Branding is said to be a critical aspect of business big or small. We’re told it is essential. People preach that we should be growing our own personal brands. We’re told we need to align our branding with our target audience but I will tell you now your branding is your product or service and that is what is important.
When you think of branding do any of us know what is actually branding? According to the business dictionary, it is defined as:
“the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer’s’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme”
What does this mean for the most basic of levels though?
It means your product or service is your brand.
Everyone knows what Uber does.
Everyone knows what Airbnb does.
Everyone knows who Richard Branson is.
Everyone knows who Elon Musk is.
Each of these businesses or people have been defined by their products or the services they offer. Their brands have been enhanced by targeted advertising campaigns or social media strategies but it is not the other way around.
These people and businesses consistently over-deliver one or two benefits to their customers and fans and their branding is a side effect of consistent association with the benefits of their products. Put great business and great service first and your branding will take care of itself.
A man who has revamped his product to change the lives of his customers is David Moffet. You may or may not have heard of Moffet and that is because you’re not one of the people who is his target audience.
Moffet is now the owner of the Ultimate Patient Experience which serves as a platform for current owners of dental practices to increase the revenue of their practices by 100 K or more by changing only one thing. The way they deliver their product.
Moffet was a dentist and practice owner from 1987 until 2011. In his first 10 years of business Moffet was making close to $400,000 annually (adjusted for inflation), sometimes working 60 hour weeks compared to his last year in the business where he earned over $1,830,000 and billed over $10,000 a day regularly while working 35 hours a week.
In an industry that is crowded with other practices and skillful dentists what is that he changed?
It was the way he delivered his product to the right people and used the right marketing channels to find them.
Moffet explained to me some of the things that he implemented in his product delivery that made his practice so different from his competitors that his business and therefore his brand was talked about by other people which led him to a funnel of high paying clients year after year.
- Niche Down and Own Your Target Audience
In any industry there are competitors and if you’re not the best at what you do you’re going to get lost in the noise.
So how do you stand out?
You make your own version of the market and own that instead.
Moffet knew people needed dental work but he also knew that if he took care of the right type of client he wouldn’t have to go looking for work it would come to him. Moffet chose his target audience who were affluent and health conscious individuals who cared about their teeth that were earning over a certain threshold every year and tailored his customer service to them.
Moffet had learned early on that by competing on the price he would be pushed out of the market and fight for the scraps that every other dentist and practice owner was fighting for. By tailoring his service to his target market he continued to attract people who didn’t have price as a barrier.
While other practice owners were fighting for anyone who wanted dental care Moffet catered only to a small population who loved his work.
- Create a Business That People Want to Talk About
People find out about a product, service or a business in one of two ways; they use it or someone or something tells them about it.
I know I make most of my purchases from the recommendations of someone else that I know, like and trust. Moffet grew his business on the back of this principle.
Moffet grew his practice and therefore his brand by leveraging incredible customer service as a talking point for his patients. Here is a small list of just some of the things he did:
- Moffet bought a microwave ($58) and 1000 heatable moist towels ($.57 each) and gave these to a patient at the end of the consultation
- He would have his reception team show a diagram of his prospective patients to him in the waiting room and he would individually greet them before each consultation
- He would give patients a special business card post-consult and tell them to call him directly if they experienced any pain (he gave out over a thousand of these cards and never received one phone call)
I’ve been to the dentist over a dozen times in my life and I can tell you that I’ve never had an experience like that. As you would expect this kind of service creates word of mouth and a lot of it.
When you treat people with care beyond what they would normally get they will tell their friends about it. Moffet’s business grew because he focused on delivering on small things that others neglect. Doing this meant that his target audience went out and told people about how much they looked forward to going to the dentist and not the other way around.
This is the kind of branding that only an incredible product or experience buys and is enhanced by the right type of marketing and not the other way around.
Branding is an exercise in positive association and not an exercise in itself.
If you’re not delivering a product or service that people love and need, you will have a hard time selling it.
Our team has worked with Moffet and other practices to help them find the right type of clientele and if you’re interested in learning how we can do the same for you feel free to reach out here.