By Roger P. Levin, DDS
A powerful brand generates excitement about your practice. Without a strong brand, your practice will be perceived as “just another dental practice” by patients and potential patients.
In this age of increased competition, every practice needs a sharply defined brand that appeals to its targeted demographic. For instance, a family practice should have a kid-friendly reception area that has appropriate toys and games.
The following questions can help you develop a more focused and powerful brand:
- What are your practice’s strengths?
- Why should patients come to your practice?
- What sets it apart from other practices in the area?
- Are the practice’s hours of operation different from other area practices? Do you offer more or less convenience for patients?
- What intangibles (special awards, community services, etc.) does your practice possess that will help in developing its brand?
By answering these questions, you have begun the process of determining your practice’s competitive advantages. These differentiators will help you to select what elements are needed to develop the right brand for the practice.
Creating a better brand
As the process of developing your brand gets under way, seek feedback from your team members and your patients. Often what you perceive as an asset may not match the perceptions of your staff and patients. For example, your practice may offer an elective treatment such as veneers, but if the staff lacks proper training to educate patients on this service, patients will not be motivated to benefit from your supposed strength. Remember, building a brand requires “outside-the-office” thinking.
View your practice through the eyes of your patients. Ask for patient feedback to make sure your brand is being communicated well to patients. Seeking feedback through patient surveys is a good way to confirm the accuracy of your own perceptions about your practice’s strengths and advantages.
Once you define your competitive advantages, implement the proper systems so your desired brand matches the reality. Align your vision with your brand. Train your staff to promote the services that best reflect the brand. Use the appropriate marketing strategies to educate and motivate patients about your services. By developing and marketing your brand, you will position your practice for continued success.
Dental Economics readers are entitled to receive a 20% courtesy on Levin Group’s Total Practice Success™ Seminar held for all general dentists Nov. 18–19 in Toronto. To register and receive your discount, call (888) 973-0000 and mention “DE” or e-mail [email protected] with “DE TPS” in the subject line. For more information on Levin Group seminars and programs, go to: www.levingroupgp.com.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is chairman and CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm that is dedicated to improving the lives of dentists through a diverse portfolio of lifetime services and solutions. Levin Group may be reached at (888) 973-0000, or www.levingroupgp.com.