Here’s a guest post by Leo C. Davis, DDS – cosmetic dentist and slogan aficionado.
It’s not easy for patients to choose the right dentist. With a plethora of doctors competing for one’s attention using TV, radio, websites, social media, magazines, coupons, workplace referrals and more, what’s a smile to do? The problem is, in many a patient’s mind, dentists are all the same. Only a few establish a brand, stand out and take market share away. You want to be one of those dentists, right? So what’s a smile giver like you to do?
If you are a dentist trying to increase your capacity or see more of the kind of patients you want to see, one of the fastest, most effective and least expensive strategies you can employ is getting a slogan for your dental practice. Dentist slogans are becoming more and more critical as competition increases more and more every year. A well-chosen dentistry slogan or tagline can immediately draw the patient‘s attention to your brand. If you don’t truly have a brand, heck, that dental practice slogan could be the seedling through which the rest of your brand eventually sprouts.
Dentist taglines and slogans can take any number of angles. They can incorporate your philosophy, talents, expertise or mission. They could display a sense of humor or style, or a sense of warmth and caring. No matter what angle you take, the key thing is that you’re standing for something and that means you’re more likely to get noticed and be chosen by the patient.
Originally, advertising was against dental and medical practice ethics and even illegal. When I first opened my first dental office in Florida it was illegal to display letters on signs that were more than 4” in size. Forget about a slogan or tagline. Advertising was considered unequivocally unethical. Boo on the dentist or physician who would try such a thing.
Then a marketing miracle happened.
The United States Supreme Court ruled that restricting advertising by doctors violated free speech and commerce. Appealing slogans and taglines appeared in Yellow Pages advertising. Do you remember the Yellow Pages? It’s that thing you put in your recycling bin the day you get it. Anyway, back then it was the number one way a dentist could market. Once dental practice advertising was allowed, ads appeared and countless dental practice slogans and taglines debuted.
“We cater to cowards”, “family dentist”, “same day dentures”, “affordable care”, “most insurance accepted”, are just a few of the early taglines and slogans. Some dentists felt slogans and taglines weren’t professional. Ironically, the opposite became true. If you weren’t doing everything to market yourself, your patient volume went way down and soon you barely were a professional.
Today the main reason dentist don’t employ a catchy slogan or tagline is simply because it never becomes a priority on the to do list. What a mistake! To be focused solely on the practice and not marketing the practices doesn’t let you attract the patients who would really benefit from seeing you. And you lose out on the income. It’s a lose-lose.
Back in the early 80s when I was first looking for a slogan for my cosmetic dental practice, I wanted something that would appeal to my favorite patient. After all, she was the exact prototype I wanted to attract. She was friendly, referred tons of patients, arrived on time and paid on time. She followed my instructions and was fun. She commented that her dream was just to have a beautiful smile and that was really everyone’s dream. So the slogan for my practice, The Center For Cosmetic Dentistry became, “Everyone’s Dream…A Beautiful Smile.” Patients remembered it. Our adds reinforced it and our results demonstrated it give us that little extra advantage we needed to get the decision over similar practices just down the road.
Although marketing dentistry in Florida is still heavily regulated, there’s still no better way to educate, inform, and breakdown fear in potential patients. If you’re a great doctor but not enough people know about you…yet, the first step, should be a shiny, happy slogan. Dentists work hard enough as it is, let a slogan or tagline do a lot of your marketing work for you. You’ll be glad you did.