For any dentist wondering if branding works, a positive experience shared by Dr. Mariel Petruk in Fort Lauderdale, Florida offers inspiration and ideas on how to begin the process.
When Dr. Petruk decided to open her first practice in Tarpon River, she was determined to go to market with a brand that would be immediately welcomed by patients. “I wanted the office to feel like it really belonged in the neighborhood,” she says. “I thought that a beachy, down-to-earth, bright-and-light style would feel comfortable for patients as well as for the staff.”
- Research your geography and demographics before selecting a name.
The Tarpon River neighborhood gets its name from the river that cuts through the upscale enclave of hip bars, trendy restaurants, laid-back nightspots and outdoor recreation. Home to around just 3,000 of the city’s residents, it’s a place where people seem to value a certain understated quality, especially when it comes to local businesses.
For Dr. Petruk’s practice, “Tarpon River Dental” did the trick, avoiding the trap of creating something too high-concept that might strike residents as aloof. However, this meant her visual brand identity would shoulder a higher burden. Because she’s the face of the brand, it would need to be uniquely reflective of her personal philosophy and style: “When my patients enter the office, I’d like them to see it as a clean and comfortable space where they’re at ease enough to trust us with their care and the care of their families.”
- Construct a knowledgeable team.
In Dr. Petruk’s case, while working with Benco Dental’s CenterPoint Design team on her practice’s space planning and equipment, she simultaneously participated in the company’s Build Your Brand program, which is designed to guide doctors through the process of refining and creating their visual identities, then carrying them through to their signage, interior, patient forms, social media, business cards and more.
“I loved collaborating with the Benco Dental team. This is my first dental office, but it isn’t their first office, and that experience shows,” says Dr. Petruk.
- Create a mood board of your ideas.
Taylor Haight, a Benco Dental interior designer, assembled a mood board based on the doctor’s ideas. “As a native Floridian, Dr. Petruk was drawn to the bright and beautiful colors seen throughout the Key West area. We started by gathering images that Dr. Petruk was inspired by as a basis for the design,” Haight says. “The keywords that inspired her space were: Key West cottage, comfortable, inviting and open. She wanted a space that her patients would love to visit, representative of the local surroundings. We picked the key color palette from a picture of seashells, and the design developed and blossomed from there.”
- Develop a logo that unifies all elements.
Convey the essence of your practice through type, shape and color. A carefully designed logo is the cornerstone of your brand.
For Dr. Petruk, Benco Dental’s Build Your Brand team of graphic designers, digital artists and brand specialists formed a unique visual identity that telegraphs the practice’s sense of purpose and hints at the experience patients can expect. After an initial round of logo proposals, the team worked with Dr. Petruk to get them ever closer to her vision while ensuring they remained on-brand for the doctor and the market. The result: A carefully-curated assemblage of colors and textures that are both soothing and reassuring, anchored by a light but precise text treatment of the practice’s name.
Dr. Mariel Petruk points to a sentiment from business influencer and former tech executive Seth Godin that helped shape her thinking about her practice’s image: “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” Or, as she puts it, “You have to find your secret sauce and make it known to others.”
Looking for a team to assist in your process? Connect with the Build Your Brand team at Benco Dental at 1.800.GOBENCO.
Above is an excerpt from an article by Edward Kobesky that first appeared in Incisal Edge magazine https://www.incisaledgemagazine.com/mag/article/big-fish/
Edward Kobesky is Head of Content for Benco Dental and Editor of Incisal Edge magazine.