In my years of writing and marketing for dentists, I’ve discovered that many don’t use a dental practice name. Instead, they go by their full name with the DDS or DMD designation. Some select a website domain name that could become their practice name, but they never move forward with making it official. The problem is, most dentists A) don’t know if they need a practice name, B) don’t care if they have a practice name, C) don’t know how to choose a practice name, D) don’t want to mess with the legality of having a practice name. If you use your actual name and designation as your practice name, you’re doing what we call “self branding” in the marketing world.
There are pros and cons to self branding your dental practice. One positive point is, no other dentist in your area is likely to have the same practice name. However, what if you want to sell your practice in the future? If you don’t plan to sell your name along with the practice, then a complete rebranding will be necessary. In short, your practice would be worth more to a potential buyer if your name isn’t in the brand.
Here are a few questions for you to consider before ordering signs and business cards:
- Do you want your city or location name in your dental practice name?
The benefit would be that consumers would know your location by your practice name, the practice name could easily accompany the business in a sale, and the name would do well for local Internet searches.
- What do you envision for a logo?
A brand is more than a name. It’s the impression people have in their mind when they think of your business. What image could accompany your practice name?
- Is it important to you that your name be in the practice name?
If your father and grandfather practiced dentistry in the town where you now practice, having the family name in your practice name would be a wise idea.
- Is a tagline necessary to explain your service offerings? (ex: Cosmetic & Family Dentistry)
Sometimes, a practice name doesn’t convey a complete message. For instance, a practice named Chicago Smiles may need a tagline to differentiate the services from a photography studio or modeling agency. Chicago Smiles, Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry paints a more complete picture.
- Is the practice name available?
More than once I’ve had a client brand a practice, only to receive a lawyer’s letter that says the practice name is already being used. This little mistake can cost you a mint! Be sure to check with your county office and secure a DBA. Also, do a Google search to find out if any other company is using the name.
- Is the domain name available?
Just because you officially own a practice name does not mean that you also own the domain. In fact, the two are not at all related. Anyone can buy any domain, any time, even if the business name belongs to someone else. This means, your colleagues can purchase all available variations of YOUR name, so do your homework. If your name is available for purchase, buy it right now. If you don’t, someone else will…legally!
For help with your dental practice name, logo, brand, and marketing strategy, call Modern Dental Practice Marketing today at 972-781-8861. We offer a free consultation and Internet presence analysis, and our team of experts can help you with your dental website, blog, content marketing, social networking, videos, and more.