How To Rebrand Your Dental Practice: The Ultimate Guide!

How To Rebrand Your Dental Practice The Ultimate Guide!

Branding is one of the biggest areas of business marketing, but surprisingly few dental practices know how to brand their business properly. It’s understandable; branding is a huge deal that includes a lot of important decisions.

However, nothing is permanent and after some time and experience, many dental practices think it’s time to undergo a brand change to try and boost their business.

How To Rebrand Your Dental Practice The Ultimate Guide!

The thing is, it’s possible to make a lot of bad decisions when rebranding your dental practice – so what steps does it involve, and what mistakes should you avoid making?

If you are thinking about rebranding your dental practice but you’re not sure where to start, then this is the place for you!

This is our ultimate guide to rebranding your dental practice so you can follow each step to ensure your rebranding is a success!

So – check out the guide below now!

What Is Rebranding?

First, let’s cover what rebranding is.

Rebranding refers to the process a business (such as your dental practice) goes through to rethink every single aspect of its reputation and presentation. This means that the business aims to change the way others view them.

Some people make the mistake of assuming that a business rebrand is just changing the logo or the colour scheme of the website or even adjusting the name, but a rebrand is a lot more complex than that.

While these are ways a business can rebrand itself, a rebrand aims to change the business’s reputation completely.

Every aspect of your business is the way it is for a reason. This means that everything – from the fonts used on your practice’s signs to the decor of treatment rooms leaves a certain impression on your patients.

Some aspects may seem minor, but they have a huge impact on your business.

For example, take the colour scheme of your logo. If you were to use a light, dusty pink – do you think this would attract many male patients to your practice?

Pink is traditionally seen as a feminine colour and choosing this colour can attract certain audiences while alienating others – leaving a huge impact on your business.

So, a rebrand is a serious business and a lot more complicated than some dental practices realize but why are they tempted even to rebrand their business in the first place?

Why Businesses Choose To Rebrand Themselves

Understanding why businesses rebrand their image can help you understand if now is the right time to rebrand your dental practice.

There are many reasons a business may choose to rebrand, so check out the reasons below to see if rebranding is right for you and your dental practice.

Under New Management

As businesses grow, they tend to pass from manager to manager.

This means that perhaps you didn’t start your dental practice from scratch but rather inherited it, merged with another practice, or bought it and thus, you have also bought the brand.

But each different manager will have their own goals and ambitions for the practice and seek to make changes. This is to ‘make their mark’ on the practice and mold it into the brand they want.

So, a new manager will sometimes rebrand a business to make it their own, so the practice can start to aim for the new goals the new manager has in mind.

In the event of a merger, some brands combine to help both businesses remain recognizable to their previous patients.

Others will completely rebrand themselves to form a new brand or one-half of the merger will rebrand to match its new partner.

So, depending on the situation, a new management rebrand can differ massively from its original brand or relatively stay the same!

Negative Publicity

As a dental practice, it’s unlikely that your business will be associated with the such bad publicity that larger companies have to deal with but it’s not impossible.

Sometimes, your practice will build up a bad reputation, whether it’s one bad staff member providing poor service quality or a mistake in treatment.

Bad news and complaints spread and thus, you may want to try starting your practice’s reputation from scratch.

A rebrand can help distance your practice from its former self and prove to patients that big changes are happening, thus suggesting that the previous bad experiences will no longer happen.

It acts as a signal that your practice is now new and improved and any previous negative publicity is no longer applicable to your practice!

Of course, this will only be true if you have tackled the main source of the negative publicity in the first place.

If your dental practice’s reputation was dragged down by a rude member of staff, that member of staff will continue to ruin your practice’s reputation, whether it has undergone a rebrand or not.

Once the issue has been addressed, a rebrand can help your practice recover and start anew.

Sometimes, however, the reason behind the negative publicity could be out of your hands entirely.

Think about the Tide Pod craze in 2017 when an internet meme led to high consumption rates of Tide Pods.

Even though the company Tide had nothing to do with promoting this craze, it still received tons of negative publicity as many young people fell ill after consuming these laundry detergent pods.

This negative publicity can also affect dental practices, even though it seems unlikely.

In the end, bad publicity needs to be avoided and when it can’t, a rebrand is the first method dental practices use to try and distance themselves from it.

Hopefully, patients will either fail to associate your practice with its past or take the rebrand as a sign that your practice has developed and changed – literally!

Your Previous Brand Is Dated

As time goes on, certain brands and trends fall in and out of fashion.

This means that if your practice has been around for a long time, it may need a rebrand to help freshen it up and make it more relevant to the current market.

A lot of major companies have had to do this. Think of Mcdonald’s as an example.

McDonald’s restaurant decor, slogans, advertising and more were very different back in the 90s compared to what they are today.

Although the golden arches remain because they are so iconic, McDonalds has more or less forgotten about its clown mascot Ronald as clowns have fallen out of fashion, and their restaurants now follow modern decor trends to look more appealing and professional.

Even the toys in their iconic Happy Meals have changed from plastic playthings to books and recyclable materials – and this change was to help rebrand the company as eco-friendly and sustainable!

Dental practices need to do the same.

Although you don’t need to rebrand every few years, it’s important to note when your brand looks a bit dated compared to your competition, as it can influence a patient’s view of your expertise and relevance.

Copyright And Legal Hurdles

With so much competition in the dental industry, your practice is bound to share some similarities with your competitors.

After all, you all will be after a similar target market but there’s a fine line between following the industry’s trends and straight-up plagiarism.

If your business has leaned too heavily on mimicking your competitors, you could land in hot water with the law.

There are rules in place regarding copyright infringements and trademarks and if you ever have a visit from a lawyer claiming that your practice is copying another, it may be better (and cheaper) to rebrand your dental practice rather than take the issue to court.

Perhaps you have decided that your practice is just too similar to the competition and you want to stand out more.

By rebranding your practice to differentiate itself, you could help improve your practice’s visibility. Hence, patients find and remember your practice far more easily than your competitors and this could be the change you need to help your dental practice expand.

Your Practice Has Grown

Not all reasons for rebranding a dental practice are negative. For example, one reason why a dental practice may rebrand is that it has developed and grown!

Expanding your business often leads to a new location for a bigger building, a website update to handle more traffic flow, and adjusting your brand to suit any new branches.

While most of your brand will remain the same in this case as it’s already gained a loyal audience (such as the logo or the practice’s name), a rebrand can help freshen it up and show patients that your business is on the up!

Your Practice Needs More New Patients

Over time, you may find that your practice has stagnated which means that you are struggling to bring in new patients which are needed for your practice to grow and flourish.

A constant stream of new patients also helps protect your practice from shrinking, so a boost in marketing is needed.

This is because most marketing advisors will come onto the scene to help you out and they will start to make little fixes and adjustments to your brand to help make it more relevant and fresh.

It gives your practice a spark of life and this can generate excitement, leading to referrals and new patients finding your practice as its visibility increases.

Should You Rebrand Your Dental Practice?

If you have found that your dental practice is suffering from one of the issues listed above – ranging from bad publicity to stagnated growth – then perhaps it is time for a rebrand.

However, it’s not that easy to simply opt for a rebrand. There is one huge hurdle in the way that often turns some practices away from rebranding themselves:

Cost

Rebranding your dental practice will not come for free. This means that you need to set aside a certain amount of funds for your rebranding plans and set yourself a budget.

The issue here is that it can be difficult to estimate just how much a rebrand will cost you. After all, if you have multiple practices, it will cost more to rebrand them all compared to owning one single practice.

So – just how much should you put aside to cover your rebranding costs?

Most dental practices use a general rule of thumb which states that you should save between 10% to 20% of your marketing budget and put that towards rebranding.

The range here depends on how many practices you will need to rebrand (and thus, redecorate, re-sign, and afford new uniforms for your staff, training sessions, and more).

It also comes down to how much of a ‘rebrand’ you intend to do. Is it just the name and logo you want to change? Or do you want to give it a whole new face?

Some of the most popular aspects of a business that undergoes a rebrand are the practice’s name, its logo, the colour scheme used in its advertising and decor, the decor and layout of the practice itself, its website URL that needs to be adjusted to fit the practice’s new name – or perhaps a new website altogether!

Your dental practice’s advertisements and social media accounts will need to be updated, which can take a lot of time out of your staff’s day.

Plus, you may want to advertise this rebranding as well – which means you have to put more into advertising and even make a press release to announce this change to your dental practice.

So, rebranding your dental practice will not be cheap – but good budgeting skills and foresight can help you plan and avoid getting caught with high costs and low funds.

Once you have your budget ready and are determined to rebrand your dental practice, there is little left to do now but get started!

How To Rebrand Your Dental Practice: The Don’ts

Before you rush off to start rebranding your dental practice, you must first educate yourself on the risks and mistakes that many practices make.

Sometimes, a rebrand can do your business more harm than good – especially if you mess up the process!

So, here are some mistakes you will want to avoid making when rebranding your dental practice. Check them out below and keep them in mind as you start your monumental task!

Don’t Change Your Practice’s Name For No Reason

If your practice already has a good amount of regular patients, then changing your practice’s name can

do more harm than good.

It may lead your patients to believe that your practice closed down and that this is an entirely new practice – causing them to look elsewhere first before ‘signing up’.

In some cases of a rebrand, a name change is necessary (think bad publicity or a merger) but unless you have a good reason to change your practice’s name, don’t.

It’s easier for your regulars to find your business and it allows you to keep all the hard work you put into building a recognizable name.

Most of the time, a rebrand in business will still keep the same name but change other aspects. Think of the earlier example we gave of Mcdonald’s.

McDonalds have always been McDonalds and use the same logo, but their practices and decor and advertising has changed and adapted to suit branding trending over the years.

If McDonalds suddenly changed their name, there would be mass confusion – so don’t make the mistake with your own dental practice!

Don’t Go In Blind

Rebranding your dental practice will be a long process and it can be difficult to put a deadline on such a huge task. However, this does not mean that you can go in blind – you need to first set up a plan and a timeline to try and follow.

Even if things don’t go as you expected and certain steps take longer, it’s better to try and follow a plan than to just try and wing it.

So, set out a step-by-step plan for yourself so you know what you need to do and when. This will help you stay on track and on budget as you begin rebranding your dental practice.

If you need to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, then no problem – just make sure that you adjust for this in your plan.

Don’t Be Inconsistent

Speaking of needing a plan, you will also need to think about what kind of new brand you want your dental practice to follow.

This means that you need to think ahead about what you want to change and into what so you can keep your brand consistent.

This consistency is key to helping patients find your practice and it will help reduce confusion during the change. Otherwise, an inconsistent brand goes against what a ‘brand’ is entirely!

So, make sure that all colour schemes, fonts, symbols, and more are the same across your website, signs, advertising, social media and marketing.

Even the decor and design of your practice should reflect your brand and still be linear with how it is represented through your website and online presence.

This will help patients easily identify your practice and link it to advertisements they have seen or how your website is laid out.

Don’t Underestimate Simplicity

Another huge mistake dental practices make is that they try too hard to stand out from their competitors.

This results in them going above and beyond to try and appear more appealing – and this is where things get messy.

A simple, clear brand is usually far more effective than one that is more complex and niche. This doesn’t mean you have to use a black-and-white colour scheme for your website and make everything boring.

It just means that you need to keep things simple so it’s easier for your patients to move seamlessly from your advertisements to your website by understanding what they are reading.

Using cursive fonts will make it more difficult for your patients to read vital information on your website, and a website that uses too many links and separate pages becomes difficult to navigate.

Keep things simple – it’s easier for everyone!

How To Rebrand Your Dental Practice: The Dos

Now, let’s take a look at all the things you will definitely want to do when rebranding your dental practice. This advice will help guide you to make good decisions and the right choices that will help boost your business’s success!

Check out the advice below and make sure you apply it to your rebranding process.

Hire Professionals To Help You Out

Coming up with a whole branding scheme on your own is very, very difficult.

First, it’s a lot of work to organize all the changes by yourself plus you will have to research what the best new brand is and how it will target your audience.

All of this is really too much for one person to do – so you should hire a team to help you rebrand your dental practice. This will allow you to bring on experts who are great at marketing and business.

They will have plenty of knowledge to help make the best decisions in terms of what to rebrand and how.

For example, color theory is super important and while you can research the topic itself – or you can just hire someone who already knows everything they need and more.

All you will have to do is share your ideas and work out a plan with your rebranding team.

They will be able to give you reliable feedback, help you carry out important research, and use their knowledge and experience to pull together a branding plan that is more likely to succeed.

Plus, it cuts down on the time it takes for you to rebrand your dental practice – even though you may end up spending more in costs.

Have An Idea Of What You Want

A surprising number of dental practices start rebranding without really knowing for certain what their vision is for this new image. This can lead to confusion, and changing details mid-change and this can result in inconsistencies in your new brand.

To avoid this, you will need to have a clear idea of what you want before you start rebranding your dental practice.

Start out by using the SWOT method to analyze and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your dental practice.

The SWOT method is something you should have already used when thinking about branding the first time around – so it’s time to try it out again now your practice is in a different situation.

You should also think about what are the problems facing your current brand.

Why do you want to change it? Compare it to the list of reasons for rebranding above to see if you even should be rebranding your business!

Asking your current patients what changes they’d like to see with the practice is also a great way to see which direction you should take your rebranding.

There’s no point in rebranding your practice in a way that patients do not want as this will only push them towards your competitors rather than entice them back to yours.

So, use all the typical marketing methods for branding to think about what you want the future for your practice to be like. This will help you have a clearer idea of what you want your practice to be so you can share it with your rebranding team.

Check Out Your Competition

If you want to stay relevant to the current market, then you need to check out your closest competitors to see what similarities they have in their branding and how you can rival their strategies.

This means that researching your competition (direct and indirect) is a vital part of your branding strategy. In order to rebrand yourself, you need to ensure that you are staying relevant but also that you are not infringing on any copyright.

After all, you don’t want to be too similar to your competitors otherwise, your practice will lose visibility and fade into the background.

So, research your competitors to answer important questions about their branding and yours. What does their branding say about their business?

What do customers find appealing about the branding? How does it value patients and what does it offer them?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can start to apply them to your own practice.

Compare the branding between your practice and your competition to see where your business is failing and what you need to add to your branding to help it stay relevant and competitive.

Remember What You Want

It can be very easy to rebrand your practice until it fits what the market wants – but what about you? What do you want?

Many dental practitioners set up their practice because they want to do a certain kind of work.

When rebranding your practice, it allows you to focus more on what you want to do personally. This can help you enjoy your job more.

For example, you may want to push for certain treatments that you love doing or aim for an audience you prefer working with.

Although you need to provide a service to your patients and attract enough patients to keep your business afloat, rebranding does give you the opportunity to tailor your practice towards something you want to take this opportunity!

Final Thoughts

Rebranding your dental practice can be a long, difficult process but as long as you follow the above advice and use this ultimate guide as a checklist, you are sure to avoid making the huge mistakes that can drag a practice down.

Use the above guide to your advantage and good luck rebranding your dental practice!