The other morning on the way to work I noticed something interesting while waiting for a light to change. Off to the left was a small shopping plaza. It was not much different from any of the others found scattered along almost every busy road and highway. But what really caught my attention was a sign above an awful green-colored awning that read simply: “DENTIST”.
It was a single, two-syllable word, with a very basic font design. The letters were fifty shades of off-white, indicating that it probably hadn’t been cleaned in months. The word itself was meant to promote a dental practice in the plaza, but its message was more of a “Please believe me! This place is totally legitimate!” Why would any dentist show so little respect for their practice? A dirty sign like that only screams one thing — sketchy.
Imagine you’re on a road trip to visit an old friend and have been driving for the past 16 hours straight. It’s late and you know it’s not safe for you to keep going, because you can barely keep your eyes open. The GPS informs you that the closest motel is right off of the next exit, just down Middle-of-Nowhere Road. You take the exit and drive 0.8 miles until you hear, “destination on the right.” You’re now idling in front of an old and creepy brick building. The aluminum sign outside, lit up by suspended Christmas lights reads, “Motel” and nothing else. Immediately, you assume the amenities include: roaches, dirty water, and possibly a knife-wielding serial killer waiting behind the shower curtain (cue Psycho theme music). If only TomTom had warned you that it would be like this. You don’t want to spend a night at the sketchy motel, so you drive an additional 20 minutes to the nearest Motel 6.
In reality, that motel was probably a clean, safe place to spend the night. Just like the plaza dentist may actually be a very skilled practitioner. But none of that matters when bad branding and poor marketing sends out the wrong message. People shouldn’t have to wonder whether or not you are in fact a trained professional or just a glorified backyard dentist.
Branding is not only vital in attracting new customers, but also in retaining current ones. Your brand represents your overall message. It’s not just how people see your business, but also what they think of it. Your logo is not about making your name look pretty, it’s about how people identify you. What it means is more important than how it looks, so it’s okay if you prefer to keep things simple, like the plaza dentist. But there are better ways to do it and we know how. If your outdoor signage is screaming sketchy, then it’s time for an upgrade. Identity Dental Marketing can help update your outdoors signage and logo, and encourage new patients to want to walk through the door.
Some dentists believe that marketing is a waste of their money and only makes them seem expensive or look desperate to patients. Occasionally that does turn out to be the case, but that just means it’s not the right marketing. Identity Dental Marketing is smart marketing. With our help, you will notice the impact that the right kind of marketing can have on your practice. A strong brand combined with smart marketing will increase your number of patients. You won’t look desperate, but more like you actually care about your practice. You’ll come off as professional, not expensive. But most importantly, what you want to represent will be what people will see.
Ignoring the importance of branding and marketing will hold back your practice from growing to its full potential. You’ve worked hard getting to where you are and don’t deserve to be labeled as sketchy or desperate, all because of a poorly designed sign outside. Don’t let your brand represent you for something you are not. Don’t make the mistake of slacking off when it comes to marketing. Let Identity Dental Marketing help you pick up the slack and reel in new patients with our successful branding and marketing strategies.
Contact Us: Identity Dental Marketing