Do you realize how much a business’s brand influences YOUR purchase decisions? Many people don’t like to admit or acknowledge that it does at all.
We are conditioned as consumers to quickly categorize businesses and develop partialities for them based on the information they provide. A dentist can leverage the same branding techniques to craft a powerful dental brand in their market. This guide will show you exactly how to do that.
What is A Dental Brand?
Understanding What A Dental Brand Is
The first thing you must understand about a brand is that your dental office logo is NOT your brand. Please take a minute to read this next statement slowly, and more than once. Your brand IS people’s opinions and feelings about your practice, built by the experiences with it.
What does this mean? Your actual brand is who people think you are. Notice that statement didn’t say “your brand is who you are”. A well constructed brand aligns who you are with who people think you are, and that both are good.
Now that you understand what a brand actually is, you can understand that your practice logo is the “face,” or “smile” of your brand. It is the visual symbol that represents your brand. As your market has more experiences with you and they begin to form your brand in their mind, your logo is what immediately brings those opinions to mind.
Understanding What Dental BrandING IS
Your brand is people’s opinions and feelings about your practice, built by their experience with it. Branding is giving people those experiences. Anything you do to push your brand into your market – and therefore give people experiences with it – is building your brand. Ideally these efforts create positive impressions. Unfortunately, many practices often hurt their brand in their marketing efforts.
“There’s no such thing as bad publicity” is absolutely false. Fully explaining this statement falls outside of the scope of this Dental Branding Guide. Here is a great rule-of-thumb when it comes to marketing and how it will impact your branding: people assume the quality of your marketing reflects the quality of your dentistry. Every marketing piece you create ought to match the caliber of experience people may expect from you AND that you can actually deliver. This approach underlies effective branding.
The Benefits of Excellent Dental Branding
Increase Brand Awareness
Have you ever wondered why dozens, or hundreds, of businesses you know spend so much money to keep telling you their name? Are you ever going to forget the brand of Coca-Cola? Of course not. Then why is it so important for them to keep getting their logo in front of you?
One reason is that new people are coming of “consumer age” every day. Brands that wish to endure and grow must become familiar to their constantly shifting market. Your practice brand may not have the ability to reach across the globe, but you can certainly be hard to miss in your market.
Another reason to maintain a full court press with your brand is to earn and keep the coveted top-of-mind awareness position in your consumers minds. If your consumers see or hear about your brand every week for several years, you have a higher likelihood of being their first call when their day of dental need arrives.
Build Credibility and Trust
Familiarity causes comfort. Things that are comfortable are felt to be more trustworthy. It is stunning that so many people trust something simply because it is familiar or comfortable. This familiarity principle applies in branding efforts. The more a potential patient comes in contact with your brand, the more likely they are to trust it when choosing a dentist.
Set Yourself Apart
Business gurus strongly assert the importance of differentiating your business from others with your branding efforts. In fact, many believe that your brand is your PRIMARY means to differentiate your business from competitors. Take this to heart and make sure that your brand Identity (your logo and imagery) look distinct and better than the other practices in your market. A clipart tooth paired with a block font “dentist” does not convey distinct and better.
Appeal to Your Target Market
Effective branding includes understanding clearly who your target market is. “I just need any new patient” is not a solid foundation to build a successful branding campaign on. Once you have identified your target potential patients.
How To Create a Strong Dental Brand
Foster An Intentional Culture
The very foundation of your dental practice brand is your practice culture. Your culture WILL develop either by default or design and a strong dental brand is built on an architectured and nourished culture. When done correctly, your PX (Patient Experience) will be a perfect physical manifestation of your practice’s culture charter. And then that experience you give your patients will shape your brand (people’s opinions and feelings boat your practice). This is why your culture is the foundation of your brand.
Hire and Train The Right Team
Sharp business people know it’s a lot easier to train employees who are a culture fit on job specific skills, than to train someone with the skills you need to be a culture fit. Hire people who fit your defined culture and help those who aren’t a fit find their way to a new opportunity.
Differentiate Your Dental Practice
Up to this point you have spent a good amount of energy and resources to craft an ideal culture that provides an exceptional patient experience and is a joy to work with you. You are different, and now you can define exactly how you are different (and better) than the competition. So don’t blow it now by using a tooth in your logo! [Unless you want to be seen as a budget, average dentist.] Be creative. Present yourself as a distinct, desirable, superior option in your market with a thoughtful, meaningful, and impressive visual brand (logo).
Your logo will be the face of your brand and should be included on every piece of marketing collateral you produce. Your practice videos, brochures, website, business cards, signage, and even your car wrap should maintain a consistent aesthetic that matches your Brand Guide and prominently displays your practice logo (visual brand). Do not stray from this advice. If you allow a vendor to just make up a logo for your mailer because they did not receive your actual practice logo from you, you are cheapening your brand and deteriorating the clout you are trying to foster.
Constantly Promote Your Brand
Once your culture, PX, and visual branding are dialed in, it is time to consistently pump it into the market via strategic dental marketing tactic selections. Remember, your brand is people’s opinions and feelings about your practice built by their experiences with it. And your brandING is giving people those experiences. Make sure your branding efforts are consistent, impressive, and compelling.
Who is The Best Dental Branding Company?
When choosing a dental marketing company to work with to develop your dental practice brand, it would be wise to include the following factors in your decision-making process.
Ask to see a portfolio of examples of dental practice logos from the agency. Just like a potential patient considering cosmetic dentistry will want to see examples of your work. Fortunately, logo design is very visual and should be too difficult for you to determine the group’s talent level. If you want to be impressive to potential patients, your need an impressive logo. To see DentalCMO’s logo portfolio and get dental branding ideas, check out our branding page.
Love Creating Strong Dental Brands
Ideally a firm’s love of dental branding is seen immediately in the work they produce. It’s not difficult to determine which companies just slap some clipart together, and which companies take the branding process seriously. At DentalCMO, we understand the significance of a practice’s logo. It is the face of their brand! We love going the extra mile so our clients know they can trust that they are putting their best face forward in every interaction.
Many tremendously talented designers and creative agencies would love to produce your dental brand for you. But if they are not dental focused, you will often see the same concepts churned out by them because they jump to similar conclusions. “A dental practice? That’s easy, I’ll design a nice tooth and pair it with their name using a nice font.” it may be a beautifully-designed tooth they produce, but they did not differentiate you from the other 25 dentists within one mile of you. Pick a dental marketing group that gets dentistry inside and out won’t make your practice’s brand a cliché. It’s tempting to work with Fiverr or 99 Designs to make you think you are saving a couple bucks, but it might end up costing you way more than that. Paying to have something done right the first time is less expensive than paying for a cheaper option and then paying again to have someone fix it.
Work Within A Budget
Be careful when hiring a designer to produce your visual branding. Designers that work for an hourly rate are NOT incentivized to get your project done quickly or on budget. This is another reason to work with a group that specializes in dentistry and knows exactly how to run the process on time and on budget. Many dental marketing groups offer a flat price on their branding package. This guarantees you won’t go outside of your budget.
In Our Humble Opinion
It’s not a surprise when a dentist is looking for the best dental logos to find DentalCMO. We take pride in our craft and love helping our clients’ branding visions come to life. We approach designing a dental logo like a large ad agency, taking into account the goals, culture, and unique selling points of your practice. We understand that a practice’s branding represents the practice and doctor. And we obsess over making sure your logo will do exactly that.
Take the introspection time to develop a perfectly clear vision of your culture and who you are as a professional. Engage a group that knows how to translate that into an accurate visual representation. You will end up with a gorgeous practice logo that you and your team will be proud to paste everywhere possible for the foreseeable future. And, more importantly, will attract your ideal patients to your practice.