Podcast: In dentistry, your brand is you and your practice


Hello and welcome to Ascent Dental Radio. A program dedicated to the balance between the clinical aspect of health care and the business of health care. And now here is your host, Dr. Kevin Coughlin.

Welcome. My name is Dr. Kevin Coughlin from Ascent Dental Solutions, where the focus is on knowledge, consultation, development and training. My expertise is in health care and in particular, dentistry.

I have 14 dental practices and I continue to practice dentistry Monday through Friday. Over my 30 plus years of clinical and business aspects, I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things and made numerous mistakes and I hope the following podcast can provide some information to help you not only improve your business, but improve your life.

I’ve often read that we make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. I’d love to tell you I coined that phrase, but I believe it was done by Winston Churchill.

Do you want to get your dental career started on the right path? Are you looking to put in place the practices and procedures to make your existing dental business more profitable? Send Dr. Coughlin a quick email today!

The following topic on today’s podcast is about branding.

What actually is branding? Can a brand be ruined? Is a brand even important? Can a brand be repaired and is it sometimes necessary to completely re-brand your company or organization?

Over the 30 plus years I found that in my own personal business that the brand has matured. It has become more focused. It has had some periods where it has been exceedingly strong and it has gone through periods where I believe it has been exceedingly week. In most cases, I believe the brand is created through leadership, through correct processes and procedures.

Understand that in essence, a brand is really how customers perceive you, your products and services.

The brand is all encompassing. It is how you dress, it is how you speak, it is the facility that you work in, it is the graphics, the social media that you work in, it’s the stationery, the business cards, your marketing, your advertising.

It’s an entire conglomeration of images that create a brand. In essence, it should be based on your core principles. It should come from not only the top down, but from the bottom up.

It’s critical that good, excellent leaders understand the importance of a brand and how quickly it can be destroyed and ruined. I’ve seen my company for over 30 years do various things that have advanced the brand and I’ve seen it do things that hurt the brand.

I can only stress to you listening to this podcast, to do everything in your power to protect your brand and make that brand valuable. In the end, a strong brand is perhaps even more important than the bricks and mortars and hard assets that make up your business.

Branding in general promotes recognition. It sets you apart from other businesses and competition. Your brand should tell a story. That story should be engaging. It should pull your audience, your customers in so that they become engaged.

They want to be part of your brand. Remember, a strong brand will create referrals and this referral, although it’s important from a customer base stand point, your brand also attracts team members or employees now and in the future. The stronger and better the brand, I believe the stronger and better your employees or team members will be.

As I like to often state, you look for the swan in your organization. The swans are smart people. They’re people willing to work, ambitious and nice people, hence the S-W-A-N. I’d love to tell you I coined that phrase, but I’ve copied it from my good friend Doug who is an accountant out in Oregon and specializes in health care and in dentist in particular.

But I think if you think about it, we almost always consider the brand as part of customers but your brand attracts good people and a bad brand will attract bad people or what I’ve referred to in past podcasts as detractors. And what you want for your business are all promoters.

Keep in mind that not only does a strong brand general referrals from customers and employees, but it helps your customers or patients understand what they can expect when they receive services and products from your company.

Your brand should promote clarity and keep you focused on what’s important to continual improve your brand, along with the products and services it promotes. In the end, a strong brand creates value and that value is critical. It also helps you connect emotionally to your patients and/or customers.

Owning, creating and building a business is a lifetime endeavor. It’s something that takes 100 percent effort, concentration, but most of all enjoyment.

As the years march on and my experience and knowledge improves, I realize looking back on the things that were important that built the brand. And what built the brand for successful companies initially is integrity; doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.

Sometimes as businesses grown, they become larger, they become more impersonal, that brand can be tarnished or hurt. I strongly recommend when you’re done with this podcast think about your team, think about your organization, think about the leadership that surrounds you and try to help re-promote or perhaps, if necessary, re-brand your company with the basic intensity, drive, determination that originally created the brand.

I hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. You’ve been listening to Dr. Kevin Coughlin. My company is Ascent Dental Solutions.

I look forward to speaking to you in the future and I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast focused on branding and how important it is to not just yourself, not just to your customers, your products or your services, but to you team members.

Be proud of your brand and your brand will pay you off not only financially, but rewarding you to know that you’re doing the best for your customers and providing the highest level of care and service.

Thanks for listening.