What’s In a Name?

By January 5, 2016Blog

The best brand name for your practice is easy to spell and easy to say. It evokes a feeling, which makes it extremely memorable and word-of-mouth worthy. It has a website address that matches the exact brand name without dashes, abbreviations or extra words. It is available for trademark and is not in current use by any competitor in your state or region. In this way, it is salable. It is an asset to be transitioned with the practice, and it packs brand equity and measurable value.

Here are three types of dental practice brand names with pros and cons of each:

Generic Names

The lowest common denominator of names, these are usually descriptive of what the practice does. While they are very easy to develop, they are not always easy to spell or say and they are not memorable. Further, they are typically not available for trademark. These are the highest-risk and lowest-value names in the dental industry. Examples include:

  • The Los Angeles Dentist
  • Cheyenne Dental Center
  • Family Dentistry

Personal Names

These are the name of a person, such as a founder or owner. These are the most common names for dental practices. They, too, are easy to develop. However, they can pose challenges for the owner/dentist when it’s time to add an associate or partner, or time to sell the practice. Like generic names, they are not always easy to spell or say, they are not memorable and they are typically not available for trademark. These are high-risk and low-value dental practice brand names. Examples include:

  • Roy T. Morgan DDS
  • O’Malley Orthodontics
  • Smith & Jefferson Dentistry

Brand Core Names

These names are designed to create a position for the practice; in other words, they truly set the practice apart in the community. They create or tell a story. They evoke a feeling, thought or memory. This is the type of name that is right for your brand. It may be possible to trademark a brand core name, and this type of name is salable. These are low-risk and high-value names. Examples include:

A dentist asked recently, “I want to rename my practice, but I’m afraid that if I use something other than my own name that it will sound too ‘corporate.’”

If you want the right brand name for your independent dental practice, I still advise a brand core name. You might add “Independently Owned and Operated” to your marketing materials, but the patient is buying an experience from you, not independent dentistry. Put the experience first, and let the rest follow.