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 Toothtown—just the people in that area.
But just like Apple and Amazon, those Toothtown locals 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 offering 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 rebrand your practice
- What to do when your practice receives negative attention
Dental Brand vs. Logo
In a recent conversation with our founders, Eric and Andre discussed what a brand is and why it matters. Here’s a key takeaway from that discussion:
Your brand is far more your logo and your color scheme. In reality, your brand is the entire experience that a customer 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 patients come to associate with you, like your level of customer service and attention to detail. The emotions you are trying to create for your 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 dental 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, and understand exactly where those goals meet the needs of your patients. Why does going to your practice feel different than going to one down the street? How do you want patients to refer you to their friends and neighbors?
You may have to spend some time thinking about the patients you serve, the culture of your office, your mission as a dentist, and your personality. Once you’ve started to tap into who you really are as a dentist, put it down on paper.
2. Have something to offer that is unique.
And we are not talking about lasers. Technology is not what brings patients into your doors–you are! Patients are usually more interested in the dentist than the tool.
Instead, think about why you are using the laser. How are you solving the needs of the patient with it? The equipment is not as relevant as the problems it can solve for the patient.
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 most important.
3. Deliver consistently good customer service.
As we mentioned, how you engage with patients at every touchpoint becomes part of 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 paid 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 the 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 your team answers the phone in a personal way. Amazing! But, if the look and feel of your website are messy and your website lacks original content, it creates uncertainty and confusion for your patients. 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. 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 rebranding 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 Rebrand 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 rebranded as Sky Creek Dental.
2. Your mission and purpose have changed.
A rebrand 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 Rebrand Your Practice
There’s no exact science around a rebrand. However, the key is to make an intentional effort to reflect your practice’s culture into your new brand direction. You’ve worked hard to build your business! Whether you’re positioning to sell, bringing in a partner, or deem it time for an important change, consider this: your new brand should blend your vision for the future with the all positive things your patients attribute to your practice from the past.
Here are a few other questions to keep in mind when rebranding:
- Be clear and transparent with your team so everyone is a part of the new direction.
- 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 yourself. The 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 rebrand, allow our creative team to help you to change your current brand to your new vision.