The importance of good branding
When you think of your favourite companies, the images that flood into your mind will all have one thing in common: they are part of their branding.
Companies of all shapes and sizes need to have a distinct brand if they are to maximise their success. The top brands will obviously have a logo which is carried across all their products, but they will also have numerous other small tricks in their arsenal which subtly remind you who they are: a font, a fabric or a distinctive look to everything they produce.
Just because your business is relatively small doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have a brand – but branding doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are five very simple ways to create and build a brand which your customers will recognise and come to trust.
- Logo: You don’t have to spend thousands of pounds getting a complicated logo designed. Often, the simplest logos are the most effective – it can be something as easy as a distinctive way of writing the practice name. Once you have a logo, use it on everything you produce, but be subtle – no need to turn it into a wallpaper and plaster your waiting room with it!
- Fonts: By using the same font and formatting for all your written communication – from patient letters to marketing materials – you will create a sense of identity and consistency which looks highly professional. Make sure all your staff are aware of the font you’d like them to use so they can follow it through in everything they do.
- Uniforms: Some practices are reluctant to introduce uniforms because they can make a dental practice feel like a supermarket or make staff look like cabin crew. It doesn’t have to be that way! Smart scrubs with the company logo on them is an easy way to introduce a uniform, and it can be worn with dark trousers. Alternatively, a plain white shirt or blouse can be smartened up with a neck scarf for women and a matching tie for men. Staff are often quite glad they no longer have to puzzle over what to wear to work!
- Colours: As with fonts, sticking to one colour scheme in everything you do can help to create a sense of identity. Pick two or three key colours – soft, subtle colours with one bold, contrasting statement colour can work well – and use them throughout your practice. The colours can also tie in with your leaflets, booklets, advertising, logo and uniforms, which will all help to reinforce the identity you are creating.
- Tone: It’s not something most people actively consider, but the tone of a practice can be part of its branding. Consider what you want your tone to be: formal and professional, friendly and welcoming, or fun and light-hearted? Make sure you carry that through everything you do, from staff greeting patients to the copy on your website.
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