What is a Sleep Brand, and Why Should You Build One?
A sleep brand is separate from your general/cosmetic dental practice focused on sleep apnea treatment. By building a sleep brand, you are instantly establishing yourself as an expert who can treat what your patients are looking for. To the consumer, sleep apnea is a sleep problem, and they are looking for a specialist to help.
Many patients don’t know that dentists can treat sleep apnea and have medical training expertise to treat sleep problems. Sure, we’re addressing sleep apnea with dental sleep medicine, but the message has to be clear: we are sleep experts treating sleep problems.
For example, if you search for a mechanic, do you look for mechanics specializing in your car’s make and model, or would you go directly to a random mechanic?
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There are many elements to a successful brand strategy. Internal and external factors must collaborate to:
- Tell a cohesive story.
- Demonstrate a unified purpose.
- Build a strong connection with your audience.
It is essential to establish some benchmarking goals. Think of where you want your business to be a month after opening, a year after, and then consider your five-year plan. Does the brand vision scale to those longer-term goals while helping you achieve the short-term as well? Many doctors we work with are transitioning from general dentistry to sleep for various physical, emotional, or financial reasons.
Connecting your end goal with your brand’s vision will ensure your dental sleep medicine business brand’s success. This brand will live as long as the business operates, and believing in the message and goals will help you and your staff connect easily to the mission.
Conducting competitor research is also crucial to building a successful brand. Here are a couple of questions to consider:
1. How many dental sleep medicine practices are there in your area?
- What does their messaging say that you agree with, and what does it say that you do not?
Conducting this research can be as simple or complex as you like. Still, we often start with using Google Maps to see what practices are in the area and explore how they present themselves, and often, using the number of reviews they have, you can get a ballpark figure on how established they are.
Competitor research will provide valuable information to set up your practice, including the best name for your brand.
Understand Your Demographics!
Knowing your market and the patient pool in your local area is imperative to building your brand. To do this, you must know the statistics surrounding your patients and their lifestyles. Below are a few questions to consider when doing your research:
1. What are the gender statistics for sleep apnea patients?
- What is the typical age range for sleep apnea patients in the area?
3. What are the lifestyle categories that your demographic fits into? I.e., athletic, retired, parents, etc.
Knowing who your community is is essential to building a brand that connects with its audience. For example, a brand trying to connect with a rural retirement community will be very different from a brand connecting with an urban community of young professionals. Putting this market knowledge to work when building your brand will help guide you in having a particular feel for your brand.
Here are some questions to consider:
Does it need to feel homey and friendly? Or is your brand going to be more sleek and modern? Are your patient’s outdoorsmen, military, retirement-aged, or live a specific lifestyle that may connect with a particular style of branding, imagery, or message? Once you have established who your community is and what they like, you can build a website that connects and speaks to those people.
Generating an Emotional Response
Many doctors have a personal connection to sleep – maybe they have sleep apnea themselves or have a family member who has suffered from sleep apnea. Using personal stories and those experiences can help connect with patients. Even if you do not have personal experience, you may have treated a patient for sleep apnea. Share these unique stories, and allow them to connect with you.
Some questions to consider:
How do you want people to feel when they speak about your practice?
How do you want patients to feel when they enter and leave your practice?
Knowing What You Don’t Want
Establishing some differentiating factors from other practices in the area will be valuable for building your brand. These factors often come to light in the research phases above. Knowing what you don’t want for your brand is just as important as knowing what you do want!
Knowing what you don’t want for your practice will separate you and your company from other treatment options in the area and allow you to stand out.
Once these brand pillars have solidified and the vision for the practice is clear, you’ll see the sleep business come to life!
You will have a sleep practice with a well-defined mission and message and a brand that reaches your target demographic to help you treat more people with sleep apnea.
Want to get started? Try our free Sleep Brand Builder which contains all the tools & knowledge we use to create sleep brands that help our clients connect with patients and build thriving sleep businesses.
This is part 2 of our 5-part series titled How to Build Your Sleep Brand. Read the whole series for more details and resources to get started on marketing your sleep business: