A big part of both branding and marketing is storytelling. Your practice has a unique story that makes it different from the dental practice three blocks over. You would never say that Coca-Cola and Pepsi are the same or Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, right?
Because they tell such specific stories about their brands, the second you see that trademark red from a Coke can or walk past a Starbucks and get a whiff of that signature smell, you just know what brand you’re being exposed to.
Storytelling goes beyond just the colors you choose for your logo. It goes beyond a mission statement. The stories you tell contain your why, your culture, and your values.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. With a little bit of work upfront, you can get your team on board and pretty soon, everyone will be working together to tell the story of your practice. A strong story equals a strong brand, and a strong brand creates excited, loyal patients.
Let’s Get Started!
If you’ve never intentionally created stories for your brand, the first thing you’ll want to do is determine what it is your practice stands for.
When you think of TOMS shoes, you probably think of the “one for one” program they have. You probably can guess what Ben & Jerry’s values even without reading the “values” page on their website. Think about the things your practice holds dear. It doesn’t have to be about charity or politics or anything like that. Start by thinking about these four questions:
- Your Purpose: Why do you exist in your community?
- Your Vision: What does the future of your brand look like?
- Your Mission: How are you going to create that future?
- Your Values: Who are you and what do you hold in esteem?
Time to Bring in the Team!
Once you have given these questions some serious thought, you’re ready to pull in your team. Schedule a fun meeting (maybe something in the afternoon, when everyone is a little more creative and awake) and share your thoughts with the team.
Ask for their input. What do they honestly think about the purpose, vision, mission, and values of the practice? Allow them to speak freely without fear. This is where real growth comes from, and if your team feels heard, they’ll be MUCH more invested in the story of your practice.
At the end of the meeting, be sure to thank everyone for their feedback and ask them to each come up with one creative way to tell the story of your brand to current and future patients. Give them a due date, maybe at a follow-up meeting a week later.
Create Some Content
Now that your team is bringing their great ideas to the table, it’s time to create some content! Create videos of your team members sharing their own story, the story of the practice, or the story of a patient that experienced your values first-hand.
Create some social media content that specifically addresses your vision, mission, values, and purpose. Incorporate the keywords you brainstormed into your captions. Write a blog post centered around your brand’s story and share it on social media and in an email to your current and perspective patients.
When you involve your team and create a story about your practice that speaks on the larger purpose around the work you do, it will be easy to attract the right people to your practice. Make sure your story is clear, simple, and honest. You’ll be amazed at what this intentional act can do for your brand!