When most people think about branding, they think Coca-Cola, or restaurants like McDonald’s, or maybe even large banks like HSBC.
Rarely, do people think of their dentist office as being a brand. Yet, every business owner should be thinking about branding as part of their marketing efforts.
Branding helps people remember you. It helps build up trust and creates strong relationships.
We’re sharing with you a few tips on brand positioning that every dentist can implement into their practice today. Keep reading to learn more.
Determine What Your Patients Are Looking For
Before you can create a brand, you need to figure out what your patients want in a dental practice. One way to figure this out is to simply ask them.
Obviously, their needs and wants will differ slightly, but you can use this to create a brand positioning that speaks to them.
Ask yourself who your target patients are. Determine their median age group. Figure out their likes and dislikes. Determine what tax bracket they tend to fall in.
The more you know who your patients are, the easier it will be to attract them to your practice.
Also, figure out what their core values are. If you live in a big city, your patient’s values may differ from a dentist whose patients are from rural areas.
Patients from big cities may value your ability to do a great job while getting them on their way quickly. Patients from rural areas may value the fact that you’re willing to sit with them a little longer to chat about rural life.
Make Sure You Can Deliver On Your Brand
Imagine heading into Burger King and asking for a hamburger with no pickles. They first tell you they can’t do that. Then they tell you if you want a burger with no pickles, it will take them an additional 30 minutes.
Their brand positioning is, “Your way, right away.” If Burger King couldn’t deliver on this, then they’d have gone out of business a long time ago.
Whatever way you choose to brand your dental practice, you must be able to deliver on your promises. If you state, “we’re always on time,” yet, you’re constantly running late, you’ll quickly gain a reputation for being unreliable.
If you choose to brand yourself as a patient’s advocate, then you must also plan to spend extra time answering their questions and helping them figure out their insurance plans.
Choose something that you value as greatly as your patients do. It will help you make sure you can constantly deliver.
Identify Your Competition
Brand positioning isn’t just about making your patients happy. You have to know who your competition is.
Then you have to find a way to set yourself apart from them.
Think about Birds Eye Foods, Inc and Green Giant. They both sell vegetables to consumers.
Both companies have relied heavily on brand positioning to help them build a loyal customer base who, week after week, continue to buy their brand of vegetables even though there’s probably not much of a difference in their products.
Both companies closely study their competition because they realize that’s how they can find a way to set themselves apart.
Dentists can do the same. Yes, much of what you do is going to be exactly the same as the dental practice down the road; Just like carrots are carrots.
However, you and your team are what sets you apart from your competition, so figure out how your business is unique to all others.
Determine Your Strengths
You’ve figured out who you’re targeting in your community for patients. You also know exactly who your competition is.
Now you need to figure out who you are. It’s time to determine what you and your dental practice team bring to the table.
A good way to figure this out is to read Seth Godin’s book, “The Purple Cow.”
Sit down with your team and have a discussion about your core values. Determine as a group what you want your dental practice to stand for.
Brand positioning only works when everyone on your team is aware of it and fully on board. You must all act as a cohesive unit in order for this to work effectively.
Also, figure out how your brand positioning can be demonstrated. Determine what you can deliver time and again to create an awareness in your community.
Doing so will help build a trust relationship between you and your team. It will also do the same for your patients.
People do business with people, but they only do business with people they like and trust.
This is especially true for dental practices. If you can’t find a way to build a trusting relationship with your patients, your practice will fail.
However, if you did get off on the wrong foot, branding is an excellent way to change the viewpoint of your target market.
Create a Brand Positioning Statement
Now it’s time to create your brand positioning statement.
You have already determined your target patient. Now you need to determine your market definition.
The category you’re competing in is dental care. Next, you need to figure out the relevant context you will have in relating to your patients.
You have also already discovered that whatever your brand promise is, you need to be able to deliver on it. Now it’s time to figure out what the most beneficial reason is for your patients to choose you over another dental practice.
Then you have to provide them with evidence of why they should believe and trust in you. When you put all these elements together, it should provide you with a compelling brand positioning statement that resonates with your patients.
Ask For Help
Running a successful practice takes up a lot of time. Marketing isn’t really something most dentists are great at. They excel at helping patients have healthy teeth and gums.
But that doesn’t mean you can ignore marketing just because it’s not your forte. There are resources available to help you create and implement simple marketing strategies that can help you quickly boost your practice.
You can also ask for help. That’s what marketing professionals are for. You focus on fixing the teeth while we focus on your marketing. Take a look at what we can do for you.