Respecting dental branding and copyright
Understandably, dentists have numerous associations with 3rd party suppliers to their businesses and often want to showcase these relationships on their own dental practice websites.
This is usually a good initiative in that it helps to build credibility; for example, use of the latest equipment such as scanning technology or offering treatments using appliances from leading orthodontics or implant manufacturers. It also shows willingness from the dental practice itself to invest in the latest technologies and services; indeed we actively encourage this when we are designing websites on behalf of our clients.
This may all sound straightforward but there are some guidelines and rules which need to be understood and followed. One of these golden rules is the observance and preservation of third-party branding as well as seeking written approval to use it. This may sound obvious to some, but very frequently we will be asked by clients to do things (e.g. edit the NHS logo!) which are clearly forbidden and would only serve to cause problems if we did.
Brand identity is very strict, particularly for larger companies, and they will issue rigid brand guidelines indicating what you can and what you can’t do with their brand identity once they’ve approved you to use it. Even small businesses, i.e. most dentists, should strive to maintain consistency with their branding and ensure that is used in the correct way.
With the above in mind, here are some essential guidelines on questions to ask and how to use third-party branding on your own website:
- identify which suppliers/associations etc you want to showcase on your website and what advantages this might bring – do this strategically
- seek their permission to use their branding, typically a logo, where appropriate. Get it in writing where possible
- don’t attempt to modify their brand assets – unfortunately we see attempts to do this too regularly!
- use the correct branding assets in the correct situation e.g. we had one client who insisted on using the Invisalign corporate logo rather than their provider logo
- review regularly – are logos you are using out-of-date or are there new assets which you can use to your advantage?
Most of this is common sense to us in the design world, but perhaps not so much to those who are at the front-line of providing dental services.
Check to see if there are other supplier marketing assets you can use
It doesn’t just come down to using the odd supplier logo here and there on your website. Suppliers to the dental industry know how important it is to broadcast their brand and as such will make libraries of marketing assets available for their own client’s use. For example, the large orthodontics and implants suppliers now have video snippets which can be used by dentists on their own websites. So please check to see what is available and then liaise with your dental website designer to help get those assets in place and working for you.
Adding third-party suppliers branding and other marketing assets to your practice website is very useful but needs to be done with approval and in a consistent way. Please make sure to understand what your suppliers will allow you to use and how they want you to use it. Anything outside of those brand guidelines will be a “no no” and must be avoided, e.g. don’t try to change the NHS logo strap line or the shade of the Invisalign logo to match your own colour scheme!
If you need assistance with any aspect of dental branding or website design, then please don’t hesitate to call the Dental Media team on 01332 672548 for impartial, no-obligation advice.Google+