Building a brand is all about creating awareness and familiarity. A brand defines your practice for yourself, your staff, your potential patients, and it establishes the right expectations for everyone involved.
There are some essential elements of a good brand – some things that will ensure that your name and your practice stick in the mind of your patients. These are some foundational aspects of your marketing strategy that will help you stand out in a competitive marketplace.
A brand is more than just another marketing asset. It’s the entire image that comes to mind when someone mentions your practice. It’s your reputation, your logo, your promotions, your prices, and your activities all wrapped up in a single package.
If you’ve got all these elements working together, your patients will become more than just casual customers. They’ll be brand advocates.
Start with the Dentist Logo
Your logo is one of the most critical components of your brand. It will be seen on your business cards, your website, your mailers, and probably even the front of your office. It is, in fact, the single design element that will tie all your marketing materials together.
And that’s what a brand should do. It should combine images and messages to create a single, cohesive, and memorable whole.
Of course, dental logo ideas are cheap. (Which is why you see so many similar ones out there.) It’s how you implement the ideas that really make a difference. It’s how you combine important elements that will help you stand out from the crowd and create an immediately recognizable name. And that means you may have to do a little research before you dive into the designs.
You might not have the time to do in-depth market surveys and focus group studies to learn more about your potential audience, but if you can clearly articulate your mission statement and define your target audience you can start settling on some of the important details.
As you get into the design process, keep the following in mind:
- Choose your colors wisely. Certain colors can create subliminal responses in the viewer, so be sure you’re using colors that put people in mind of friendly, warm, and comfortable things.
- Use unique images. That basic tooth silhouette may be tempting, but it’s also been used by hundreds of other dentists. Avoid clipart and generic images and go for something different.
- Use lettering to your advantage. Make sure your name or the name of the practice can be read at a great distance (on your signage) as well as when it’s very small (on your business cards).
- Don’t make it too busy. No one wants to contact a dentist if it looks like they’re too busy. Simple concepts are more clear and easier to remember.
Dentist logos are a shortcut to the brand message. They are a critical part of your brand, but they’re not the whole of your brand.
Your Value Proposition
A value proposition is the primary reason someone should make an appointment with you rather than someone else. Your value proposition differentiates you from the competition, and that makes it as important to your brand as your logo.
What do you have that they don’t?
- Range of services?
Once you know what to focus on, try to express both the emotional and rational appeal of your business in a simple and straightforward way. As a real test, try and articulate your value proposition in 10 words. Any more than that, and it will be too hard to remember.
When you can connect with your patients on an emotional level, you’ll really start getting the most out of your efforts. This is when your patients become more than just patients. When you reach them on this level, they’ll become brand advocates who will happily share their experience and recommend you to others.
Consistency is Key
Don’t get distracted. You’ve determined your value proposition. You know what your potential patients want to see. You know what you offer. Don’t get distracted with all the other things you could be doing.
Consistency is the platform on which your brand will stand.
You don’t want patients struggling to put together the pieces of your scattered brand. You don’t want them doing any work because they don’t want to do any work. They want to know who you are, what you offer, and why they should make an appointment with you. If you’re saying one thing in one place and another thing somewhere else, it only makes them work to determine which one is most relevant.
Make sure your message is consistent across your entire brand.
Promote Your Brand
It’s theoretically possible for a brand message to get recognition on accident, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. If you are seeking recognition and trying to increase familiarity, you’re going to have to push the message a little. You have to actively promote your brand and find ways to get it in front of your audience.
You have to use it.
How you communicate your brand is just as important as what the logo looks like. If your brand is about patient care, then everyone in your office better be communicating that message by living up to it every time a patient comes in for a treatment. If your brand is about community involvement, you better be sharing your activities on all your social channels.
When you understand and positively promote your brand, it will be much easier for your staff and your patients to do the same.