What’s In A (Practice) Name?

Based on our 35 years of experience advising more than 15,000 privately owned dental, medical and physical therapy practices, one of the greatest marketing challenges is naming or renaming a practice. In large and small markets across the United States, most healthcare practices are named after a) their owners or b) their locations.

A glance at the local phone directory will likely reveal that more than 90 percent of practice names in your area fall into one of these two categories. For obvious reasons, most practitioners make the easiest, most expedient choices when faced with such “business” decisions as what to name their practice. They look no further than themselves and their immediate environments, and they end up blending in instead of standing out.

Of course, if you have been in practice for 10 years or longer and you have built a good reputation in the communities you serve, changing your practice name may not be the best idea. Changing your name will also require changing your logo, business cards, letterhead, invoices, signage, patient education materials, uniforms and anything else that bears your practice name or logo.

Dare to be different

Here’s a quick little exercise. Think about your favorite patients and what matters to them. What do they want and need from you. What have they gained?

What’s In A (Practice) Name?

Once you’ve examined your practice from the patient’s perspective, you’ll have a new foundation upon which to create a practice name that differentiates you from a hundred or a thousand other healthcare practices in your area. You might even come up with a name that patients will remember more easily and like.

A forward-thinking plastic surgeon recently asked for our help in renaming his three-year-old practice. The existing name was “His Last Name Plastic Surgery Center.” When we asked him what his patients really want from him, he quickly answered “beautiful results.” Since no other plastic surgeon in or near his trading area was using such a name, we simply renamed his practice Beautiful Results.

What’s In A (Practice) Name?

Similarly, an orthodontist who had originally named his practice for his location in the southwestern region of a particular state wanted a more patient-friendly practice name. Since his area is known as the “Land of Enchantment,” we focused on what patients in his area want or need and renamed the practice Smiles of Enchantment.

Instead of joining that large, homogenous group of practices with benign, similar-sounding, forgettable practice names, these practitioners chose to be different. Why shouldn’t you?

If you’re looking to name or rename a practice, look to your patients for ideas. Better still, look to the experts at Practice Builders for professional help and practical advice.