What are the most painful business problems experienced by dentists?
I believe it's Brand Differentiation. Most dental practices are never able to differentiate themselves from the hundred other dental practices in the city.
What is brand differentiation?
The simplest definition of brand differentiation is to make your business, dental practice, in this case, to stand out from the competition.
Brand differentiation for a dental practice means you should not be another dentist on the street who more or less provides the same treatments at the same cost.
Why is brand differentiation such a big deal?
Brand differentiation provides a lot of benefits. I have listed the two most important benefits below:
- Pricing: Differentiating your dental practice form the rest will help you rise above the pricing wars. If you have differentiated your practice effectively, you won’t have to worry about how cheap the dentist next door is offering his services. Consider iPhones, people buy iPhones irrespective of how cheap Samsung phones are.
- Loyalty: Brand differentiation will help you build loyalty among patients. Your old patients will always want to come to your practice no matter how many dental practices have popped up in the neighborhood. Hundreds of new mobile brands have entered the market but Apple still has a 92% retention rate.
How can you differentiate your Dental Practice from the rest?
- Mine A Niche: Focus on one group of patients only. For example, market you practice as a “pediatric dental practice” instead of just “dental practice”.
- Price Differently: Your price should either be higher or lower than your competition and justify it accordingly. Pricing the same as your competition will not give you any competitive advantage.Also, pricing your services higher than the competition doesn't necessarily mean you’ll lose business. Check out this article on Premium Pricing for more information.
- Deliver a Unique Point-of-Purchase Experience: The two images below will explain this point better than any amount of words can.
4. Use a Mascot: Brand mascots can be powerful differentiators, especially if you want to bring a sense of humor to your brand perceptions. American Insurance company GEICO has created massive success with its mascot – a talking lizard that has nothing to do with insurance but still makes millions of people believe there’s something different about the company.
5. Tell Your Unique Brand Story: Every successful brand has a compelling story behind it. Fully developing and emphasizing your brand story can help you differentiate, be core to your brand DNA, and reinforce the personality, promise, and values of your brand.
6. Appeal to Emotions: Your brand can stand out by delivering an emotional experience that’s associated with your product or service. Coca-Cola capitalizes on emotional appeal by branding their products as happy, implying its the maker of joy and harmony. Everything Coca-Cola does from a strategic branding perspective is to associate the brand with ‘happy occasions’.
7. Give Back: Modern customers, most notably Millennials, love to get behind a brand that gives back to the community. By emphasizing corporate social responsibility (CSR), you can differentiate your brand and get an edge over the competition such as O’Egg’s support of ‘Action Breast Cancer Ireland’.
Hope this was helpful.
Share your thoughts in the comments below.