How to brand your practice without spending a fortune – Part 2

In the current competitive environment, you cannot afford to be “just another dentist”. You need to stand out from the crowd or the crowd will NOT walk in your door.

In this new series, founder of Dental Profit System, Angus Pryor will take you through the different methods to brand your practice without spending a fortune.

Hi everyone. Angus Pryor, creator of the Dental Profit System and co-author of the Kindle smashing book “The Better Business Book” bringing you this week’s Marketing Monday, the weekly show designed to boost the marketing at your dental practice. This week we’re going to look at, this will be part two of our series, how to brand your practice without spending a fortune.

Just as a reminder, last week, we looked at why you should bother. If you want to see the previous shows, go and check out Dental Profit System, and you’ll see the previous shows there. As a reminder, I had two bottles. I had a Coke bottle and a bottle of Woolworths branded Cola, well at least in the imagination it was. The fact is that the branding associated with Coke allows them to charge a lot more for that product than the Woolworths brand Cola, even though the products are substantially the same. For your dental practice, branding properly can allow you to charge more.

Importantly, it means that you give people another reason to compare your practice rather than just, “What do you charge for blah, blah, blah?” The second point that we talked about, what is branding. The reality is branding is the totality of everything that your practice does in terms of your physical presence, where you are, the services that you provide and so on and so on, and curiously, branding you don’t actually get to control. Now today I was actually going to talk to you about something else about branding, but the fact is I was in Melbourne at a shopping center or a strip mall and a car pulled up. We stopped outside a florist, and I can tell you from a branding point of view, these guys were jaw dropping.

If you want to go and check them out, they’re in South Yara. I’m trying to think what street it was on, fairly major thoroughfare. In this particular place, as soon as we’d pulled the car into the curb, they’ve got a whole bunch of plants on the side there. You literally park your car next to a whole bunch of plant that they, obviously, every morning take in and out. Then I looked in the door and they’ve got leaves. They’ve got Oak leaves. The floor is covered in Oak leaves. It was like walking out into the bush or something. It was quite amazing. From a branding point of view, one of the key messages therefore is about standing out.

How do you stand out like that florist in Melbourne? You might think, “That’s all very well for a florist, but what do you when you’re a dentist?” How do you stand out in that case? I’ve just come up with a few things. David Moffett talks about one thing that I think is really cool, which is where at practices that he’s worked, they have the little refresher towelettes that come out of the microwave when you’ve just finished something like, if you’ve ever been in business class on an airline or maybe at some fancy restaurants, that’s a really cool way of standing out.

I had to think about some other things that you could potentially do. One thing to set your mind at rest here, it doesn’t have to be one awesome thing. You can just do several little things, because those are the things that people remember. It’s that compounding effect that can boost your brand. Here’s some ideas. One, what about applying for awards in your area? There’s those community ones through the local newspapers or whatever. We did this one of our clients late last year and they became a finalist. Now, it took some effort, filling in some paperwork, and getting some testimonials, and so on. The fact is they became a finalist. To my surprise, that was advertised, or at least there was an article about it, which was put into a local magazine. I was in the Qantas Club and I picked up a magazine, and there’s an article about the awards and the name of that dental practice as a finalist. That’s one thing you can do.

Another thing you can do to really stand out from a branding point of view is give people a choice. I mean, what are some of the elements in your practice which you can personalize? What about a choice of flavors for their mouthwash? What about a choice of colors for their bib? I don’t know, just a range of things that you could personalize, really minor stuff. From their point of view, they go, “Oh no, this is not just any dentist. That’s one of the things that they do.”

Now, this one I came up with all by myself. What about this, as far as I know, no dentist is offering a massage at the end of the treatment. I’m not talking about half hour or anything, I’m just thinking for a lot of people sitting in the chair, it can be a bit stressful. What if you could offer a two minute shoulder massage at the end of it just as a way of saying, “Hey, we know some people find the dentist a little bit stressful. One of the staff will give you a shoulder massage at the end.”? A series of those little things to make you stand out, and all of that adds up to your brand. As the name of this show suggests, you don’t need to be spending a fortune to do this stuff.

Your homework is, what’s one or two things you can do at your practice just to stand out, to be a little bit different from the competition that your customers are going to recognize and they’re going to value?

All right, if you want some more help with your marketing, head across to Dental Profit System. Otherwise, we will see you next week when we’ve got another in this series on branding. It’s Angus Pryor signing off. See you next week on Marketing Monday.