The word “brand” is a marketing term often misconceived and mysterious. For example, dentists sometimes confuse their business with their brand, but your business is not your brand. Your brand is the experience patients have with your dental practice.
Your brand is the impression your business leaves upon patients, from scheduling an appointment to interacting on social media, the health of your brand is imperative to cultivating new patients, and building loyalty amongst existing patients.
So what makes a good brand? What can you do to create a memorable brand that encourages patient loyalty?
Establish Brand Goals
Before you can design a logo or craft a social media campaign, you need to decide upon the goals you want your brand to achieve. Determine how you want audiences to perceive your brand, and how your business stands apart from the crowd.
Spend time thinking about the message you want to send with your brand and the demographic you want to engage.
Maintain a Clear Visual Identity
A clear visual identity is hugely important when creating a memorable brand. A brand’s visual identity is a combination of logo, typeface, colors and words that represent a company’s services and values. Your visual identity should be clear, uncluttered and unique to your brand’s identity.
Your logo, website, offices and social media channels are all a part of your brand’s visual identity. Be sure that every visual extension of your dental practice is consistent and aligns with the experience you’re trying to create.
Create a Great Logo
Designing a logo may be the one of the biggest challenges in building your brand’s visual representation. There are things you should think about when looking at your current logo, or when you’re considering a new one. Does it reflect the services you provide? Is it a unique and memorable mark that can be used flexibly across multiple platforms? Is it classic and timeless? Will it look good large or small, on the web or in print?
It’s important that you spend significant time considering your logo and how it represents your dental practice as a whole.
Share Your Company’s Values
Your brand should clearly communicate the strengths of your services, but also your company values. Your website is a great place to do this. Patients want excellent service, but they also want to align with a dental practice that shares similar values and engages them on an emotional level.
One way to establish an emotional connection with your patients is through volunteerism. Do you do any charity work? Do you provide dental services overseas for the underprivileged?
If you do any volunteering, then share your experiences on your website and social media accounts! Not only will you inform audiences of your good works, but you’ll also endear your practice to like-minded individuals seeking your service.
Practice Meaningful Engagement
You may think of online engagement as being limited to social media interactions, but that’s only somewhat true. One place where users engage with your brand is on your website. In order to boost engagement on your website, you need to create pages that offer online audiences value.
Consider listing the important services you provide and then – through the help of your blog – write informational stories about those services. What makes them right for your target patient? Why do they need this service? Is it a new technology? Think about how your website informs your audience and how they might use the knowledge to make a decision.
Keep the informational pieces in line with your brand’s voice to maintain consistency. Engagement bonus: Higher website engagement can lead to higher search engine rankings.
Maintain Consistency across All Platforms
Humans are creatures of habit. This extends into how we choose the brands we rely upon and return to again and again, which is why brand consistency is vital to keeping patient loyalty. Patients will return to your practice because you’ve created a dependable experience that they enjoy.
Your brand experience extends beyond your office walls and onto your website and all other social channels. Make sure that everywhere your brand appears is consistent with your brand’s voice and the experience you hope to create with your brand.
WSI Axon Does Branding
WSI Axon offers a variety of products and tools that will help your brand stand apart from the masses. We work with pediatric dentists to create logos, branded social media accounts and full website design services so that your brand is clear, consistent and engaging.