Your dental practice is many things at once: the culmination of years of effort and training on your part, a business that supports both its clients and its staff, a source of vital health care for your patients. And while all these things are vital, it’s important to remember that your dental practice is also a brand.
So what is a brand? A brand is the image and identity of your business as it exists in the minds of your current and potential patients. A brand consists of several things: the visual trappings of your business–the logo, signage, letterhead, exterior, and interior decor–the atmosphere you create within your business through your personality and client interaction, and the messages that your business marketing conveys to others.
Brand consistency, by extension, is the unified and cohesive message and image that your brand projects to the world and the way in which the world interprets them. Brand consistency means that the same message and personality for your brand goes out across all avenues used to communicate with your clients. Your social media, mailings, advertising, and signage should all reflect the same brand identity.
Why is this important? Brand consistency fills a number of important roles in forging connections between your practice and both current and potential patients:
- A basic principle of marketing is that perception creates action. If your brand projects the right image, consistently, to the right demographic, they’ll be more likely to respond in the way you want and select your practice as their dental care provider. The idea that your branding creates in their minds is what draws them in, and consistency plays a huge role in that by reinforcing that image over and over again.
- Trust is key in forging any brand identity and the relationship between any brand and its audience. This is doubly true for dentistry, as dental care is a deeply personal and occasionally emotional thing. For dental practices building brand consistency is the first step in building trust. You want to project an image that is both professional and welcoming while reassuring the patient that this is the place where they can get the sort of dental care that they need. Brand consistency creates an image, and that image needs in turn to create trust.
- Brand consistency also helps to foster a sense of community around your brand and your practice. This works in two different ways Firstly, it gives your patients the sense that they are part of something, that they’ll be treated like family by you and your staff, and that they share something special with their fellow patients. Secondly, it helps create a space for your brand within the community you serve and helps build and sustain the connection between your practice and the community around it. As we move through the COVID pandemic and into what lies beyond, a sense of community and connection is more important than ever. Furthermore, that importance is likely to remain for some time to come.
Brand consistency is another way of communicating your message, effectively and directly, to the audience you need in order for your practice to thrive. Building the right brand and creating brand consistency requires diligence, professionalism, and a deft touch combined with an understanding of your practice and its goals. With the right professional guidance, your brand and brand consistency can help you further the success and growth of your dental practice.