To create a good brand for your dental practice, you need to think deeply about your mission, message, and audience. Strong branding can be the difference between gaining or losing patients.
At Practice Maximization, we can help you create and maintain a brand that will help your dental practice stand out from your competitors. Let’s take a look at what steps you can take to create a brand for your dental practice.
What Is a Brand?
A dental practice’s brand is made up of both the tangible and intangible things that make the business what it is.
The tangible elements of a brand are often referred to as a brand identity. Brand identity is made up of things like slogans, taglines, logos, and the face of your dentistry.
The intangible things about a brand are more related to the feeling, message, and purpose of the practice.
When you pull everything together, you create a brand. As an example, consider Apple. Apple’s brand is clean-cut, professional, and mainstream, but also easy to use, ever-evolving, and aesthetically pleasing.
When you compare this to Microsoft, you see how Microsoft’s brand is nitty-gritty, high tech, and behind the curtain, while also focusing on performance, power, and the future of tech.
Both brands sell computers, but they target different audiences.
Your dental practice doesn’t have to steal patients from the practice down the street. There are plenty of local patients everywhere to fill your doors and others. You just need a message that your audience understands and cares about.
When it comes to branding, we like to look at it from a story perspective.
Story branding is a powerful term that helps people see their brand through a different lens. It helps identify your mission, struggles, voice, and more.
Try out these with your practice:
Your brand purpose relates to why you do what you do and what makes you the best at what you do.
You may be the dentistry known for doing incredible dental implants. Or you’re the family dentistry that also offers orthodontics. Maybe you’re the dentistry that has a CEREC machine.
Whatever the case, your dentistry marketing plan should have something people think about when they think of your practice.
This will then connect to your mission and why you want more people to hear about it.
Relationships are essential in establishing brand loyalty. Your patients are more likely to remain loyal to your dental practice if your brand’s message resonates with them on an emotional level.
Maybe you’re the dentistry that prides itself on professionalism, and that’s something your patients come to you for. Maybe it’s friendliness. You could be the practice that people go to for fillings because you help people feel at ease or you offer painless dentistry.
While these ideas are important, your practice’s brand must forge a connection that is both natural and authentic.
Remember that if the emotional connection seems forced or artificial, it will have negative repercussions for your practice’s reputation.
Every aspect of a brand must align. This is often called synergy.
You don’t want to have a really clean cut brand that then has really poor take-home pamphlets for wisdom teeth recovery.
Consistency helps to create a unified brand for your current or prospective patients and helps to avoid brand confusion.
Style guides, which we’ll cover in a later section (scroll to learn more), help establish and maintain standards for branding.
Understanding that the dentistry profession and marketing strategies are constantly changing is key because your brand must be flexible to meet tomorrow’s standards.
As the years go by, it is inevitable that your website will become outdated if not consistently monitored and updated.
Every few years, your website should be completely updated, meaning if you looked at a version now versus five years ago, the changes would be obvious. A good thing to do is watch web development trends to see what other popular sites are doing.
It’s okay to brainstorm ideas off of others or learn from what other sites did successfully or not. Remember that if your dental practice doesn’t evolve, it’ll get replaced.
Loyal patients are extremely valuable to your dental practice and brand.
A great way to harbor and promote brand loyalty is to acknowledge and reward patients’ loyalty.
This may mean the first time they visit the dentist, they get a free regular toothbrush. The second time, they get something discounted. The third time, they get something like a free electric toothbrush.
This sort of branding technique builds a bond between you and your patients. It’s also in line with the notion that doing something three times helps build behavioral consistency. Behavioral consistency ideologies are practiced in things like going to the gym. People say if you can go at least three times consistently, you’ll start going regularly.
The same line of thinking is true for visiting the dentist every six months. Offering the rewards makes it all the more valuable in the eyes of a patient.
Ideas like this are what we can help you figure out. Whether it’s getting people to return, finding new dental patients, or growing your brand’s reputation, we’re here to help.
Main Components that Make Up Brand Identity
A brand identity is made up of the more tangible aspects of a brand. These are often the things patients can quickly recognize and associate with your practice such as:
- Color Scheme
Having a distinguished brand identity is important because it’s what grounds the emotional side of branding to the tangible or visual side of branding.
As a dental practice, you’ll want both the tangible and emotional sides of your brand to be strong so that people both trust and respect your dental practice. This adds value to your name because your practice becomes a place that people can rely on for quality dental care.
Importance of a Style Guide
A style guide is one of the best ways to establish a standard for your dental practice and brand.
For a newer practice, a style guide can help you get ideas on paper for what you want your brand to represent. As your practice continues to grow, style guides assure your brand standards are maintained no matter how many different people work on your branding, internally or externally.
Style guides are needed for dental practices of all sizes and incorporate things such as:
- Tone and voice
- Web writing guidelines (structure and SEO standards)
- Social styles (social networking interactions and behaviors; different platforms = different styling)
- Color scheme
- Logo consistency
Since style guides provide structure for creating content, they shouldn’t be too restrictive. They’re meant to help guide people to create content that matches your brand, not restrain creativity from pushing your dental practice forward.
Need Dental Branding Help?
At Practice Maximization, we make it our mission to help dental professionals achieve their communication goals through powerful branding strategies. If you’re looking for branding experts, feel free to reach out and contact us online for a free consultation or call us by phone at (888) 292-2158. As a professional dental marketing company, we’ve helped shape and lead hundreds of brands toward success, and we can’t wait to do the same for you.