Positioning Your Practice For Success

May 15, 2013 | Dental |

Here is a typical scenario.

 

A family has just moved into your local community and they are starting to establish their new lifestyle. They are looking for a new dentist, so they call your dental office and ask the big question: “We noticed you and three other dental offices in our local area. What makes your dental office so special? And why should I choose you?”

Let’s face it – with the competitive world that we live in today, it’s all about creating a position for your brand identity that is unique.  Whether you’re a real estate agent, restaurant, or dental office, today’s consumer has many options to choose from. What separates the average from the good, and the good from the great, is the overall brand experience.

 

For lunch yesterday, we went to one of our regular Asian fares. In past visits, while the food was always good, there was nothing great or differentiating happening here. You got a simple hello (sometimes), you ordered your meal, you paid, they prepared your meal right in front of you, they handed you your meal on a disposable plate and then you went to seat yourself and ate. Pretty simple – it was all good.

 

But things were quite different yesterday. With a few simple changes, yesterday’s lunch transformed from Pretty simple – all good to Pretty simple – all VERY good!  This time, we were greeted with a warm “Hello. How are you today?” After ordering and paying for our meals, they brought our meals to our table, on real and quite eye catching plates, which greatly improved the presentation of the meals.  While there was nothing different about the taste of the food, the taste of the entire lunch and brand experience was a superb upgrade.

Similarly, two of my good friends are realtors. While both are very successful, they each have very different approaches to their business. One focuses on selling beautiful homes to families, while the other deals exclusively with million dollar plus properties.  Both are very talented, but the way they position their businesses in the super competitive world of real estate is very different.

The restaurant and realtor stories above are just two examples of the power of brand positioning. The way you present yourself and the way you conduct your business says a lot about the type of success you can achieve. It also speaks to the type of clientele you will work with.

 

The same logic applies in the world of dentistry today.

 

In today’s marketplace, more and more of FCM’s work with dental practices is starting with a real discussion about the positioning of the brand identity and how they will differentiate themselves from their competitors. After all, today’s consumers expect dental offices to provide quality dentistry.  It is the other little things that make you unique and strengthens your position for acquiring and retaining patients.

 

Last fall, we had the pleasure of working with Dr. Thomm and her successful dental practice in western Ontario.  In a very competitive marketplace, Dr. Thomm was using her name as her practice identity. Our discussion with her confirmed that her existing practice name position would limit her opportunities for growth, as most prospective clients’ first impression would be smaller practice. By rebranding with a new name Great Lakes Dental, she could appear larger, more ethnically diverse – and have associates working under her new brand identity. In partnership with Dr. Thomm, FCM created a game plan to rebrand, reposition and relaunch her dental practice.

 

After the rebrand was complete with a new brand identity and website, it was time to engage her existing patients. We recommended mailing a newsletter to all existing patients announcing the relaunch and positioning the practice for growth. Patients were very happy to hear from Dr. Thomm and the news of the rebrand.  Dr. Thomm commented to me how this positive patient reaction greatly exceeded her expectation.

 

Dr. Thomm made a good marketing investment in her dental practice. Her patients are engaged and excited about the practice moving forward. Her practice was now also ready for the next phase of marketing with a focus on revenue building and new patient acquisition.

We are currently working with a client in the downtown core of Hamilton, Ontario. To be more competitive, the doctor realizes that he needs to relaunch and rebrand his twenty year old practice. With the dental office being located in one of the downtown business towers, our target audience is business professionals who work in the building and the local downtown core. Our first order of business was to understand this target audience and what was important to them in a dental visit. These insights would be used to establish our new brand identity, positioning strategy and patient experience. It is safe to say that the brand positioning for this downtown practice will be something very different from Dr.Thomm’s family practice.

 

Stay tuned later this summer when we will unveil this next FCM client success story!

 

Whatever the business, people like to be associated with leaders or winners. Starbucks, Mercedes and Nike are just a few of the bigger name brands that embrace the power of brand identity and brand positioning. The first step to taking your practice to a higher level is to examine the current status of your brand identity and your positioning, and asking yourself how well you stack up and differentiate yourself against the competition. It’s a question FCM asks clients each and every day.

 

Article Copyright of Full Contact Marketing

 

Bottom Line: This article explains the importance of your brand experience, brand identity and brand positioning for improving your dental practice’s revenue building and new patient acquisition.

 

Daniel Pisek is the president of Full Contact Marketing, which specializes in health practice marketing. He can be reached at dan@fullcontactmarketing.ca