Oral Health Group

Branding – head ’em up, move ’em out RAWHIDE!


November 22, 2010
by ken




















Daughter-in-law of an old and dear friend asked me for help in getting a new business off the ground…..as mentoring is about as far away from nepotism and “schelpp” as it gets, I figured if it’s grist for the mill and folks as professionals are autonomous and make their own minds up, except about cbCT in Ontario, why the heck not share the idea……….read on McDentist.

“Why should I be concerned about branding?” is a question I
get all the time! I am a Graphic Designer who has been in Corporate
Communications for over 15 years and my response? Dental practices have become
as common as Starbucks – they are on every corner- and in order to succeed,
dentists must differentiate themselves from all the others.! How are you going
to differentiate yourself from all the others??

Starbucks Stuttgart, Germany

Image via Wikipedia

So let’s start with the most important question- wWhat is
bBranding? Branding is “the emotional and psychological relationship you have
with your customers. Strong brands elicit thoughts, emotions, and sometimes
physiological responses from customers.” A strong brand can establish more
credibility for the kind of practice you are running.  So if you are hoping to grow your practice, a
strong brand is essential!

There are many benefits to effective branding, both
internally and externally.  Internally, a
strong brand can keep your practice focused on your goals- you will have a
clear idea of who you are, what you do and how you do it. Externally, if used
consistently, you can develop an identity that creates an emotional
relationship with your target market. 
Although your skills as a dentist are first and foremost of importance
for most patients, let’s face it, people tend to shop around with their hearts
more than their minds.  If you can
establish that emotional relationship, it will lead to more patients.

So now that we know what a brand is, how do we create a
brand?

1.     Discuss and
implement a strategy.  To create a brand
it is useful for the members of the practice to sit down and discuss such
questions as: What are the key elements that differentiate us from other
practices? How do we want patients and/or other dentists to view our practice?
Do you want to be the leading cosmetic dentist? Do you want to be regarded as
the practice with the best customer care? The latest technology? A strong brand
when communicated effectively can lead to more patients.  If your brand, as a practice, is to be the
lead in dental anesthesiology, than you are likely to get more patients who
would require just those services!

2.      Follow
through. Once you have created your brand you need to follow through.  So if your brand is to be focused on patient
care, you need to make sure your staff is trained accordingly!

3.     Create a
logo.  Your logo should reflect your
brand and be consistently used throughout your stationary, business cards,
referral pads, brochures, invoices etc. 
The logo sets the tone of how you want your practice to be represented
through color, design, fonts etc. and it too can elicit psychological
responses.  For example, when I see those
Golden Arches I know I am going to be getting my food fast and cheap! Once you
have your logo, the design can extend to other aspects of your practice such as
the colors on the walls, the signage you choose and the website you
design.  Having a consistent look only
strengthens your brand image and allows you to standout from the crowd and be
recognized.

4.     Revisit your
brand regularly.  If you have a
well-established practice, it is important to revisit your branding and your
look.  Does your logo and design look
dated? Your branding 20 years ago may have been effective at the time, but does
it accurately reflect the successful, contemporary practice you have come to
be?  It is amazing what a slight makeover
can do to a practice!  Remember, we are
trying to stand out from the crowd and elicit emotion and a response from our
target patients!

There are many benefits to effective branding, both
internally and externally.  Internally, a
strong brand can keep your practice focused on your goals and how you want your
practice to run.  You will have a clear
idea of who you are, what you do and how you do it. Externally, if used
consistently, you can develop an identity that creates an emotional
relationship with your target market. 
Although your skills as a dentist are first and foremost of importance
for most patients, let’s face it, people tend to shop around with their hearts
more than their minds.  If you can
establish that emotional relationship, it will lead to more patients.

Once you have established a strong brand, it is time to
market it.  This can be done through a
website, advertising and brochures.  Your
branding should be reflected in all aspects of your business from invoicing to
letterheads.  The more consistent you are
with your branding and look, the more recognizable you will be to your target
market.  A strong brand does not happen
overnight, however.  On average it can
take from one to three years to really become effective.  With consistency and frequency you are well
on your way to developing a strong brand.

So what it comes down to is the importance of looking at
your practice as a business like any other, with a goal of reaching a target
audience.  A strong brand cannot only
establish how you are perceived, but it can strengthen your credibility.  Most importantly it results in bringing in
more patients to your practice to make you distinctive.

BY far, it, professionals, common, Starbucks, a, the, a, the, a, aBy Andrea Moncarz, Scribble & Ink Design

www.scribbleandink.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

Print this page

Related


Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*