Your Dental Brand is More Than Your Logo
Your Dental Brand Doesn’t Have To Be (World) Famous Nike, Coca-Cola, and Starbucks. These are some of the big names that come to mind when most people think of companies with strong brands. Creating a strong dental brand also involves expanding brand awareness and recognition, but on a much smaller scale. Everyone in the world […]
Your Dental Brand Doesn’t Have To Be (World) Famous
Nike, Coca-Cola, and Starbucks. These are some of the big names that come to mind when most people think of companies with strong brands. Creating a strong dental brand also involves expanding brand awareness and recognition, but on a much smaller scale. Everyone in the world does not need to know about Bright Smile Dental in Lubbock—just the people in that area.
As with Apple and Amazon, however, those Lubbockites should recognize Bright Smile as trustworthy! They should feel confident that they will have a good experience. Friends and neighbors mention it. If they read reviews, it is all positive and resonant. When they’re finally looking for a dentist, they will feel more inclined to make the phone call to that practice.
Dental branding is crafting a perception of being a local trusted business about a service that people don’t need daily. When patients do need a dentist, they will remember your practice.
In this blog, we dive into what branding looks like for dentists. Specifically, we discuss:
- Why dentists should embrace that they are the brand
- The keys to building a memorable brand
- When to re-brand your practice
- What to do when your practice receives negative attention
Dental Brand vs. Logo
It’s a common misconception that your brand is just your logo. In reality, the brand is the entire experience that a consumer associates with a business. The visual elements—the logo, the website, the way the office looks—all play a HUGE factor in creating a brand’s identity. But a brand is not just aesthetics.
Your dental brand consists of the experience consumers come to associate with you, like your level of customer service and attention to detail. The emotions you are trying to create in patients should be reflected in every interaction. This includes:
- The connection with the dentist
- The aesthetics of the office
- The attentiveness of the staff
- The reviews
- The website
Patients will associate your dental practice with what you stand for, not your logo.
We can’t stress this enough! In short, when creating your dental brand, don’t just consider color schemes and fonts. Think about what you stand for and what you want your patients to experience when dealing with your business.
The Dentist is the Brand
Yes, you. 🙂 Embrace that you are a massive part of your dental brand. This means one thing. It’s up to you to decide what you want to be known for. To do that, you must go beyond being technically good at your work. Be good at what you do, but for marketing purposes, think bigger than how skilled you are with a drill.
We’ll let you in on a little secret: patients can’t differentiate technically good dentists from average dentists. (Scary, huh?) As long as you have gone through dentistry school and passed your board exams, patients are under the impression that you are qualified for what you do.
We know you’re a skilled dentist. However, since most people don’t know the difference between a good and a bad crown, you have to distinguish yourself in more ways when you’re branding.
This is why we do not put dentistry front and center of the marketing strategy.
Tips on Branding Your Dental Practice
1. Define who you are as a dentist.
The first step is self-discovery. Get clear on your goals for your practice. Do you want to be a massive $5 million office with multiple associates? If you want to be a high-end practice and you are running hygiene checks every hour, your brand will look different from how you want it to be perceived.
If you want to do implants, push and promote that. At the same time, it becomes disingenuous when you are just chasing money. Figure out who you are and put it down on paper. Just avoid cliches like, “I want to treat all my patients like family.”
2. Have something to offer that is unique.
And we are not talking about lasers. Technology is not what patients care about. Instead, they are more interested in the dentist’s skills with the tool. Why is the dentist using the laser? How are they solving the needs of the patient with it? We are all for high-end equipment, but the equipment is not as relevant as the problems it can solve.
Present your dental technology clearly and concisely, focusing on how you are improving patients’ lives. As a service provider, how you make the person feel is more important than the laser you use.
3. Deliver consistently good customer service.
As touched on earlier, how you engage with patients impacts your brand’s identity.
The first indication of an office that emphasizes the experience is how they answer the phone.
How does your front desk receptionist respond when someone calls about being a new patient? If they go straight into talking about the insurance policy, it comes across as transactional. We recommend tracking phone calls received from your website or ads to improve in this area. Read more phone answering tips here.
Make patients feel welcomed, valued, and special on and off the phone. As a dental marketing agency, we can see the difference between offices that put thought and care into every interaction with a patient. We see it reflected in their reviews and things people say about them. Put thought and attention into every interaction point with a customer. Good customer service is hard to come by today. So if you want your brand to stand out, provide exceptional customer service. We talk about how we like to surprise and delight our own clients here.
4. Display a cohesive brand personality.
The details create the whole. The entire brand experience, from your dental website and Facebook page, to your reviews and patient appointments, must be consistent. Patients want to see that your online presence and their interactions with you and your team are in harmony. The completeness of your Google profile, the professionalism of your email signature, and even the accuracy of your Yelp page all contribute to how well you resonate with your target audience.
Maybe you answer the phone in a personable way. But if the look and feel of your website are messy and your website lacks original content, it creates uncertainty. Conversely, if a patient can see the team and office on your website and they can watch a video of the dentist talking about their approach, it creates connection and trust.
This is why it’s important to have a team around you that understands and believes in the message. They can bring the kool-aid. Offices that run phenomenal practices put time into the culture of the office. That culture is then reflected in patient interactions.
How to Handle Negative Feedback
Every business out there will have a negative interaction with a consumer at some point. How the business handles it is what’s important. As a dentist, this is where your foundational values of how you treat patients come into play.
Negative interactions are a great time to show your customer service skills. It’s easy to have happy patients when everything is going smoothly. But being able to turn a bad situation around and show patients that they matter and that you are willing to make things right is what creates loyalty and long-time patients. Read our guide to responding to negative reviews here.
Some dentists might consider re-branding if they receive too many bad reviews. However, here’s why that’s a bad idea: if you don’t look at what you should change and what you are willing to change, you’ll get the same negative reviews, just under a different logo.
Below, we go over a few valid reasons to change your brand’s identity.
When to Re-brand Your Dental Practice
1. You bring on an equitable partner.
One of our clients, Dr. Brent Cornelius, worked solo for years. Later when he brought on an associate, they re-branded as Sky Creek Dental.
2. Your mission and purpose have changed.
A re-brand becomes necessary when what you are all about has changed. Your culture has changed. Maybe you started your business with one primary goal and focus and you decided to shift from that to a new phase in your life. Strong brands are built on top of cultural values. If at any point what you have built doesn’t align with who you want to be, that’s a good time to rebrand.
3. You want to sell your practice.
Our client Dr. Heller in Boston planned to sell his practice. He realized that the practice’s appeal to potential buyers would increase by changing the name to something other than his own.
How to Re-brand Your Practice
There’s no exact science around it. However, the key is to change your culture. Just slapping a new coat of paint on the same company and then doing exactly what you have been doing isn’t a re-brand. And if you don’t change, the brand won’t change. The name may change, but the brand doesn’t. If you are not going through some evolution, changing your name does not change your brand.
Get with your team and explain why you are re-branding, what day-to-day things will change, and what will stay the same. If you are re-branding because you want to become something different than what you currently are, merge, with another company, or you have acquired a business, start with why and how you will run it differently under this new directive.
Here are a few other questions to keep in mind when re-branding:
- What is it about the current brand that I don’t like?
- What core values do I want to have for the new brand?
- What will the new name be?
- How will the logo and other visual elements on the web represent our core values?
Branding your Practice with Pain-Free Dental Marketing
A dental brand is not just a name. It’s not a logo. It’s not a mood board. It’s not a color. Your dental brand is an overall entire summation of an experience with a patient. Your dental brand is not something you can separate from the self. It’s brand is your identity, especially as a practitioner of a service. The brand is you. If you’d like to work with an agency that deeply understands dental branding and the industry, get in touch with us today. If you are going through a re-brand, we’d like to help you to change your current brand to your new vision.