Branding can be described as what comes to mind when your patients think of your practice. What kind of feelings or thoughts do they associate with your practice? It goes beyond just having a nice logo. The reality is that everything your practice does contributes to your brand and when executed well, it can assist you in successfully attracting new patients and retaining current ones. In a recent blog, we outlined the importance of your personal brand, but have you considered the brand of your practice?
These days when a prospective patient is looking for a dental practice they will likely begin their search online. They should be enticed by your visually appealing, informative website and your online presence. If you successfully attract this new patient to your practice you then need to consider their experience once they arrive at your office. What does your practice look like, and how friendly is your staff? These are all important factors that make up your brand and keep your local jurisdictions in mind when considering which approach highlighted below will be best for your practice.
Consider your brand assets
Brand assets are distinctive elements that are meant to strengthen your practice image, and continue to provide brand value for years after their creation. It is these elements of a brand that will make it recognizable and differentiated from others, and when unique elements are tied back to a brand, they are known as distinctive assets.
Distinctive brand assets include but are not limited to:
A simple yet memorable logo
Friendly staff members
An attractive and modern practice
Another brand asset to consider is the online presence of your practice. Having thoughtful and engaging online content is what will give your existing and prospective patients confidence to approach your dental office.*
Other brand assets:
Introduction to your dental team on your website
A blog for patient education
Regularly updated Facebook page
A YouTube channel that explains simple dental diseases and procedures
Reviews from past customers
Social media marketing
Blog posts that rank high on Google
Your communication channels
A communication channel is anything you use to communicate with your patients. It can be through your website, a landing page, a blog post, or weekly newsletter.* As a dentist, the reputation of your dental practice is one of your important assets, and performing successful high quality dental procedures will result in a loyal patient base.
For those who have not yet been to your office, your reputation will need help through other forms of communication, such as different online channels. On Google for example you can get good reviews from successfully completed procedures which can bring new patients into your office.
A brand archetype is the genre of your brand, or how you want your brand to be portrayed. The idea is to anchor the brand with something that will uniquely resonate with a particular kind of person.
Defining your specific brand archetype will help set yourself apart from other dental offices, and below we have briefly outlined the common six brand archetypes that might resonate with your own practice vision. You can even consider developing your own brand archetype to suit your personal practice vision.*
1. The Innocent
This archetype looks at the positive things in every situation and finds peace with inner beauty. DOVE ™ and COCA-COLA ™ are good examples of the innocent archetype.
2. The Hero
Heroes portray themselves as brave and promise their customers to be the rescuers. NIKE™ and ADIDAS ™ are examples of hero archetype.
3. The Sage
This archetype works with knowledge. It is humanist and believes in the power of humankind in building a better world around us. Google and BBC are sage brands.
4. The Jester
Anything from a jester archetype will aim to be funny or entertaining. They believe in the power of a good laugh. Jesters are well known for memorable ads and content. Example: M&M’s ™
5. The Caregiver
This archetype is generous and compassionate. The caregiver brands shape their identity around trust and care. They are helpful and protective of their clients. UNICEF and Johnson & Johnson ™ are the caregiver brands.
6. The Ruler
Rulers bring the idea of status growth. They shape themselves as the leader and aim to set the rules. Microsoft is a good example.
Branding is worth the effort and strong branding may result in attracting and keeping more patients. Through your distinctive brand assets and communication channels, it is possible to bring a new life to your dental practice. If you focus on what makes you and your practice unique, then your patients will find something of value to keep returning to.
*Please keep country specific legal guidelines in mind.