Designing your dental office is about more than applying stock plans from a big equipment company or picking out paint colors and accessories. Your clinic represents your brand and it should make a statement about your expertise, style and philosophy.
Your brand is your practice’s visual and emotional image in the market. So if your office doesn’t leave much of an impression, you’ve missed a major marketing opportunity. Your reputation is your most valuable asset and you can actively shape it with thoughtful branding.
A good starting point is to think about your mission and philosophy and the people who fit them most directly. Is your most important market busy executives, cosmetically oriented patients, orthodontic-aged kids or those who have anxiety about visiting a dentist?
Knowing who you want to serve, you can then begin to embed the values and attributes that most appeal to your target demographics in your design. With the help of a good design team, you will want to harness elements including space plan, style scheme, fixtures, lighting, color and signage to communicate your practice’s unique qualities.
Good design creates the ideal environment for patient comfort and practitioner productivity. It helps your physical space spark the desired emotional response in your patients. This could be a sense of calm, an aura of crisp efficiency, high-fashion style, a cutting edge vibe or a home-like feeling depending on your audience.
Consumers appreciate branding because it communicates the key attributes of a service provider. In dentistry, patients assess your quality and expertise in large part by the appearance of your office because they do not have the knowledge to assess your clinical skills.
A second important reason to embrace branding is that consumers are willing to pay more for branded products and they are passionately loyal to great brands.
Are you skeptical? Look in your own cupboards at the money you have spent on branded sodas and laundry soap when you could have saved money with a generic. And look at brands like Apple which have a cult-like following. Consciously or unconsciously, we believe the quality of the brand-name product is better.
By making your office memorable and distinctive, you tap into the power of branding. This holds the potential to improve your name recognition with prospective patients, stand out in the marketplace and attract patients happy to pay for great care. Good design is about a whole lot more than a new coat of paint.