Before you start building your brand, you need to recognize that a brand is not just your logo or a catchy slogan. Your brand is what makes your business unique from other dental practices in your area. Your brand starts with you. So when deciding what your brand is, look at yourself first. What are the reasons you decided to become a dentist? What are you interested in away from the office? What about your community – why did you choose this location? You might find clues in your answers to these questions. But don’t rush it. You will be incorporating your brand into all areas of your practice, so you need to be comfortable with it for the long run.
If you have chosen a strong brand and you have an emotional tie to the brand, it will impact most of the decisions you make about your practice other than the purely professional expertise items. Let’s say you are a total history buff, so much so that you moved to a community with an interactive historical museum and town within the community. Many people earn their living through some association or other to the museum. You decide that your brand will be focused on your interest in history AND the future. How might you use that brand in creating a great dental practice?
Designing your office
The history part might be as simple as the pictures you display in your office and examination rooms. Though you might have a collection of dental tools from over the years, your office may NOT be the best place to display them. Instead, consider making them an ongoing part of the historic museum. In your office you want patients to think of easy visits, not of the pain from history. But you are basing your brand on the future too. So your furniture, though comfortable, could have sleek lines and innovative designs. You might also choose a color scheme based on the logo and advertising used by the museum for a subtle tie back to the historical angle.
Associate your brand to the best dental care possible
The customer experience always needs to be focused on the positive. When the patient first walks in the door, will they feel the warm greeting akin to a yesteryear experience or the sterile, automated function of a future gone wrong? You can transport your patient back to a time when life seemed a bit more relaxed and friendly while giving them the best treatment known in today’s world. And when they leave, you can give your patients an element of the future – a disposable travel toothbrush with the paste inside the brush or a recent innovation in dental floss.
No matter how much you have done to create a great experience so far, you should be looking for ways to get even better or expand on your brand. Check with your patients about their experience and how they felt when they left your office. Meet with your staff to get their impressions and suggestions. And when you make changes keep the brand in mind. Look for ways to deepen the connection with all new elements you bring to your office.
Ultimately, branding is a way to improve your bottom line. When it is done right, it will positively impact the finances of the business, and it should also leave you feeling satisfied with being able to do the work you love. Never be afraid to ask for professional advice and help when you are establishing or making changes using your brand.
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