As marketing guru John Jantsch says, branding is the art of being knowable, likeable and trustable. To be knowable, a dental practice has to be both visible and noteworthy; people have to know the practice exists, and as if that weren’t enough of a challenge, they also have to remember the practice’s name in their hour of need.
A dental practice’s brand is conveyed not only through traditional marketing tactics, but also by incidental and sometimes even accidental means; the way financial concerns are addressed over the phone, the tone in the receptionist’s voice when she greets a new patient, the way the doctor compliments the assistant, and even the first impression new patients have when they walk through the front door. Clinical skills, customer service, the carpet in the reception area, the greeting patients hear over the phone—each of these are part of the patient experience, and thus, the practice’s brand.
A practice’s brand communicates the distinctive combination of skills, personality, values and expertise that influence the way dentists practice—and how the community views them. Every practice is different, and every dentist has something exceptional to offer. Branding establishes a practice’s unique identity, ensures patient loyalty, and most importantly, has the potential to keep dentists in the driver’s seat when it comes to their reputations. Branding is about communicating a message—and dentists who employ a branding strategy will ensure their patients get the message loud and clear.
Does your dental practice have a brand identity? How do you think potential patients, and your community, view your practice?