With summer in full swing, I find myself reflecting on tradition. As I drive my daughter to the neighborhood pool with our canvas bag brimming with towels and toys, I can’t help but get nostalgic for the days when I’d ride with my own mother to the beach in her convertible VW Bug.
And the sound of cracking open an ice-cold Coke on a hot day brings me right back to my Grandma Tully’s kitchen, where she’d ask me in her slow Southern drawl, “Wendy, would you like a Co-Cola?” then she’d drop three salty Virginia peanuts in the can for extra flavor.
Tradition is like brand. Both speak to who we are within the context of our unique worlds.
One of my dentist friends, Dr. David Winn, is so committed to his avant-garde approach that you can see it in everything he does. He is known and widely regarded as a master in the field of laser dentistry, and he teaches dentists throughout the U.S. on his philosophies. He has also attended the prestigious L.D. Pankey Institute of Advanced Dental Education. His equipment looks otherworldly. His practice sits perched on a hill, separate and different from anything around him. As you talk with him, you can see his engineering-savvy mind working, and he never misses a detail. His very demeanor is that of a fascinating yet endearing mad scientist. His patients and peers think him brilliant. He is absolutely sure of who he is and what he wants his practice to be, and he is the embodiment of that vision in everything he does.
Another of my dentist friends, Dr. Brett Kessler, is fiercely committed to people. He speaks nationwide about the importance of culture and communication within the practice. When you visit his practice, you can tell how connected his team is. Also trained in the Pankey Philosophy, he is dedicated to comprehensive care, and he puts patients first. And in his world, all people are important. His work helping recovering addicts rebuild their smiles has caught national attention. As his patient and long-time friend, I know how committed he is to me; he has successfully treated me for TMJ disorder, he has talked me through countless professional growing pains, and he has sung my company’s praises wide and far. He does this for everyone he believes in, and his loyalty has a vast and deep ripple effect.
Brand is less about your logo and website and more about the true you.
What is important to you? What traditions do you keep? How does that translate into your practice?
Who do you want to be within the context of your unique world?