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Power of the brand

Whatever else is going on in your life, it is important to recognise that as a professional your reputation defines you as an optometrist and it needs to be protected, explains Henrietta Alderman

Henrietta Alderman

Brand identity is important. It is one of the most valuable business and personal assets. The way that a brand is perceived says something about an organisation.

Working for a brand affects how you are viewed by colleagues and the public. It is important to be proud of the brand you work for and, if you own the brand, to protect and nurture it.

Within the optical sector, we have everything from globally recognised brands with multiple premises, through to one-off brands with an individual premise. Both ends of the spectrum recognise that their brand and reputation are inextricably linked. The aim is for the brand to be trusted and valued, and a respected brand brings individual rewards of self-worth and identity. And in this edition of OT, the team has looked at the increasing importance of sustainability and environmentally sound practises as a means to enhance the credibility of a brand.

A more litigious world

At the AOP, we are incredibly mindful of our brand and what it stands for. Underpinning the AOP brand are our values of leadership, reliability, understanding and dedication. Everything we do reflects our intention to represent, protect and support our members. Listening to members’ needs and delivering added value through new initiatives keeps the organisation current and relevant, but sitting at the heart of the AOP is our medical malpractice insurance and the enormous expertise of our legal and regulatory team. This is where members’ reputations – your individual brand – are protected in matters falling to the General Optical Council, NHS, employment and civil cases. The comfort of having your back protected in an ever-changing, and sadly more litigious, world is essential.

In 2016, we launched the first AOP legal drama video – On the record: a complaint has been made. Jointly funded by the Central Optical Fund and original Optical Consumer Complaints Service, the video highlights several stressful and potential reputationally damaging situations that are not uncommon in practice and where the AOP support provides a safety net.

"The comfort of having your back protected in an ever-changing, and sadly more litigious, world is essential"

A sequel will be released later this year, again supported by the Central Optical Fund, which picks up on some of the additional legal and employment support elements offered by the AOP to members. For example, in respect of a member failing to renew their GOC registration, we work with them, the practice, the GOC and NHS England to get them back on the registers and practising as soon as is possible. But possibly the most compelling examples of the AOP protecting the reputation of members is seen from members describing their own experiences through our Who’s got your back? campaign, which we launched in September.

Whatever else is going on in your life, it is important to recognise that as a professional your reputation defines you as an optometrist and needs to be protected. And that is what the AOP does best.

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