Effective branding is absolutely essential to the success of dental practice, both in terms of the brand’s digital presence and its physical appearance. That’s because, in reality, most people understand very little about dentistry, so superficial factors often play a large role in assessing quality and value.
In other words, you might be the best dentist in the world, but if you don’t have a legitimate brand and online reputation to stand behind, people are often a bit more suspicious of your credibility. Do you really want to trust a new practice if you can’t find any information about it online?
The same goes for your space. If your office appears out-of-date, sad, and run-down, the same will be assumed for your service. In fact, if you look at the winners of the American Dental Association’s Design Innovation Awards, which showcase dental offices with best in esthetic appeal, function and design, every single one uses branded signage to boost their space. Every. Single. One.
So how can you bring your practice to the next level? First, let’s look at your brand itself. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Choose a Name Wisely
In the past, most dental professionals would stick straight to the point – using their name as the name of their practice. However, in today’s digital world, it’s important to think about how that will affect your SEO.
For example, someone moves into town and is looking to find a new dentist in their area. They will likely start with a Google search. So let’s think about how Google will pick up on recognizing your practice. A name like “Bay Harbor Dental” will be picked up for its clear ties to being, obviously, a dental practice in Bay Harbor, whereas “Joe Smith, DDS” may not.
Not only does operating under a brand name help pick up more search hits today, but it also might help with payoff in the long-term.
Think about all of the positive online reviews, social media followers, and referrals from loyal clients that you work to build over the years. When it comes time to retire and sell your practice, it doesn’t quite make sense for a new dentist to operate under someone else’s name, now does it? Operating under a brand, rather than personal name, allows the value of your practice to hold well beyond your years in practice.
Think About Color Choices
Similar with how you decorate your office, how you decorate your brand and logo is just as important for eliciting a certain response from your patients.
Color has a heavy impact on our subconscious perceptions. For example, blue is often subliminally connected to trust, as is green with health. Alternatively, red is often associated with danger. Considering that 3/4 of adults experience dental anxiety or fear, I’d be extra cautious when thinking through your color scheme.
Be Clear, Yet Creative
Last, when it comes to the logo graphic itself, how you approach it is up for a bit of debate.
For example, some dental practices might shy away from any kind of logo imagery altogether. Staying simple and sleek with just your name is certainly OK for branding in certain circumstances, such as for an interior sign above your receptionist desk.
However, we must consider the context in which you plan to use your brand.
Will your logo be used in social media advertising or as an exterior sign, where people will only be looking at it for a few seconds as they scroll or drive by? If so, it might be good to consider incorporating logo graphics– as opposed just to text– to more quickly trigger a response.
So, how can you incorporate those elements into your logo while still standing out? While a molar is the universal sign for a dental practice, there are ways to still make it unique and creative.
Take a look at a wall-mounted sign mock-up that Skyline Laser made for Ocean Dental Studio. We love the way that they take the distinct shape of a molar and merge it with the feelings of an ocean wave to integrate with their name and location.
Or, opt for something that uses other recognizable dental elements. When making a clean, minimalist sign for Tooth Docs, we had 0 doubts about the nature of this business. If the name wasn’t a dead giveaway to what they do– catching a quick glance of the toothbrush should let you know everything.
Whether we like it or not, in today’s world– excellent branding must come equally with superior patient service in order for your dental practice to excel. While this may seem like a daunting task, by considering a few of the tips above, you are well on your way to bringing your dental practice to the next level.
For more branding information, stay tuned for our upcoming post, “Strategic Signage to Enhance Dental and Medical Experience.”