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dental practice branding

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Branding Your Dental Practice: What’s In a Name?

by Naomi Cooper October 4, 2017

Whether you have just purchased an existing practice or are looking to update your branding strategy, you’ve dental practice branding strategiescertainly got a lot on your plate. Be careful not to overlook one major detail – the name of your practice.

At first glance, it may seem like a simple task. Why not name it after yourself? Of course there are certain situations where this makes the most sense: if you have children who will be joining you in the practice, or if you are just starting out and plan to be in practice for the next 20+ years.

However, there are times where naming it after yourself may not actually be the best idea. If you are thinking of selling the practice in the next 5 or so years, or are planning to bring on new associates with thoughts toward retirement down the road, then consider an alternative name.

For those dentists who might be considering a change, here are a few alternative ideas to get you started:

  • Your Location: If the office is located on a busy thoroughfare, or near a scenic location, think about names like Main Street Dental or Lighthouse Dental Care.
  • Your Specialty: There’s no better way to communicate the services you provide than by including it in your practice name. For example, Pleasantville Family Dentistry and The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry.
  • Your Philosophy: A high-tech office offering the latest procedures might choose a name like Springfield Advanced Dental Arts, whereas Harmony Dental evokes the feeling of a practice that provides a spa-like atmosphere.

Choosing a name for the practice is a big decision, and one that will remain central to the core of your marketing strategy for years to come, so be sure to give it the time and attention that it deserves.

 

 

 

 

video

What Dentists Need to Know About Branding the Dental Practice

by Naomi Cooper April 4, 2016

What Dentists Need to Know About Branding the Dental Practice What’s in a name? A lot, actually!

Watch this video to learn why choosing the right name for your dental practice is incredibly important, and discover top tips to consider when you are opening a new practice or going through the rebranding process.

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Transitioning the Dental Practice: What’s in a Name?

by Naomi Cooper October 21, 2015

Transitioning Your Dental PracticeThere are three basic roads a dentist can take to retirement:

  • Sell their practice,
  • Find associates, OR
  • Reduce office hours and production until they end up closing shop.

One option dentists don’t have is to cross their fingers and hope for the best. It is essential to be proactive and start planning for retirement a minimum of five to 10 years ahead to fully maximize the value of your practice!

Transitioning the practice is a process full of many variables, but dentists nearing retirement age can make this process easier by focusing on one key area of the business ahead of time: Branding.

What’s in a name?

While it may seem logical to leave the rebranding process up to your successor so he or she can do whatever s/he wants with the practice name after taking it over, this is a flawed approach. In this scenario, a potential successor will see no value in purchasing YOUR practice over any other. You need to figure out how to maximize the value of your practice and develop a transferable asset that has a positive, recognizable identity within the community.

Imagine the fictional Dr. Rob Roberts, who is 30 years old and is looking to buy a practice. There are two practices up for sale in town with nearly identical locations, patient bases and facilities.

  • Practice A is named Dave Davis DDS after the long-time dentist/owner. The practice’s website URL is drdavisdds.com and its signage and business cards all reflect the retiring doctor’s name. The practice’s Facebook page and other social media profiles, as well as all of its overwhelmingly positive online reviews, are also all listed under Dr. Davis’ name and worthless to the young dentist, as a result.

Dr. Roberts knows if he is to buy Practice A, the cost of a new logo, internal and external signage, a new practice website and printed materials like business cards and letterhead alone will easily rise into the mid-five figures. Add to that the cost, including the time and energy, of rebranding the practice, building a new website and starting the practice’s social media and online review profiles from scratch and putting the necessary marketing infrastructure into place for this practice starts to feel like a part-time job the new dentist won’t have time for.

  • Practice B, on the other hand, was rebranded several years ago as Harmony Dental Care. Its website needs a simple update to the doctor’s photo and bio page to be perfectly good for Dr. Roberts’ immediate needs. The practice effectively has all of the necessary marketing assets already established in an easily transferable brand, and it’s easy to imagine how much more attractive Practice B appears to Dr. Roberts as a result.

As the scenario illustrates, a potential successor must be able to see themselves benefitting professionally and financially from purchasing your practice. Plan ahead in order to develop a transferable asset that has a positive, recognizable identity within the community. Investing in branding your practice appropriately now will pay off in dividends upon retirement.

For more information on branding and preparing for retirement, including must know tax implications for dentists, click here to read my latest Dental Products Report article co-written by industry expert J. Haden Werhan CPA/PFS.

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Dental Practice Branding: 4 Steps to a Winning Online Strategy

by Naomi Cooper April 3, 2014

Dental Practice Branding: 4 Steps to a Winning Online StrategyIt is estimated that the average person sees 3,000 advertisements every day! Your patients need to be able to recognize your dental practice brand. If you’re not iconic, then all of the time, money and effort that went into the message is completely wasted. So, how do you make the most of your dental practice branding strategy? Keep it consistent, and this has never been more important than it is in today’s digital age.

It’s a good idea to take periodic inventory of your online marketing to make sure everything is up to date. In particular, these 4 digital components should work together to form a cohesive brand:

1) Practice Name: This one may sound obvious but it is not uncommon for me to find that a practice’s business cards read “Joe B. Smith, DMD” while its website uses the moniker “Smith Family Dentistry”. One name should be used across all marketing platforms, including your website and online profiles, in addition to your printed materials.

2) Social Media Profiles: It is ideal to set up your dental practice social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) profiles under the same name as the practice. It may seem more natural to set the profiles in the name of an individual dentist, but again, I recommend keeping everything consistent and using the practice name across all properties so that patients can find and connect with the practice as easily as possible.

3) Patient Review Sites: Word of mouth has shifted to the online atmosphere via sites such as Yelp!, Healthgrades.com and Google+ Local. What I find when consulting with my dentist clients is they do not always realize is that these sites often automatically create a profile for your business. It is up to you to log on and claim your practice’s profile on each of these sites, making sure your business name is correct and contact information is current. After you claim your profiles, encourage patients to share their positive experiences so that when prospective patients are doing their online research, they can get a complete picture of what your practice has to offer.

4) Practice Website: Along with having the same name across all online platforms, it is smart to link your online profiles to your website. The homepage of your practice website should include links to your social media profiles and your blog. Likewise, your profiles on social media and patient review sites should also link to your practice website.

Patients are online now more than ever. It’s up to you to make sure they can find you, and that when they do that you’ve made a good first impression. Remember, make it as simple as possible for patients to recognize your practice by name by keeping your branding consistent – online and offline!

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Dental Practice Branding: Top Tips for Naming Your Dental Practice

by Naomi Cooper March 19, 2014

Dental Practice Branding: Top Tips for Naming Your Dental PracticeWhat’s in a name? Actually, a great deal. Whether as a result of the sale of a practice, or a rebranding initiative, choosing a name for the dental practice is a major decision that should not be taken lightly.

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The name is central to the overall branding strategy. It helps patients identify and relate to your practice, and is often the community’s very first impression of the practice, so it deserves thoughtful consideration.

It might seem easiest to name the practice after the dentist; however it is also important to think long-term. For instance, are there any children that will one day take over the practice? If so, keeping the family name would be appropriate. For example, a father/son practice such as Dillehay Orthodontics or McMahon Family Dental .

Alternatively, if there is there a plan to bring in new associates later on, it may pay off in the long term to go in another direction. One option is to include the city, town, street or neighborhood in the name so patients immediately know where the practice is located, such as University Avenue Dental . Or, choose a more descriptive name that tells something about your community such as Alta Vista Dental Care for a dental practice in a mountain community.

Consider also what sets your practice apart from the competition. What is your practice philosophy? Brainstorm non-generic words that demonstrate what is unique about your practice. An office that offers a spa-like environment — and where the dentist also happens to be a concert pianist — evokes a peaceful experience with a name like Harmony Dental Care. If the practice specializes in the latest technology and cosmetic procedures, communicate a high-end message with a name like Smallville Advanced Dental Arts or Smallville Center for Cosmetic Dentistry.

These are just a few ideas when considering a name change for your dental practice. A strategic name can be a first step in establishing a successful dental practice brand. For more insight, check out these 10 Naming Commandments from the branding all-stars at MarketingProfs.

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The Role of Marketing in the Sale of Your Dental Practice

by Naomi Cooper July 9, 2013

BLOG THE ROLE OF MARKETING IN THE SALE OF YOUR DENTAL PRACTICEMany questions – and emotions – arise when the topics of retirement and the potential sale of a dental practice come up. While it may not be obvious at first glance, marketing and branding will play major roles in facilitating the sale and transition.

The importance of branding should not be minimized. Branding distinguishes a practice from its competitors. Some dentists may mistakenly believe that branding is just for group practices or large corporations. But in reality, it serves to enhance the practice’s local affinity, small business sensibility, and professional feel.

Any dentist within 10 years of retirement needs to consider whether having his or her own name on the shingle makes for the best exit strategy. It’s key to be able to maximize the practice’s value when it’s time to sell, and having all of its brand equity wrapped up in the primary dentist’s name means that one of the practice’s major assets isn’t transferrable.

Additionally, branding strategy is not something that can be created overnight. It takes time and effort to build and sustain a strong brand that inspires recognition and loyalty in patients and the community. So, there is no time like the present to begin building your dental practice brand! Even dentists who are just starting to think about retirement will benefit from honing their branding strategy now.

Every dental practice owner desires to find a suitable buyer of their practice – one who will maintain the quality of care, someone the dentist feels comfortable handing off their patients of record to. Having a solid branding strategy already in place will attract more qualified and desirable buyers to the practice, thereby easing the transition.

Just as you coach your patients on the benefits of preventative care, put your recommendations to work for your dental practice. Don’t wait until retirement is just a few years away to develop a marketing strategy. Having a plan in place ahead of time is one way of ensuring a smooth transition for you and your patients.