Branding Basics: Hello, My Name Is…

How Much Do You Think About The Naming Of Your Practice

While it may seem like a simple thing, naming your practice is actually one of the most important decisions you’ll make about your practice.  From there, you can make other branding decisions like logos, colors, wording and tone.  You also have the ability to talk about your practice to the public and a practice name is not something you’ll want to change frequently. When you have a solid brand name that you love, the marketing story can come together and help really grow your practice.  

  1. Ease of Name - How easy is your practice name to spell and pronounce?  If it is hard to spell, it will be hard for people to put into a GPS or Google search to find you.  It will also be hard for patients to find your website.  Keep it simple and memorable and you’ll be in good shape.
  2. Competition - How many practices sound just like your name?  Consider if your practice name will be memorable and stick out from the crowd.  Also, consider how much competition there is with domain urls, twitter handles, and other online channels.  Finding a unique name is a great way to stick out and avoid competing for recognition.
  3. Type of Name - Will you brand your practice based on your name or a branded name?  Joe Smith Dentistry and Sunset Smiles Dentistry have very different strengths and weaknesses.  Branding your practice by your name is great recognition within the community and is unique, but limits your brand if you add new doctors or ever want to transition out of the practice.  On the other hand, a branded name gives you flexibility to grow or sell the practice, create stories and themes with your logo and branding, and can be still very memorable.  However, some practices worry that branded practice names sound too corporate.  Ultimately, you need to make the decision and know why you made this decision. 
  4. Tone - What will the tone of your practice be and how will your name express that?  As you think through names, make sure to match the name with the tone of your practice.  For example, a pediatric dentist can have a more playful, light-hearted name, but an oral surgeon might be more serious and formal.  

 

As you think through these core considerations in deciding on a practice name, you will go back and forth a bit.  That’s normal.  You’ll want to give careful thought and analyze your choice because this is a vital decision for your practice.  We’ve found that knowing your community, patient base, and local patterns helps you make smart decisions.  When you’ve analyzed your local community, you know who your competition is.  You also have insights into the psyche of your community to know if they need to connect with a personal name brand, or will appreciate a branded practice.  Knowledge is power and data gives you that knowledge.  

  • If you’re thinking of starting a practice, or are in the midst of branding a new practice right now, here are a few parting tips to help you right now.  All of these will help you articulate what you like and don’t like to a branding specialist or graphic designer as you build out your brand.  
  • Do a quick Google search of local practices nearby (both in your specialty and in other medical specialties).  
  • Note names that you like and ones you don’t like.
  • Note/Save logos that you like and ones you don’t like.
  • Note/Save logos and practice branding examples where you like the color combos and ones where you hate the color combos.
  • Save any websites that you like and note why you like that website.  
Valerie Morris