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Does Your Signage Attract, Advertise & Sell?

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Are you making the most of your dental practice signage both inside and out? Does it advertise your brand or sell your services?

These are just two questions which should be obvious to most dentists, but I am surprised how dental practices I visit every month who are not making the most of the opportunities to advertise in their own premises. 

We all understand that every building is different and there can be many limitations for use of signage on the exterior. Also all advertising signage applied to the exterior must conform to local authority advertising and planning guidelines. However restricted the exterior may be, there will always be an opportunity to brand your dental practice outside so seeking advise from the council office, an architect or experienced designer may help you discover the building’s potential for advertising.

Remember. just like your website, your external dental practice signage is available to view 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. How many times has a new patient said “I have driven passed your practice for many years”, or “I didn’t know you were there?”. Imagine if your signage was attractive, bigger, louder or promoted a KEDO (Knock ‘Em Dead Offer). I bet they would have visited your practice sooner.

Promoting your dental brand, your dental treatments and services internally is just as important. Remove those pictures of the family cat, bin those cheap dated paintings and the homemade laser printouts that say ‘no mobile phones’ etc. As well as looking untidy, they are not selling your practice brand or making patients aware of the fantastic new services and treatments available to them. I hear so often that patient have gone elsewhere for their tooth whitening because they did not know you did that in this practice.

Here are a few areas and tips to help you find signage and branding opportunities in your dental practice. It can help result in more sales and make patients more aware of your services.

1. Shop Fascia – Your signs must display your name and logo as large and cleanly as possible.

2. Illumination – Winter days are short. If allowed, ensure you install illuminated external signage.

3.  Contact Details – Are they easily seen? Preferably on your shop fascia and in view without interruption.

4. Windows – Like most shops, take advantage to sell what you have inside to the outside. Be inventive and ensure you include changeable advertising displays. Why block this opportunity with seated patients in the waiting area.

5. Entrance Door - Don’t miss a trick! If you are closed, a leaflet dispenser next to or on the door provides inquisitive people with more information.

6. Reception - The reinforce the brand with your practice name and logo at reception. This is usually the first and last point of communication when visiting the dentist.

7. Lounge Area – This should not be a waiting room so don’t make it like one. This is the perfect place to advertise your treatments, services and promote your brand. Make use of the walls with tastefully designed communication material. Turn it into an art form and your advertising becomes subtle but pronounced. Your brochures should also be the first publication to hand on the coffee table.

8. Directional & Door Signage – All must be branded and easily identifiable.

9. Surgeries – There is always a few minutes of uncomfortable silence for the patient during preparation. Don’t make them sweat and view that same old picture on the wall or ceiling. These are perfect areas to create a distraction. Think of a new way to help the patient start a conversation.

If you would like ato discuss anything further, please contact me on 01923 246116.

Alex Nicolaou – Cool Branding

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VAT Due To Rise!…Can Dentists Avoid It?

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In order to tackle the countries financial deficit, it looks highly likely that VAT could rise to 20% by the end of the year. This is not good news for dentists who are looking to develop their practice and cannot claim back the VAT on expenditure towards business growth.

As dental marketing is a key factor in developing, expanding or starting a new dental practice, a high percentage of new branding and marketing projects now involve permission marketing via online digital and other electronic media. With designers and marketers providing a service, VAT has to be charged and this can add up to a significant amount on the bottom line.

There is still some good news which many dentists are unaware of. Conventional marketing tools such as brochures, booklets, pamphlets and certain advertising media are zero-rated and are still very much required in patient generating marketing activities. These items cannot be dismissed as they play a vital role in building your dental brand so how can you be clever and help yourself save money?…

Many designers, marketers and even printers like to play it safe and charge 17.5% VAT on everything they sell. This makes life easy and is hardly ever questioned from the buyer who is none the wiser. It would be advisable to ask whether the price quoted includes VAT or whether the products you are paying for are standard or zero-rated for VAT. Here are a couple of tips to remember:

1. When ordering from a printer, always ask if the products you are purchasing are standard rated or zero-rated.

2. If you think you can save money by paying for the designers fees separately and handling the printing yourself, think again! You will have to pay VAT for the designers fee and may even pay VAT for the printing fee as well…and don’t forget to add the time spent running around to organise all this yourself. Think how much you could have earned if you were in the surgery treating patients who could be paying for this project instead.

3. Choose wisely, an experienced design and marketing company can handle everything for you and have the knowledge and buying power to achieve greater results on your behalf. If you order a brochure as an all in package, you could save thousands in VAT.

If you would like more information, please call Mint on 01923 246116.

Alex Nicolaou – Mint Branding

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