25th July 2018
What is Brand Advertising?
Does dental branding really matter? What is it all about?
Branding prevails throughout all our lives. It affects our purchases, and we’re conditioned to respond to its siren song. Our lifestyle habits are shaped by it. And since the 1950s advertising revolution, the concept of branding has undergone a drastic maturation process.
It’s difficult to imagine a decade more influential on our current lifestyles than the 1950s. With the tremendous growth of television and other advances in technology, advertising grew by leaps and bounds, serving a public seeking familiarity in companies, services, and especially products that could meet expectations, needs, and demands with great certainty.
Since that time, we’ve all become marketing analysts on a basic level. Our assumptions regarding companies are based on familiar concepts. Brand advertising has, indeed, crossed over from big business marketing discussions into the everyday household.
But, what is ‘branding,’ exactly? And why should it matter and how does it affect your dental marketing?
Essentially, branding is a mixture of a company’s public face and the experiences and perceptions consumers associate with it. According to Jay Baer, a marketing guru, ‘Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice versa.’
We’re now encouraged by the internet to consider our own branding, both on a business and individual level.
Business branding is now a crucial part of a marketing campaign, so it must meet specific criteria across all the various online platforms and devices people use. A dentist’s successful online presence must reflect and amplify the good experiences patients have in their practice.
While good branding’s impact might be arguably impossible to measure, customers are drawn to their smartphones for research before purchasing good and services, including dentistry.
This means big changes for dentists who’ve not yet had an introduction to mobile digital branding.
Smartphones offer seemingly limitless possibilities for engaging current and potential patients. This is convenient, as a recent survey indicated one in five people ‘cannot live’ without their mobile phone.
To be clear, branding does not involve just colour schemes and logos for your website and signage.
Branding, at its best, reflects a natural extension of you and your practice, so capture the real essence of your practice’s ethos. What your patients experience, hear, and see is important and must encapsulate your branding. This means that from the moment they pass through your door or visit your website, the customer experience truly does matter.
In summary, speak to your audience in a constant and consistent voice, whether on social media, a reception phone conversation, or at your door.
Consider the three areas below:
- Identity –the most considered area in the discussion of branding. It’s certainly worth investing in a superb dentistry design team to help you create ideas and flesh them out on paper. Consider a few options and perform a litmus test with your family and friends. The design, fonts, and colours you choose will reflect largely on your business. Remember your audience as well, and keep in mind those to whom you’re trying to appeal. Are you using the proper language? Are you in a village or city environment? What is the key local demographic? It’s relatively worthless to appeal to young mums with blogs about preschool dental care and teething if your practice is based in an area populated mostly by young professionals. Your aesthetics and your language must be appropriate. How do you compare to your competitors?
- Freshness and consistency – does your branding change across the various platforms? Marketing often doesn’t receive the attention it deserves from busy dental professionals. The tell-tale neglect of social media and websites harshly in need of an update reflect poorly on your online commitment to your customers. Does your site need improved functionality or a new look? Does your branding match the appropriate business environment? Does your team fully understand what you’re trying to reflect through your branding? It’s fine when a great website or social media activity results in an increase in customers coming through your door. But are these same messages shared in person? Proudly demonstrate your commitment to oral health and education online but be sure your team recognises and understands this key element of your business ethos.
- Price – all businesses desire to offer quality service. But truthfully, there are various perspectives on the topic of dental care and patients enjoy having a choice. Do you offer high-end orthodontics or cater more to the budget-minded crowd? Do you advertise yourself as a dental spa with multiple aesthetic treatments, or are you more of a family practice? Again, the ethos of your practice should be reflected in all your branding (and vice versa).
Brand recognition is an important and accepted facet of modern life. Per one study, even pre-schoolers can recognise ‘child-orientated’ brands. Pepsi and Disney are popular with them, as is McDonald’s with its immensely recognisable golden arches.
Brand interaction can range from potential patients visiting your branded site online to opting into your branded texts, downloading your branded app and, ultimately, being in your chair.
Continue your branded messaging in a constant and consistent manner. Make it support your brand and your high care standards and positive team behaviour. Use it to underline your available products and services online and in person, always and in all ways.