Quit monkeying around: Go APE

March 1, 2011
With almost zero advertising, Hershey sells three million Kisses a day! How do they pull that off?

by Nate Booth, DDS

For more on this topic, go to www.dentaleconomics.com and search using the following key words: go APE, five senses, Hershey Kiss, comprehensive case acceptance, Dr. Nate Booth.

With almost zero advertising, Hershey sells three million Kisses a day! How do they pull that off? It's definitely not the high product quality. It's that Hershey has discovered the secret to creating memorable experiences by touching all five senses:

SightEvery Kiss is wrapped in silver foil with a pull-string on top.

Sound There is a special sound when you pull the string and pop open the Kiss.

TouchThe silver wrapping has a crinkly feel, and each uniquely shaped and smooth Kiss has a yummy feel in your mouth.

Smell The chocolate smells good.

Taste The chocolate tastes better than it should because all five of your senses have been positively activated.

Go APE. Harness the power of all five senses

Of the hundreds of dental offices I've coached through the years, the ones that provide the most comprehensive care are the ones that go APE. They create Astounding Patient Experiences with all five senses:

Sight – Eighty-four percent of the information coming into our nervous systems enters through our eyes. The sights in our offices include color, shape, design, and printed material.

Answer these questions about the appearance of your office. What non-APE sights will you remove from your decor? What APE sights will you add? What is the signature (distinctive and easily remembered) sight/color in your office?

Sound – Sound is superb at creating moods, both good and bad. The average dinner bill is 29% higher in fine restaurants that play the appropriate music. The sounds in your office include spoken words, music, and equipment noises. What non-APE sounds will you remove or decrease in your office? What APE sounds will you add to your office? What is the signature sound (e.g., falling water) or music (e.g., Jimmy Buffett) in your office?

Touch – Touch is especially important in the healing professions. Examine all the touches in your office, including human touches, items that patients touch, and items that touch patients. Then ask yourself these three questions – What non-APE touches will you remove from your office? What APE touches will you add to your office? What is a unique and pleasurable touch in your office? (Examples include comfy furniture or paraffin wax treatments.)

Smell – Test results show a 40% improvement in mood when people are exposed to a pleasant fragrance. What non-APE odors will you remove from your office? What APE smells will you add to your office? What is the signature fragrance in your office? (An example is Tommy Bahama pineapple cilantro diffusers.)

Taste – Considering all the potions and brews used in your dental office, taste is an extremely important component of the patient experience. Once a year, Dr. Brad Durham has all of his clinical team members taste everything that is placed in patients' mouths. Brad makes a point to use only the best-tasting materials. What non-APE tastes will you remove from your office? What APE tastes will you add to your office? (An example is a refreshing, post-visit mouth rinse.)


Be like a Hershey Kiss. Have a team meeting where you list some unique ways to create memorable experiences for your patients using all five senses. Your patients will appreciate it and your entire team will enjoy the experience of touching all five senses. Get started now. The sights and sounds are ready for your discovery.

To receive information on the following, e-mail Dr. Booth at [email protected] or call (702) 444-1362 –

  • A complimentary report on The Five Biggest Comprehensive Case Acceptance Mistakes Dentists Routinely Make
  • Dr. Booth's 75-minute, interactive "Yes" System training webinar that you can attend from the comfort of your home
  • Dr. Booth's live and lively presentations to dental groups

Dr. Nate Booth is a speaker, consultant, and author who provides dentists with the information and systems they need to thrive in their dental practices. He is the creator of the in-office, DVD based program, The "Yes" System. For more information, go to www.theyessystem.com, or call (702) 444-1362.

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