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What Does Your Brand Promise?
Maintaining a laboratory’s overall brand offers clients consistency
From a marketing perspective, distinctiveness is virtually meaningless unless it is communicated effectively. The best way to communicate uniqueness is to match it with your brand promise. Use all of your marketing materials, especially your advertising, to tell the story of what makes you different from all other dental laboratories. Present factual, specific examples of what puts your products and services above the rest. Tell prospective dentists what they can expect when they decide to do business with you and your laboratory.
A brand promise is the cornerstone of branding as a marketing strategy. Properly developed and managed, the promise can generate both new business and referrals from past clients. However, poor brand development and weak business management will lead to broken promises, which will drive customers to the competition.
Making Brand Promises
By consistently providing quality goods and services, a business promises that its clients will continue to receive that same quality. This promise of consistency is reassuring to both clients and prospects, strengthening existing business relationships and helping to forge new ones. A promise of quality should be a central element in your overall marketing plan, as its reassuring message has the potential to generate more business.
While kept promises can help strengthen client bonds, broken promises can have a devastating effect on a business relationship. Consider going to get your car washed. One car wash in town does a fantastic job the first time you utilize their services, and you are eager to return. However, the second time you visit this carwash, they do a subpar job and fail to meet the high expectations set by the first visit. Their lack of consistency is upsetting, and you vow never to use their services again. The same principles apply to the dental laboratory. Consistently providing excellent services, and keeping your promise to maintain that high quality, is key.
In a business setting, making promises—whether explicitly or implicitly—sets standards that must continue to be met. If a business fails to honor its promises, there may be severe repercussions. Today’s dentists know that they have many choices in today’s competitive marketplace, and few things annoy these dentists more than broken promises. Unhappy customers can, and usually do, respond by taking their business to the competition. Instead of happily promoting a laboratory that has pleased them, they will delight in badmouthing one that could not deliver on their promises.
Building on Brand Promises
There are a number of techniques laboratory owners can use to build and increase brand awareness. These include sponsorships, trade show exhibits, branded advertising specialties and clothing, and display ads in dental trade publications, among others. Certainly these approaches can help increase name awareness, but how do they help you communicate your brand promises to potential clients? Here are some alternatives to traditional marketing strategies that can help make your brand promises better known.
Continue to Exceed Client Expectations
Exceeding clients’ expectations involves changing the way you approach their business. Treat clients like good friends, and acknowledge and assure them that you care about them. Make sure that they know that they valued, and that their well-being and success are interconnected with yours.
Deliver Memorable Client Experiences
Dental laboratories that create positive and memorable experiences for their clients position themselves high above their competitive marketplace. As a result, they also capture clients’ hearts, dollars, and ongoing loyalty. There is no better way to generate sustainable repeat and referral business.
Write a Book
As an expert in your field, you have valuable knowledge filed away somewhere in your mental and electronic archives. As an author, your credibility as an expert helps the awareness of your profile increase dramatically.
Participate in a Research Study
Conducting market research can help laboratory owners identify emerging issues in the dental industry. If you prepare and publish reports from your own research, it will speak volumes about your professional expertise.
Develop a ‘Hall of Fame’
These can be audio, video, or written profiles of outstanding dentists or patients in your market area. These profiles will likely be of wide interest to your target audience and will draw attention to your brand. They will also help you to establish lasting relationships with notable people in your field, improving your visibility and reputation.
Partner with an Organization
Rather than donate funds, partner with a not-for-profit or community organization, such as a local dental trade association, that serves your target clients. By providing resources and pitching in, you can boost your brand and increase awareness for the partner organization.
About the author
Nick Azar is a consultant, business strategist, executive coach, and founder of Azar & Associates in Santa Clarita, CA.