Clinical trial branding: 5 reasons it’s important to your study

Your clinical trial is one of hundreds of thousands enrolling patients at any given time. You’ve got to ask yourself, what makes my study different? Why enrol in my study?

Patient recruitment is well-renowned for its potential challenges, so why limit yourself by not creating a clinical trial brand? Having a visual, recognisable brand identity for your clinical trial can help you to achieve more with your patient recruitment. How, you ask? Branding itself is all about human connection. It encompasses how you feel about an organisation or product, if you trust it, and what the message is.

In short, a brand makes an impression on people. Considering that many people feel worry or fear in relation to clinical trials, brands can help to encourage a new, warmer perception of clinical trials.

Visual branding isn’t just about having a fancy-looking logo. If you want more of an idea on what makes a brand, take a look at this. If you’ve already got a pretty good idea of what makes a brand, here’s a few good reasons why your clinical trial needs one, ASAP.


Reason 1: To be memorable

Have you ever tried to explain something that you couldn’t quite remember? Almost like humming a tune to try and remember the name of the song stuck in your head. Yeah, we’ve all been there. But patients shouldn’t have to do that to remember the name of the clinical trial they might be able to take part in.

So, your clinical trial needs a stand-out, memorable name so that potential participants can remember it. But it doesn’t stop there. A memorable name can help healthcare professionals (HCPs) to remember your study too. It’s well known that patients respond well to recommendations from HCPs, but that’s no use if the HCPs can’t remember the name of your study. In a 2005 survey of just under 2000 cancer patients, 73% of those who participated in a clinical trial say that they took part based on their HCP’s awareness of clinical studies. That’s a huge number of potential participants you could be missing out on if you don’t have a memorable brand.


Reason 2: To be educational

Throughout the patient recruitment stages of your clinical trial, your staff are usually armed with a hefty study protocol. This can make explaining the contents of your clinical trial to potential participants particularly challenging for study staff. Especially if the potential participants have specific questions on procedures — how will study staff make sure they explain procedures in a patient-friendly way? How will they make sure these explanations are consistent?

Well, if you had a brand to adhere to, your chosen patient recruitment company would double up on their clinical experience with their knowledge on patients, and develop a host of materials to be used by site staff and patients. The brand can dissect the patient-facing topics into easily digestible chunks of information, while still displaying it in a visually pleasing way.


Reason 3: To be professional

Imagine being asked to take part in a clinical trial that used ‘word art’ to create a patient recruitment flyer. I know that wouldn’t ever happen, but there’s a reason for that. The way you portray and visualise your brand is how it will come across to potential participants. So, having a clean, aesthetically pleasing, and easy-to-read design will help to make the impression you want to — professional and trustworthy.

If you spend time recognising the need to appeal to a patient, and understanding how best to convey information about the clinical trial, patients are going to trust you and your study more.


Reason 4: To be targeted

Every clinical trial is different. So, it goes without saying that clinical trials will target different populations. Imagine the branding you’d use to target an audience for an arthritis clinical trial, how would that differ to the branding used for a depression clinical trial?

Your brand needs to feel trustworthy, relatable and inviting to the specific group of people you are targeting. So, you need to consider how different imagery, or even fonts, will impact your audience differently. For example, here’s how something as simple as colour can affect your patient recruitment materials.


Reason 5: To be consistent

Finally, it’s highly likely that throughout the duration of your clinical trial you’ll be using a vast number of different materials:

  • Study guides
  • Emails
  • Newsletters
  • Appointment cards
  • Websites

All of the above will need branding to create fluidity. These mediums are central to maintaining an identity that differentiates your clinical trial from others. So, your study guides must match your flyers, and your flyers must match your website.

Speaking of websites, it’s crucial for your brand to have one. If your clinical study doesn’t have a website, do you even exist? Especially considering that 43% of patients use the internet to find relevant clinical trials. So, make sure your clinical study has one.


Do you need clinical trial branding?

After reading this, I’m sure you’ll agree your clinical study will need consistent and well-designed branding. So if you’re wondering where to begin, a good place to start would be reading this blog we put together: 5 steps to effective clinical trial branding. But, if you’d rather chat to us directly, feel free to email us at


Creative Patient Facing Materials

Ash Rishi

As a failed neuroscientist, Ash has sought to bring meaningful change to the healthcare industry ever since by working at some of the biggest agencies in the world, his career spans more than 10 years. His expertise lies in creative communications, patient engagement, diversity & inclusion and patient recruitment strategies for clinical trials – with the ultimate goal in life to make clinical trials more human. When he isn’t doing all that, he’s anticipating the latest movie, expanding that love to screenwriting or trying to be creative.

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