Tuesday

Deteriorated Dental Office Brands

> Invigorating Referrals & Refreshing New Patient Numbers

Dental brands can become stagnant and then deteriorate very quickly, depending on the conditional of the local and national economic environment and strength of the practice structure and management. Generally, within five to seven years many elements can begin to go spread apart and lose their strength without a focused reenergizing effort.

A dental brand includes the office location, facility d├ęcor and layout, dentist expertise, team presentation, practice mission, advertising statements and of course, logo design and the look of other marketing materials. Some dental brand elements will have a much longer life and other brands become outdated even before Google can rank it.

Does your dental practice brand have the strength to thrive?

Weak & Confusing Dental Brands
  • Employing generic marketing when dentists want to emphasize high value dental services
  • Advertising convenience and speed while expecting consumers to pay a high quality treatment fee
  • Promoting cosmetic dentistry without the look and feel of artistry within practice brand elements and office design
  • Building awareness of implant dentistry expertise while simultaneously focusing a lot on free and discounted dental services
Dental office brand inconsistencies mean your patients and consumers come in with hard to manage expectations.

Deteriorating & Stagnant Dental Brands
  • Dentists with significant expertise who have little high value public exposure
  • Referrals built solely on simplistic brand knowledge and expressions such as “friendly and nice”
  • Dental offices where comfort is not an obvious focus in the treatment, setting and team demeanor
  • Marketing focused on services, NOT on people and the overall value of advanced, lifelike dentistry
When a dental brand becomes stagnant and too internally focused (about what the dentist is comfortable with), patients start to look elsewhere. Simply being nice and friendly just won’t cut it anymore.
Dental Office Brand Identity
Brand is closely tied with image. A stronger dental brand can take the office image to a higher level. Dentists with exceptional credentials and a well-honed brand are an infinitely more cohesive entity. An expert can't stop adding new techniques and knowledge and a brand can't rely on one element to survive long term. Many dental office brands rely on one or two things: location/expertise, facility/high-tech or great team/superb service. These branding attempts can only cover so much ground on their own.

New dental patients are attracted because of many branding efforts. Relying on one or two elements like location and referrals means gaps in new patient development will appear. Branding is communication; communication is everything for a dental practice. Oral health, dentistry expertise, and preventive dental care compliance all need communication to make them viable within a consumer society, and ultimately, perceived as vital to each individual.

Marketing dental expertise is complicated. To be successful advocating your high value dentistry services, the complexity needs to be skillfully explained and succinctly understood. This is difficult to do when current and prospective patients are being influenced and distracted by other branding efforts that appeal to them at more basic and emotional levels from ‘free whitening’ and ‘covered by my dental insurance’ to ‘mercury fillings’ and ‘dentist visit fear.’

Marketing a full line of dental care services that are always changing and often misunderstood is problematic. This garble of clinical terms intermixed with always evolving marketing techniques adds to the confusion, which disconnects the consumer from understanding the value your dentistry expertise makes possible. A relevant and concise brand sets your dental office apart from dentist competitors selling those same services as well as other consumer services, which will end up taking precedence when dentistry is missing from public discourse.

Standing out from the generic dentist crowd has a lasting impact. Providing brand name dental services like Lumineers, Invisalign, CEREC One-visit Crowns can be helpful initially. But when every other dentist is advertising the same way, you begin to blend in again. Rather than being the “brand named” cosmetic dentistry veneers artist, invisible braces/orthodontic expert, or high-tech crown restorative dentist, develop an image that is bigger and more exclusive than a service you provide that every other dentist does. A unified and distinctive practice-branding strategy can tie together these other elements and create a focal point for your dental advertising and value educative messages.

Visual Brand Icon: Dental Logos Design
Combining a unique dental logo, cohesively designed package of materials, a congruent image with a consistent salvo of ongoing refreshed re-branding strategies can prevent your dentistry brand from going on life support.

Dental brands such as ‘drill, fill and bill’, ‘dentistry has little value’ and ‘only if insurance covers it’ survive in the minds of patients because most dental offices have similar images or generic marketing strategies. Therefore, dentistry mostly attracts one segment of the larger consumer audience - those who have tooth loss, those in pain, the insurance patient and the (non-fearful) health conscious.

Some of these consumers are desirable, but won't change their current perspective without a different message; many others are not likely to ever connect without an enhanced brand identity being presented. A unique brand that incorporates pleasant images (no dental chair mouth mining), relaxing actual patient renewed smiles (not fear producing metal probes) comfort creating service strategies like sedation dentistry (avoiding the perception that tooth pulling is the goal) as well as advanced technology for a more rewarding experience and smile makeover result has substantial potential to change perspectives and lives.

Comprehensive dental branding will bring more people from the yesteryear of bad dental visit memories to the present day ‘brand’ of total oral health with the dental ‘logo’ of exceptional value and oft spoken ‘tagline’ of painless treatment and pain free living. Effective dental branding is about high value not high cost, great service not great expense, and lifelike results not lifeless quality.

Brands focused on rejuvenated oral health and stunning smile makeovers present the public with a reason to rethink their current value system and move beyond the generic concepts of fix and maintain into the realm optimal and exceptional. Whether dental branding makes sense to you or not, many of your patients and much of the general public need an assertive and refreshing message to move in the right direction quickly enough to preserve their oral health and in many too many cases save their smiles.

Conclusion: Refreshing Dental Practice Brands
Sitting on the sidelines means more people missing out on your dental expertise and smile makeover artistry, which is a losing position for everyone. Patients lose teeth. Dentists like you miss out on revenues. Public dental health continues its supreme reign as the ultimate king of loss leaders.

Take your dental practice to a higher plane of dentistry communication. Get properly branded.

Dental Marketing Commentary by Dick Chwalek
Dental Marketing Coaching & Dentistry Communication Consulting

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