dietitians around what makes the profession distinctive and credible.

    The public and stakeholder research identified some key insights, which helped to shape the brand position.

    1. Canadians have a very positive view of dietitians, rating them well against all criteria, and most strongly for their focus on nutrition, knowledgeability, commitment to educating patients and providing valuable counsel
    2. While dietitians perform well against all trust-building attributes, an opportunity exists to bolster performance against the following attributes: being highly-regarded and widely admired, consistently delivering positive results, offering high quality services
    3. There was widespread awareness of dietitians, however there is an opportunity to build familiarity with dietitians among 3 in 10 Canadians.

    Based on the key insights and the opportunity to build familiarity with dietitians among Canadians, a volunteer brand leadership team, made up of a diverse group of dietitians met to inform the brand positioning statements for the dietitian profession in Canada. The group looked at answering three important questions: What do we stand for? How are we different? and Why do we matter?
     
    During a workshop, led by branding experts, the team engaged in a very animated and collaborative discussion and used different workshop activities to identify what it really means to be a dietitian in Canada and how we can differentiate ourselves from other nutrition practitioners. This work and the data collected in the dietitian consultation and public research informed the development of a Dietitian Core Story (watch it on our Facebook page here).
     
    This core story has been developed into positioning lines and tools that will help dietitians use a common brand language in order to strengthen and maintain our reputation. The core story video has been viewed over 17,000 times. Canadian dietitians have been using the language from the core story in their work, on their web sites, in the social media activities and in presentations they give- the momentum is starting.
     
    Further work is in progress to develop more brand communications including web content directed to the public, as well as a public education campaign designed to build familiarity with dietitians among Canadians. For more information about this exciting work please contact: Kate Comeau (kate.comeau@dietitians.ca) or Barb Ledermann (barb.ledermann@dietitians.ca).