Brand design for dentists

Brand identity versus building a brand

dental branding exampleDental practices contact us regularly to ask for help with developing their brand. Of course, for the majority, what is actually being requested is help with developing or revamping their brand identity as opposed to actually developing their brand per se.

In this blog article we will take a look at brand identity and brand development and why it is important to understand the difference between the two.

Brand identity

For the purposes of our brief overview, this element of branding covers the establishment of the visuals which are used to represent the brand – so for example the logo, signage etc. These are the “memorable” images that should come to mind when your business is mentioned and which you will use consistently across you practice website, social media channels, signs, literature, stationery etc.

I deliberately mention the word “consistently” because it is important that your brand identity is used in such a way that its impact and value isn’t diluted – so avoid ad hoc changes of colour, font and strap lines unless there is clear and reasoned justification to do so.

At Dental Media, our designers will typically help dentists with the following aspects of developing or revamping their practice brand identity:

  • logo design – concepts through to creation of final files for web and print use
  • stationery packs – headed note-paper, compliment slips and business cards
  • practice signs – internal and external
  • branded literature, promotional flyers, new patient packs, referral packs
  • other branded, promotional items such as carrier bags, newsletters etc

We then apply the brand identity uniformly across the practice web properties, the website, blog, e-newsletter system etc.

literature for dental practicesWhen developing the identity for the dental practice, it is essential to gather as much baseline information as possible before starting to develop concept designs.

This will normally involve detailed discussion with key members of staff and completion of a detailed design questionnaire.

Designers need to understand  as much about the client as possible, from the basics such as the treatments offered, through to the target audience and even the level of sophistication of the local competition. All of these factors must be taken into account.

Brand development

Brand development is a much broader issue than simply creating a brand identity and is an ongoing project, primarily in the hands of the dental practice team. To understand this, it is worth considering a widely accepted explanation of what a brand actually is i.e. what your customers actually perceive about you and your products/services – whether, good , bad or somewhere in between.

All sorts of elements contribute to brand development; the quality and value of the services offered, staff competence and professionalism, ability to innovate and differentiate from competitors and much more. These aspects are not an overnight invention and require a huge amount of work to plan, implement and continually refine. This is why corporations are hugely protective over their brand reputation.

So whilst a dental design company such as ourselves has a significant role to play in the development of a dentist’s brand identity and vehicles such as the practice website to deploy it, the broader development of the brand and business reputation also requires significant and ongoing input from the practice team. This isn’t just about the processes and procedures and doing a professional job; it also has to become part of the ethos and culture of the business.

Is development of a dental practice’s brand identity an expensive process?

As you might expect, this depends on the scope of the work needed. So for example, development for a larger company with a chain of practices will take more time and hence cost more that developing a logo and practice stationery for a smaller enterprise. However, to give an indication, development of a few fundamentals such as a logo and a stationery pack (business card, headed paper and compliment) slip can be done for under £1000.

Need help?

If you are looking into creating a professional brand identity for your practice or perhaps considering the best way to update an old, tired version, please call the design team at Dental Media on 01332 672548 for free advice.