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Branding: Best Practices and Pitfalls

Sept. 1, 2018
Building a brand is hard work for many private practice dentists, but Smile Source offers a solution.

Brands matter to people.

Good branding increases the value of a practice, provides employees with pride and motivation, and makes bringing in new patients easier.

You’re a private practice dentist with your name on the shingle out front. Maybe branding hasn’t been a priority for you. But it should be. Here’s why.

A brand represents what people think of a practice - their perception of a practice’s customer service, reputation, advertising, and logo all rolled up. When all of these parts of the practice are working well, the overall brand tends to be healthy. On the flip side, a practice may have a great logo and use the latest dental technology, but the brand suffers due to poor customer service.

Smile Source offers private practice dentists a way to capitalize on a solid branding, similar to the DSOs, while maintaining their independence.

1. Branding Creates Recognition

One of major components of your brand is your logo. Think of how people all over the world instantly recognize the golden arches of McDonalds or the iconic typography of Coca Cola.

A logo design needs to be simple and relevant so it’s memorable. We see DSOs make branding a priority. Practice practices can also look just as professional with a well-designed logo. What makes a logo well-designed? It should be clear, clean, simple and easily-visible – whether it’s large or small. Smile Source’s logo meets these criteria and is memorable.

2. Branding Inspires Trust

A professional appearance builds credibility and trust. People are more likely to purchase from a business that appears polished and legitimate. It’s hard to change initial emotional perceptions people have.

When Smile Source introduced a new brand identity, including a new logo, members saw many compelling reasons to incorporate the brand into their practice, including research that showed consumers were more likely to choose practices that utilized the Smile Source logo and branding in their external signs versus the doctor name alone or a "generic" DBA practice name.

3. Branding Motivates Employees

Many employees need more than just work—they need to be a part of something special. When employees understand your mission and reason for being, they are more likely to feel that same pride and work in the same direction to achieve your set goals. Having a strong brand is like turning the company logo into a flag the rest of the company can rally around. People love being a member of a team.

4. Branding Brings New Patients

Branding enables your practice to get referral business because many times, patients can use the brand name to refer their friends. Any name or affiliation with a brand above the doctor’s name will carry significant weight.

If you’re a private practice dentist, you’re competing with corporate dentistry who can get in front of patients with well-recognized branding. But private practice dentists have the chance to do the same by joining other independent dentists and branding with Smile Source – either fully or partially.

Fully branded practices prominently display “Smile Source” above the practice or doctor’s name. Partially branded offices display the doctor or practice name above “a member of Smile Source.” See examples in the image below.

The pros of fully branding your practice are realized through increased association with Smile Source marketing and branding efforts.

Take advantage of the opportunity to team up with other dentists across the United States in making Smile Source a part of your practice's identity. Together, Smile Source can become the most powerful brand in dentistry. One that represents our shared values of independence, innovation and commitment to the highest standards of patient care.

Want to learn more?

Listen as CEO Trevor Maurer discusses the importance of branding for dentists at

For more information about Smile Source visit,

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