Dental Practice Branding 101

Branding for Dentists, The Why & The How 

Your brand is a reflection of you, your team, your office, your business, and the way you make patients feel when they choose to receive treatment from you. Something that carries that much weight for your dental office should be taken seriously. But that’s not to say that you can’t have fun with it. 

For a majority of our clients, branding their practice is one of the most enjoyable parts of starting their dental practices. It allows our dentists to explore how they want to represent themselves and flex their creative muscles in the process. 

We interviewed Holly Holden, Wonderist Agency’s Head of Design, to give you a few tips on how to brand your dental practice and why you should invest in the right marketing agency to help you make it shine.

Dental Branding Q&A 

First, why is branding so important? 

Branding is important for our clients because a logo and a brand of a dental office gives people a first impression of the practice. And just like any first impression — introducing yourself — you want that to come off well. A logo is no different. 

People are judgemental — people judge books by their covers — and your logo is your cover. You want people to be drawn in by that, by that first impression, by the aesthetic of your practice, and having a good logo is the first step.   

How can it help dentists specifically? 

Unfortunately, the bar is low for dental branding. What I mean by that is there’s lots of generic logos, or practices that simply don’t have a brand. If you position yourself with a recognizable logo and tagline, you’re already doing better than most of the competition. 

How do you feel about teeth in logos? 

[Laughter] In a more minimalist way, a tooth in a logo can be great! But be careful. You risk cluttering the logo. If teeth don’t naturally occur in the illustration, then it’s probably a mistake. Don’t put teeth where there don’t need to be teeth. 

How important is the audience in the Branding Process?

The audience is huge. If a practice is located in Brooklyn compared to Tulsa, your logo will be different. People are looking for branding that they’re comfortable with and can connect to. 

How does branding play into other marketing services? 

Any service where your practice is visually showcased will be affected by your branding. It establishes who you are and makes you recognizale to your patients. 

For example, you can have the greatest dental website in the world, but if your logo doesn’t look good, it will feel off-balance. Sometimes an outdated logo can limit us. It might become a game of how to hide a logo. But if you have a great brand, it becomes your calling card and the thing that ties all your marketing efforts together. 

What makes a brand successful? 

A successful brand is one that truly represents you, your practice, your company, the people inside of it, the look and feel of it… You don’t want your logo to sell you short, but you don’t want it to give a false impression. You don’t want your logo to catfish people, per say. You want them to see who you are, what your vibe is, what you’re about within that logo. And that is what will eventually draw people in the door. 

So a successful logo really encapsulates all of that and, of course, not only looks good, feels good, entices the viewer, but has you at the forefront of it.  

What are some dos and don’t when it comes to branding your practice? 

  • Do put yourself and your practice first. It’s tempting to ask opinions from family, friends, employees, patients, your aunt who’s a designer… but if you get other people’s input, your own vision becomes diluted. Your practice and your brand is about you. Be selfish with it. 
  • Do bring everything to the table when you’re working with a branding team. Even if you think it’s silly, bringing those interesting nuances to the process can end up making your brand truly unique. The things that you like, beyond color and fonts, are what inspire our team and bring personality to the end result. 
  • Don’t think that because you’re ‘not creative’ you don’t have a say. You don’t have to be an artist to know what you like and don’t like. Express your opinions and help us build your vision. 

Walk us through Wonderist’s branding process. 

Branding at Wonderist starts just like any other service for our clients. We join forces as a team on the Wonderist side and we kick our clients off via phone. And for the branding process that specifically involves the copywriter and designer working together to interview the client about their practice vision, what the vibe of the office is like, what the interior of the office looks like... 

Then for design that gets even more granular in focusing on the aesthetic of what they want their brand to look like. Do they want it to be modern? Do they want it to be traditional? More experimental? And we start asking those questions on that initial call to gauge the doctor’s vibe, and help them come to a conclusion as to what they’re looking for.

Then, we go into the first round of branding, which we call the Concept Phase. In the Concept Phase, instead of just creating 20, 30 logos and throwing them at the client, kind of like a logo generator or something might do, we take the time to think of larger buckets of ideas for our clients. So if a client wants something more on the traditional side, we might come up with concepts of logos that have to do with maybe a family-forward, more inviting traditional style logo. Or something that’s a little more buttoned up, like a fancy restaurant or hotel type of logo. 

So in the Concepting Phase, we bring these larger ideas to the client and we show them what we’ve come up with… this is what we think are different avenues that you could go down and would be successful for your brand. 

And then from there, through the second and third rounds of branding, we fine-tune everything from fonts, colors, layout — everything in between — and really get into that laser focus of finding that final brand. 

And that’s a wrap! 

A big thanks to Holly for teaching us a few things about design, logos, and the branding process at Wonderist Agency. We’re sending our readers off with a few questions to keep in mind if and when you decide to brand or rebrand your practice. 

Questions to keep in mind when you’re creating your brand

  1. What are some key differentiators of your practice? 
  2. Why should a patient see you instead of the other guys? 
  3. What do you want to be known for or pride yourself on? 
  4. Who is your ideal patient?

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