In my last blog, I talked about 10 important lessons that came out of this new book I read entitled “60 Minute Brand Strategist” by Idris Mootee. And at the end of the blog, I asked: how does this apply to dentistry? Well, let’s discuss, shall we?
Lesson #1: Brands help us choose
There are so many dentists out there – especially in the urban areas. Developing a strong and memorable brand allows you to gain a competitive advantage. They allow patients to identify your practice and be loyal to you. Because you care about things like the experience they are going to have, the service they are going to receive, the emotions you’re going to tantalize, etc. You are going to make them a better version of themselves, get them the best job they can get, the significant other they want, a better life, etc. And you can do that through dentistry. And that’s why they’ll come to you.
Lesson #2: What a Brand is NOT
Don’t waste your time on developing a logo, a slogan, an ad, a graphic, a layout, a text, colours, etc. You need to develop a brand that connects patients with your dental services.
Lesson #3: What a Brand is
Your brand needs to communicate your message, your experience, the emotions that you’ll tantalize or engage. What will you be remembered for? What is the one thing you and your office does really well? Are you living a “recommendable life” when you go the office and outside of the workplace?
Lesson #4: Without a Brand…
You don’t want to be offering free teeth whitening and free COEs, do you? How are you going to pay yourself, your staff, your mortgage with discounts and FREE? Don’t be a commodity. Don’t degrade the profession. You spent too much time and effort getting to where you’re at. So start branding! You’re not a commodity service!
Lesson #5: Customers are on a treadmill
Here comes the WOW factor: deliver What patients Want, On Time, With attention to detail. Many patients these days (particularly the young ones or the ones with disposable incomes) are high maintenance. They want to be in and out. They want to be educated. They want cost-certainty. They want exceptional services. They want results. And they are used to it with other brands, so why not yours? Yes, they may be unreasonable, but guess what: you can command a premium for delivering the ‘unreasonable’.
Lesson #6: What a Brand can do for you…
If you target a certain market more effectively and efficiently than competitors and become known as the ‘go-to’ practice or dentist in that field (e.g. the new mother dental practice, the wedding dental practice, etc.), you can command premiums, work less, and enjoy the fruits of your labour (because it’s now easier for you to target a segment of the population and charge premiums!).
Lesson #7: The difference between a service and a Brand…
You don’t sell dental services. You sell an experience of going to the dentist. If you sold dental services, then you would compete on price. Your patient would also know (or try to figure out everything) about the treatment you’re recommending or how good you are as a dentist. But patients don’t know. They’re not trained to know. They can’t tell the difference. And dentists aren’t supposed to advertise their uniqueness or superiority. So what are patients actually buying? It’s not just your services…
Lesson #8: People buy Brands because…
If you are cool, your practice is cool, the experience is awesome and luxurious (see below) and you spend the time educating your patient, they will want to share that experience and wealth of information to everyone they meet that day and next. It makes them feel cooler and smarter. That’s why they’re going to come back to you…
Lesson #9: What is Branding by Customer Experience?
What kind of experience do your patients from, from start to finish, when dealing with your brand? Is your website a dated brochure of sorts? Does your logo have a toothbrush on it? Does your office smell like old carpet and flouride? Are your staff rude? Are you on time? Do you take time to speak with patients? These are all little parts of the overall experience that a patient will have and will spread (via word of mouth) about your practice.
Lesson #10: The Massification of Luxury
Everyone wants to have a taste of luxury. That’s how the whole time-share business came to be. It allows average people the opportunity to see what it’s like to live for a few weeks a year in a really nice place. And so, when your patients come to see you, are you treating them to a luxurious experience? Are your leasehold improvements stunning? Do you offer them a beverage (e.g. espresso from your Jura machine, which grinds the beans fresh with every shot) while they’re waiting? Do you have big screen TVs playing their favourite channels? Do the chairs in your waiting room give them a relaxing massage as they wait? Think luxury….