Dental branding mistakes to avoid (and how to fix them)

Dental Branding Mistakes Aren’t the End of the World In the same way a great dental brand can attract patients to your practice, a not-so-great one can turn them away. In this article about common dental branding mistakes, we have both bad news and good news to share. Here’s the bad news: all brands make […]

woman looking at computer with frustration

Dental Branding Mistakes Aren’t the End of the World

In the same way a great dental brand can attract patients to your practice, a not-so-great one can turn them away. In this article about common dental branding mistakes, we have both bad news and good news to share.

Here’s the bad news: all brands make mistakes. Even the biggest brands in the world have commercials that flop or tag lines that fall flat. It’s very possible that one of these branding mistakes is turning off your potential patients.

But here’s the good news: most branding mistakes can be fixed through small changes. You don’t have to completely throw out your website, change your logo and your name, and delete your social media profiles to make meaningful changes to your brand. Most the time, fixing a dental branding mistake just means updating your language, swapping out a photo, or making some small marketing pivots. 

Read on to find out what mistakes to avoid, and what small changes can get your dental brand back on track.

Want to learn more about dental branding? Read on for a full article about how to create a brand that is much more than just your logo or read about our dental branding services

What are common dental branding mistakes? 

Not understanding your target patients.

The first step you need to take in establishing a strong brand is identifying the audience you’re speaking to. Your audience is made up of your ideal patients–the ones who are most likely to connect with you, your services, and what you have to offer. 

If you don’t have a clear idea of who you’re trying to attract, it’s easier to make a mistake in trying to reach them. This can lead to all kinds of branding and marketing problems, including: 

  • Wasting time on the wrong marketing platforms. If your patients are mostly younger adults, they’re far more likely to connect with you on Instagram or TikTok than Facebook. 
  • Not connecting within your own neighborhood. You may have a huge national presence on Google because of your SEO efforts, but only the people in your close proximity are likely to book an appointment. 
  • Answering the wrong questions. When you really know your patients, you can anticipate how to answer their questions and solve their problems in your marketing. If you don’t, you’ll create messaging that doesn’t really resonate enough to get patients through the door. Why write descriptions of what kinds of technology you use when your ideal patient just wants to know if you accept their insurance? 

Quick Fix: Know your audience

Instead of wasting time, money and energy on the wrong marketing efforts, start by identifying who your ideal patient is. Here are some questions to get started:

  • Where are your patients most likely to live? 
  • What services do they need most? 
  • How do they plan to pay for dental services?
  • What are the best communication platforms to reach them?
  • Who in the household is most likely to make the dental appointment? 
  • What is most important to them in a dentist? (Convenience, affordability, a trusted referral, a specific service, a type of aesthetic?)

Once you know who they are (and where they are) refine your messaging to better reach them. Concentrate your marketing efforts where they’ll really matter. 

A mismatch between elements in your brand personality. 

Your brand personality is made up of far more than just the fonts and colors on your website. (Even though fonts and colors are a part of your brand, too.) Your brand includes all the ways a patient interacts with your dental practice. There are many components to consider when thinking about a cohesive brand: 

  • Tone of voice
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Graphics and logo
  • Office aesthetic
  • Services
  • Mission statement
  • How your staff answers the phone
  • How you book, follow up, and remind patients of appointments
  • Where you’re involved in the community

With that many brand elements, it’s easy to see how a dental practice could accidentally have a few that clash. For example, a practice might create a high-end, luxury website, but have a very homey and cozy front lobby. An implant dentist might include photos of cosmetic patients on all of their social media. Or, a practice who mostly serves seniors may make the mistake of transitioning to an app-based appointment booking system. 

When brand components clash, potential patients might be confused about what to expect at your practice. Instead, you want to create a brand that feels clear and cohesive. 

Quick Fix: Identify and swap out clashing components

Once you figure out the culprits (the wrong stock photos, a funky font, or a misplaced neon green color) make a swap. Chances are, you may not need to rebuild your entire website and change your signage. It’s amazing what some minor changes can do. 

Custom photography and videos can make a huge impact on creating a cohesive and authentic brand. Work with an agency to plan a photoshoot that captures who you are as a dental practice. 

Not sharing a unique point of view. 

We have talked before about the importance of a unique selling proposition (USP). It’s about leaning into what you want to be known for. That goes beyond excellent patient service (that’s to be expected!), and into something more specific. A common mistake many businesses make is creating a brand that feels generic

Quick Fix: Don’t blend in, stand out!

Girl with braces and glasses smiling.

Are you an orthodontist who makes getting braces an awesome experience for teens? Are you a cosmetic dentist who makes a dental visit feel like a spa treatment? Tap into what makes you unique, and share that message.

Here are a few ways to do that: 

  • Share your mission and story. There’s probably a reason you went into dentistry. Share it! That story is likely a little insight into who you are. 
  • Highlight your staff. They’re a huge part of your brand–and they are unique to only your practice! Share their stories, too. 
  • Swap out generic language on your website and in paid ads. Instead of “We treat our patients like family,” tell me what you do. Do you send birthday cards? Do you remember their pets’ names? Maybe a great testimonial video could help you describe how you treat your patients. 

Jumping too quickly into rebranding. 

We understand how rebranding can feel tempting. Everyone loves a fresh start! But remember, rebranding is delicate–and a big commitment. 

It’s not just about updating your logo or even getting a new website. A full rebrand may require you to change your name, signage, business cards, website domain, uniforms/apparel, email addresses, or more. Even if you make small adjustments, you have to consider if rebranding will impact how your loyal customers find you, contact you, or refer you. Tread lightly to make sure you’re investing your money and time intentionally. 

Quick Fix: Fix What’s Broken (and keep what’s working)

Don’t get us wrong–sometimes rebranding is the right move. But before jumping head first into a huge project, focus on the smaller elements. Identify what’s working and what isn’t. Maybe you just need a refresh, not a full rebrand. Here are some small updates that make a huge impact: 

  • Update your Google My Business page
  • Update the messaging on your website 
  • Add individual service pages, an FAQ page, or a blog to bring your site up to date
  • Swap out old team photos with new ones
  • Have a designer update or clean up your logo without fully redesigning it 

Create a Powerful Brand with Pain-Free Dental Marketing

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As an agency, we understand both dental branding and the industry. Let’s work together to show your patients who you really are! To refine your brand, avoid dental branding mistakes, or better reach your patients, get in touch with us today.