marketing is about communicating with the public, then the sub-discipline known as branding is about projecting a unique identity that enables a dental lab to be memorable and recognizable. And so, a good dental lab marketing plan begins with answering this simple question: “Why should I (the dentist) pick this lab over any other?”

"/> marketing is about communicating with the public, then the sub-discipline known as branding is about projecting a unique identity that enables a dental lab to be memorable and recognizable. And so, a good dental lab marketing plan begins with answering this simple question: “Why should I (the dentist) pick this lab over any other?”

"/>

/

  • linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Smarter choices in dental brand management

    Branding is an important part of your lab’s success. Not sure how to get started? Here’s what you need to know.

    If marketing is about communicating with the public, then the sub-discipline known as branding is about projecting a unique identity that enables a dental lab to be memorable and recognizable. And so, a good dental lab marketing plan begins with answering this simple question: “Why should I (the dentist) pick this lab over any other?”

    Ultimately, the branding process serves to answer this question, and ensures that the lab stands out from the crowd. To attract dentists who relate to their unique appeal and identity, it’s important for lab owners—and all small business owners—to have a clear vision of who they are as professionals, and the exceptional qualities they bring to the table. It’s also critical to understand what messages can be sent unintentionally in the absence of a clear-cut, purposeful approach to lab branding.

    Why it’s important to your lab

    Branding is more than just developing a logo; it’s what sets one dental lab apart from the next. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, once said: “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” Reputation is of the utmost importance for labs, as many labs thrive on lifelong relationships and word of mouth marketing to reach new customers. 

    Small business owners in general sometimes scoff at the idea of branding; they can be imbued with the mistaken belief that branding is only for big corporations. On the contrary, branding is just as important for a small lab as it is for a large corporate entity.

    Employing a branding strategy puts the lab in the driver’s seat in establishing and maintaining the reputation of the lab and controlling its message to the dental community. A branding strategy ensures the lab properly communicates to current clients—and prospective clients—not only who this lab is, but also how he or she is different from the competition. It also ensures that a consistent vision is conveyed through all marketing efforts, both online and in the real world.

    Conversely, not having a branding strategy in place makes it difficult to manage what is communicated to dentists, or may allow them to draw their own conclusions. For example, a lab may have an outmoded website, which unintentionally projects an old-fashioned image and doesn’t convey the true quality of the lab. This kind of misrepresentation sells the lab short.

    What makes a brand

    At a basic level, branding consists of a name, a logo and a branding statement. These elements are important in terms of establishing recognition in the local community. For instance, the name of the dental lab should differentiate it from the competition.

    Having a memorable, iconic design—created by a qualified graphic designer who specializes in logo development to visually represent the lab—aids in increasing the lab’s level of recognition among both existing and potential clients. The branding statement, sometimes used as a tagline, articulates the lab’s unique selling proposition, and helps clients understand what truly distinguishes this lab.

    Consistency is critical in branding, so the lab’s professionally designed logo must be used throughout all marketing efforts, including exterior/interior signage, letterhead and business cards, printed materials and advertising, as well as on the website, in the email signature of each team member, throughout online media and even on social media profiles.

    Perhaps the most important component in a comprehensive branding strategy is the simple realization that branding is pervasive, and that every last detail in the lab has an impact, whether intentionally or not. And so, every lab owner should examine each of these elements and ask themselves whether they reflect positively on the lab.

    What branding can do for your lab

    As marketing guru John Jantsch says, branding is the art of being knowable, likeable and trustable. A lab’s brand communicates the distinctive combination of skills, personality, values and expertise. Every lab is different and has something exceptional to offer. Branding establishes a lab’s unique identity, ensures loyalty, and most importantly, has the potential to keep lab owners in the driver’s seat when it comes to their reputations. Branding is about communicating a message—and lab owners who employ a branding strategy will ensure their customers get the message loud and clear.

    Naomi Cooper
    Naomi Cooper is President of Minoa Marketing and CEO and CEO and co-founder of Doctor Distillery. Naomi is a respected dental marketing ...