True or false: Branding matters in dentistry.

The answer to the above is 100 percent, absolutely true. In fact, branding matters for every organization and company, whether specializing in consumer goods and services, healthcare, technology, or otherwise.

So, what is branding? Branding is the act of actively shaping your brand. In other words, it communicates a message, creates public perception, and is the most easily recognizable identifier. It is essential to understand that all branding tells a story. This is a great thing in that stories are around 22 times more memorable than facts.

Take your favorite movie, for example. If you were asked to describe the main characters, conflict, and resolution to someone who hasn’t seen it before, could you do it? Probably! And in detail. Now take your last quarterly meeting. If you were asked to describe that to an individual not in attendance, could you do that? Maybe, maybe not. You might remember the generalities, but statistics and details of the conversation may go amiss. This is all to say that stories are the key to creating memorable, lasting connections. Stories matter. And you need to consider what story you and your practice are telling.

Your story helps to inform the general public on how they should feel about you and your practice. And individuals attach their assumptions to each part of your story, from your logo to your color scheme and aesthetics. So why are dentists late to the marketing game, instead relying on traditional methods—such as word of mouth and proximity to patients—to bring in patients? No more. It’s time to establish a clear brand identity and stick with it.

Interested in a crash course in branding? We’ve got you covered with branding 101 for dentistry.

Understand Your Audience

First things first: You need to know yourself and your consumer. Who are you, and who are you trying to reach? By understanding these details, you can communicate better, build stronger relationships, and grow your brand.

Begin by creating a detailed buyer persona. This is a semifictional representation of your ideal customer based on data and research. Having a persona will help you focus your time on qualified prospects, guide product development to suit the needs of your target customers, and align all work across your organization (from marketing to sales to service).

As a result, you’ll be able to attract high-value visitors, leads, and customers to your business, who you’ll be more likely to retain over time. More specifically, having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow-up, and really anything related to customer acquisition and retention.

Begin by browsing through your current database of patients and identify commonalities. From there, consider the age range, where your patients spend most of their time, and how they prefer to consume content. Ask existing patients what they enjoy about your practice, what you can improve, and if they would refer you to their friends and family. This will help you to understand the patient perspective and tailor your marketing and branding as such.

Hone in on Your Appearance

Your appearance—the look and feel of your brand—is the foundation to establishing credibility. From color to logo and aesthetics, by carefully crafting your brand’s image, you communicate to your audience how they should feel or perceive your product or service. Consider your favorite brands: Do you know their logos off the top of your head? How do their color palettes make you feel? These are essential questions to ask when branding your practice.

Consider how you want your clients to feel, and select a color palette that represents these emotions. As for your logo, invest in a quality graphic designer and collaborate to create something that tells your story. Consider the font, size, and a potential icon to be used on future marketing collateral. This is the foundation of your company, so don’t skimp; instead, invest in and elevate your appearance.

Be Present and Engaged

In this modern world, presence, especially on social media platforms, is absolutely essential. You need to be where your patients are. You need to market yourself, share exciting stories, and engage with your audience. Also, be sure to maintain consistency. Once you join social media platforms and begin to connect with others, stay on brand and post quality content consistently. By maintaining a high standard and showcasing your story and what makes your practice stand out, you will likely start to notice an increase in new patients and referrals.

Branding is essential to developing a successful dental marketing strategy in 2021. From your logo to your color palette and engagement on social media platforms, branding helps to make your practice more easily identifiable. Additionally, it’s essential to consider your company values and desired direction as you grow and expand, hiring employees who share your goals and representing your brand’s look and feel. By implementing these strategies, you are sure to find success.