What’s the most essential aspect of your business? What’s the one thing that, if taken away, would stop your business from thriving?
It’s not your profits, your employees, or even your server. It’s your brand! In 2018, businesses are useless unless they have a secure and thriving brand.
Brand building is not as easy as you’d think. There’s a lot that goes into a brand. It’s like a personality, there’s a ton of moving parts.
So, how do you make sure your brand is keeping you on track? First, you need to nail down what your brand is.
Then, you need to follow our tips on how to make it stronger. Get started below.
Steps to Brand Building
Want to know what the secrets are behind brands that have loyalty all over the world? They know who they are. It’s that simple.
Figure out who your brand is now.
Step 1: Define Your Brand
Now that you know how important having a brand is, here are some questions to ask yourself about your own.
1. What’s Our Purpose?
As a company, why do you exist? The answer isn’t as simple as “to provide dental health”. It’s what sets you apart from all the other people doing the same thing.
So, your answer may be, “We exist to provide dental health that makes people confident and not scared of the dentist”. Be specific!
2. What’s the Narrative?
Now that you know what you’re trying to provide with your brand, ask yourself how you’re telling that story.
Were you scared of the dentist as a kid, but had a great one who inspired you into Dentistry? That’s a story right there. Tell people about the person that changed everything for you and how you want to be that person for someone else.
People feel connected to your brand when you show them there’s a human connection – so don’t be afraid to be a little vulnerable.
3. What Makes Us Better?
We know you have competition, whether it’s a mile down the road or in the next town over. Why do your clients choose you over them?
Don’t be catty when you think about this to yourself or when you express it to clients. What can you honestly say you do better and what do they do better than you?
You don’t have to beat them at everything. It’s okay for them to have things you don’t have. You need to be confident enough in what you offer to know you’ll attract people who consider your strengths more important than theirs
4. What Can You Improve?
Knowing where your weak spots are in your brand is the best way to stay on track improving it. You can look at this by comparing your strengths to your competition, but also by looking at brands you admire.
Who’s marketing and branding always impress you? Geico always blows our minds by how creative their ads are. You never know when that “15 minutes” line will pop up.
You can’t create your own gecko character – but you can hire some more creative marketers. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Step 2: Write Down Your Brand
Now that you know what your brand looks like, you need to create a golden circle diagram.
In essence, the circle diagram is a visual representation of your brand.
It’s three circles inside of each other, like the goals on a skee ball machine. The innermost circle is your why.
Why do you do what you do? Look back at the questions we just had you ask yourself.
The middle ring is how. How do you do what you do differently than your competition? What makes you better?
Your outermost circle, the what, is the easiest – what do you do? Use this circle with creative language.
For example, We provide calming care, instead of we provide care. Those little language differences count!
Step 3: Hoard Reviews
Your customers are constantly creating marketing content for you, whether you know it or not. Google My Business tells you when someone creates a review on Google.
That review can become your next marketing campaign, with that person’s permission. When you’re done with a patient, encourage them to review their experience with you.
Those kind words (and yes, some negative) are paid attention to by potential clients!
Advertise the reviews that you feel represent your brand best. Turn them into graphics, using a few sentences from the review (ads don’t run well with too much text).
Step 4: Appeal to Emotions
The best marketing campaigns are the ones that use emotion to make people connect with the brand. Think about the Share a Coke campaign.
Cavity-causing sugars aside, that campaign made people connect with a product. Literally! We don’t know whose idea it was to put people’s names on bottles – but we hope they got a raise.
People went out and tried to find their name, their friend’s name – it made them feel connected and excited. The Coke taste wasn’t even the most important part.
You can’t steal that idea, but you can offer some appeal to emotion. Do you have a client who hated their smile and now they can’t stop showing it off?
Share their story. Your clients are your best marketing content mills. You can’t make that up.
Step 5: Know Your Niche
Let’s go back to the idea that you cater to clients who are generally afraid of the dentist. That’s your niche. Maybe you provide sedation dentistry.
That’s a lot of insurance cost, yes, but it sets you apart from other dentists who may just offer laughing gas.
Take advantage of a gap in your market. Do they need more pediatric dentists? Fill in that gap!
Step 6: Profile Your Clients
Not in a creepy way, but you need to know who you’re marketing to. Who are your normal customers? Are they middle aged women or men? The elderly?
Look at your client data. Where can you expand your marketing to include more of your target audience?
Can you take out ads in healthcare magazines that run in nursing homes?
That’s where your customers are.
Step 6: Consistency
A lot of brands try something out and then immediately retract it when it doesn’t blow up. Guess what? Things take a while to catch on.
How are you going to build a brand people can identify with if it’s always having identity crises?
7. Be Authentic
Remember when we talked about being okay with your competition’s strengths? Your strengths are just as valuable as theirs but to different people.
You need to be okay with and build your brand based on who your company is, not who you wish you were.
It’s okay to have a few things you want to improve, but don’t create an image of something you’re not because you think it’ll market better.
People will see right through it.
8. Do More Passion Work
Are you a family dentist but you really love working with kids? Do more of that. When your clients see you doing something you’re passionate about, they’ll connect with you more.
Let’s look at an example from a completely different niche. You’re having a baby. Would you want a doctor who’s so excited, you’d invite them to your baby shower?
Or someone who treats your growing family like another patient.
That’s the idea.
9. Hire on Brand
If you’re working towards becoming more family friendly, make sure you hire techs who have a childcare background. They don’t need to be teachers but look for those who’ve worked in pediatric dentistry before.
The same goes for whatever brand you’re trying to display – calming, friendly, kind to the elderly.
10. Keep On Keepin On
Building a brand takes more than a week, a month, or a year. It takes a lifetime. Think back to a brand you know that has transformed itself.
Elmer’s glue comes to mind. It used to be for school projects only. Now they’re rolling out a line for kid’s slime that our kids keep throwing in our shopping carts.
Brands evolve and build over time, and that’s okay. Your brand will change a little, just like your business changes a little every day. Read more here on how to keep your story consistent through the changes.
When you feel like it’s changing a lot, come back to your circle diagram. Are you still on par with your values?
Building Your Brand to Last
Now that you know what brand building takes, it’s time to sit down and get out pen and paper. Do a brainstorm of everything you thought while you read this article.
Once you have that down, start with our defining your brand tips.
From there, you’ll make your circle diagram and run it by your partners. This is a group effort because your brand encompasses your entire group.
Ready, set, build your brand!