A brand is so much more than a name
Victoria Foster Marketing Director at Horton Consulting
Every morning, we start the day using brands we trust, from our toothpaste and shower gel to our clothes and breakfast cereal. This continues throughout the day, day after day. Whether you choose to believe it or not, we are drawn to brands we trust. We feel a particular loyalty towards brands that affect us emotionally and psychologically, and those that match our lifestyle.
A BRAND IS SO MUCH MORE THAN A NAME
If I ask you to just think about Nike for just a few moments, you will start to visualize in your mind the logo, billboards, the famous athletes who endorse the brand, sports sponsored by the brand, the merchandise, and perhaps a pair of trainers you have at home.
I shall never forget my first pair of Nike Air Max trainers. They were simply ‘the business’… I can remember opening the box, peeling back the tissue paper to reveal the trainers with the huge logo on the side… I can even remember the smell (there is nothing like the smell of a new pair of trainers!). It was pure customer delight. Within a couple of weeks, all my friends had a pair.
Jo Malone is another great example. They sell hand wash, shower gel, body creams, candles and perfume – quite frankly, I could purchase similar items at half the price from Boots, but I want the customer delight and I love the brand. The consistency of their service is quite unique. The employees on the concession stands tell you the wonderful story of Jo Malone whilst massaging your hands with products. They then go on to describe the product scents and ingredients, and the benefits they have on your skin. If you purchase a Jo Malone product, it is lovingly wrapped in scented tissue paper, placed in a Jo Malone signature cream and black box and tied with a black ribbon, then placed in a beautiful hand tied bag. As well as getting their hands on a high quality product, customers get a memorable experience which will keep them coming back time and time again.
But who creates that experience? Of course, the brand itself is important – but the employees are the ones who deliver it directly to customers. Companies frequently overlook the very people involved in helping them attain their vision. Employees must not only understand your vision but also must believe in it – and live it themselves.
This approach isn’t just for retail brands – it can apply to any business, including a dental practice. Start by not thinking about them as employees but as your most important brand ambassadors, out in the world. This is the first step to creating a culture that embodies your brand. Then those employees will nurture the brand from the inside out.
A great brand is very powerful and influential. It creates a tribe of people that want to associate themselves with that brand and all it represents.
From a very young age we are drawn to certain brands. As we grow older, our focus and tastes naturally change, and different brands become more attractive. We are all part of our own social circles and are influenced by our friends, family and colleagues. We are all, in fact, ambassadors of our favorite brands.
A SENSE OF IDENTITY
Your business mission and brand vision should be rooted in deep insights about the people you’re trying to reach, established by learning firsthand about who they are and what they desire.
Begin by thinking about why people need your product and why your product will – or should – matter in their lives. That way, you have a much better chance of connecting with people at the right moments.
Each and every dental practice will have a database full of patients who are all unique, with different lifestyles, ages, religions, professions, hobbies and so on. But guess what? They all have one thing in common… they all come to see you at your practice! The reason for this is that they trust you and are loyal to your brand.
Patients are your tribe and provide that all-important word-of-mouth marketing. They invest their time recommending your brand, and telling their friends and family about their fabulous experience, all without payment!
Why have a logo?
Your identity is encapsulated within your practice logo. It represents the friendly dentists, caring staff, a beautiful practice, consistently excellent service, a seamless experience, quality and comfort, strong relationships and a compassionate approach.
Looked at in this way, your logo is much more than a fancy design – it is the heart of your business. Make sure you invest in getting it right.