Why the Dentist’s Opinion is Only 1% of the Brand Story

The most common way for a dental practice to formulate its brand is from the mind of the dentist, and it is most typically (and mistakenly) limited to a finite set of items, perhaps the name, logo and sign.

In actuality, brand is the collective perception of the total practice and it comes from 99 more slices of pie, which may include:

  • That the practice has 17 positive online reviews and 4 negative
  • That the phone is answered in two rings when the patient calls to make the appointment
  • That there is a pothole on the road leading up to the practice, and the fact that the patient happened to miss it this time
  • That the practice’s sign is easy to read from the street
  • How freshly painted the lines are in the practice parking lot
  • The fact that the patient happened to score the best spot in the lot
  • The old piece of gum that’s been stuck on the sidewalk right out front of the practice for the last 68 days
  • The fellow tenant who always has a smile on her face and happens to say, “Good morning!” to your patient as she enters
  • The movers’ quilts in the elevators that the landlord keeps saying he will remove but hasn’t yet
  • That the front door squeaks when the patient enters
  • That the front desk team is dressed in matching shirts with freshly styled hair and nicely groomed fingernails
  • That business cards, brochures and other takeaways are displayed neatly on the front desk
  • That there is filtered water, tea and coffee available in the waiting area
  • That Alice at the front desk chooses to engage the patient in light, easygoing conversation
  • That the patient waits 7.25 minutes before being taken back
  • That the dentist himself arrives in the waiting area to take the patient back
  • That the patient feels comfortable – physically, emotionally and psychologically – at this, the critical moment before care begins
  • That the hygienist remembers the patient’s daughter’s name, age and grade, and asks meaningful questions about her
  • That it is fully explained why X-rays are needed and what can be expected while the patient is guided to the X-ray room
  • That the tiles are slightly coming up from the floor in the hallway
  • That the bitewings are extremely carefully placed given the fact that the patient has mandibular tori
  • That the X-rays are efficiently and effectively taken
  • That the patient is able to immediately and clearly see the X-ray results
  • That the X-ray results are thoroughly explained to the patient
  • That the patient is asked if he/she is comfortable before the cleaning
  • That the cleaning is efficient and effective
  • The fact that the protective eyewear is a pair of fancy sunglasses, just for fun
  • That the exam is efficient and effective
  • That the patient hears her name and a comforting statement directly prior to the injection being administered
  • The manner in which the injection is administered such that there is no pain
  • The manner in which the cavity is filled such that there is mild discomfort but nothing that makes the patient complain
  • That the assistant thanks the patient at the end of the cleaning, exam and treatment
  • That the patient is given a new toothbrush and floss plus an extra little surprise to take home in the goodie bag
  • That the dentist himself leads the patient back to the waiting area
  • That the dentist thanks the patient at that time
  • That there are two patients in line at checkout and the patient has to wait 10.75 minutes
  • That the practice payment policy is not quite clear to the patient, even though she has been coming here for years and is not going to ask about it
  • That Alice at the front desk makes it easy to schedule the next appointment
  • That the artwork and fountain create an ambiance as the patient prepares to leave
  • The passing orthodontist who says, “Bless you!” when the patient sneezes
  • That the dentist personally calls the patient to check on her after the visit
  • That the patient laughs and, at least once, seems to have a darn good time during the visit

Extraordinary brand is all in the details. What are your details saying about your practice?