By Mike Butler

Being consistently bad is better than being inconsistently awesome.

There are 41,394 Realtors in Arizona. That means there is one Realtor for every 153 residents. It’s insane! How in the world do you compete in that type of market? One of our areas of expertise is working with Agents on their “personal” branding.   Making memorable impressions on potential clients. When I first meet with a new client I always instill in them that if they are going to embark on this process they need to commit to CONSISTENCY otherwise it’s a waste of time and money. I use the example of the “Purple Lady” in my neighborhood. The neighborhood I live in is a nice area of Scottsdale. Just on my street alone there are 3 full time Realtors. But guess who dominates the market? The Purple Lady. Everything about her is purple…her clothes are purple, her hats are purple, her car is purple, she even dyed her poodle purple for a photo shoot. Her designs are HORRIBLE…but her branding is consistent, memorable, and she drives business. Consistency will win every time.

Market research indicates that it takes 10 “impressions” for a customer to consider your product or service (my opinion is it really depends on what you’re selling but for our purposes we will go with 10). These impressions can be anything from billboard to a face-to-face meeting. Given the cost of “impressions” it’s important that there is a clear connection between these touches so the customers subliminal mind links your brand to your offering so that when they are in the market for your service…they think of you.

I’ve been really impressed with most of the orthodontic practices that have brought us on to help with their print or marketing efforts. It’s obvious that they’ve invested time and money in building a solid foundation from a branding standpoint. However, there are a few things that I’ve observed that many need to review quickly and fix immediately if guilty.

It all goes back to CONSISTENCY. Here are some of the major pitfalls I see orthodontists fall into:

Facebook & other social media: Social Media is a great place to connect with your target audience and is no longer a “nice to have” part of your brand strategy. Your page framework probably looks pretty good! However, who is running it? Do you have a plan for social media or are you winging it? Is there fresh, relevant content? Do you have Suzy at the front desk doing it? STOP! If their design and content skills aren’t up to the level of your branding…don’t do it at all. Inconsistency on Social Media is the #1 brand killer I’ve seen with Medical and Dental Practices. Hire a pro.

Print Materials: Your cards, appointment reminders and brochures all should have your logo, pertinent information and content that coincide with your brand. Think of your patients and write to them in a way that will resonate. Even something as concise as your tagline has power to leave a lasting impression! The tone, word choice and images you use are all apart of what makes up your brand. Make sure that if all of your print materials were spread across a big table, it would be easy to recognize which pieces belong to your practice. Again, use a professional for design and have the native files handy.

Website: Your website should serve as a hub of information for your patients. Offer them the same web experience that they will receive at your office. Maybe that is a personalized welcome note, the ability to schedule online, or an informative blog. Just as with your brochures, use content that is unique to your brand. It’s all about content marketing and I’ve yet to see an orthodontic website doing it effectively. Remember….CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT.

The good news is that most of these things are easily fixed. Come up with a plan and make sure you have a solid brand guide that is easily accessible by you, your staff, and your partners to ensure consistency across marketing channels. A brand guide should clearly define culture, logos usage, colors, themes, fonts, etc. It’s the blueprint to all of your marketing efforts…have one, review it constantly, and stick to it. You will be glad you did.

Watch for the upcoming articles with easy tips and tricks that you can start applying to your practice immediately…for free.