Physio First

Brand repositioning for Physio First



Physio First is a national trade association membership organisation which comprises private physiotherapists throughout the UK. The organisation was formed in 1952 and now has almost 4,000 members. It is a professional network of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and represents the interests of its self-employed members.

Physio First approached We Are Circle having agreed upon a new strategic intent to “champion evidence-based cost-effective private physiotherapy with Physio First members in a changing healthcare marketplace”. They knew that the organisation needed to be repositioned, so that they could achieve their intent and their business goals over the next five years. The executive team wanted to understand the views of members and their internal and external stakeholders as it was essential that the project was completed in consultation with them. We needed to fully understand how the organisation was perceived now (its current position) and where it needed to be (its new position) so we could achieve the intent.


We began by conducting a series of online surveys; one for members and another for internal and external stakeholders. Finally we surveyed lapsed members so we could understand the views of those that had chosen to leave the organisation. We also conducted a competitor review and looked for data trends such membership acquisition and churn rates as well as financial indicators. The macro environmental factors were analysed including political, economic, social, technological and legal changes that could affect Physio First.

The insights gave us some fascinating findings that we were able to use to reposition the organisation, to determine Physio First’s key areas of differentiation and how they were comparable to other membership organisations. One area of particular interest was how easily the member benefits could be recalled and which benefits were the key drivers in attracting and retaining members. We were able to use the way that members described Physio First now, and how they would like the organisation to be in the future, to create a brand journey and produce a new brand personality for Physio First.

Next we were able to look in detail at each marketing communication channel available to them; digital (website, email, search, social), print (their stationery, patient literature, membership packs), advertising, PR and events. We then made a whole series of recommendations for how the new position could be better communicated using these channels.


The positioning and marketing strategy was shared with the executive team and received excellent feedback. We were asked to present the findings at an executive team meeting and they are now being used to achieve the next phase of their business goals. They are on a repositioning journey which will be created over the next 12-18 months and will be used beyond that to achieve their five year plan. We also created a 12 page positioning summary which was sent out to all their members and helped to conduct a communications strategy day with the executive team. You can take a look at the positioning summary here.

“The results of the marketing insights have been fascinating and we are well on our way to understanding what needs to be done to reposition our organisation thanks to the work we commissioned from We Are Circle. Laura was able to quickly understand what we wanted to achieve and work to tight deadlines to deliver a complex positioning report for our executive and an easy to read summary for our members. I am confident that we now have the positioning insights that we need for our five year journey towards achieving our intent. I would highly recommend We Are Circle for anyone wanting to understand their current position in their marketplace and who need well thought-out and executed marketing insight to inform their strategy and journey towards a new brand.”

Sandy LewisChairman, Physio First