They say that when you can see a bandwagon it’s probably too late to jump on board.
Recently, I walked past five Birmingham city centre practices between 12pm and 1pm on a sunny Wednesday and their practice shop windows and A-boards suggested their practice owners believed the bandwagon in Birmingham dentistry is all about:
- Tooth whitening
- Six Month Smiles
They could be right, however the number of people in these practices suggests they could be wrong. Three out of the five clinics had no patients in their waiting areas – the fourth had a teenager and the fifth a mother and child waiting.
If you try Googling any of the above services and add Birmingham in the search, these practices will surely pop up. It looks like they are busy having their own private battle and price war. Their websites, like their windows, are covered in third party branding such as Invisalign or Six Month Smiles, with little or no references to the welcome outcomes these treatments can create.
Wouldn’t it be great if this tactic worked! Fill the window and website with these brands and hey presto, new patients rush in and buy. Sadly, it’s a lot more complicated…
“Me too” can work well by growing a market that already exists. Starbucks spawned Cafe Nero and Costa. Pizza Express spawned Zizzi, Prezzo, Strada etc.
However, these brands, although supplying a similar product, have managed to differentiate themselves in the minds of their customers. It’s a different experience buying a latte in Starbucks (young, green credentials and community aware) to Cafe Nero, (classical music, leather sofas and Italian pastries). They might sell the same stuff but the style in which they do it is chalk and cheese. It’s this style that creates loyalty amongst their customers (not the coffee!).
The problem for the practices in Birmingham city centre is they all look the same and promise the same. They have yet to find anything remarkable to separate themselves from their competitive set. And yet unfortunately, as they’ve succeeded in commoditising their services and like a shop selling white goods, all they have to look forward to is a price war!
You can stand out even when selling white goods. If you buy a Fridge from John Lewis, a couple of nice lads in clean overalls will come to your house, install it and take the packaging and the old machine away.
My advice is that you stop copying the others, dare to be different and make your practice remarkable, like John Lewis, not by what you supply but by the way in which you deliver your services.
Alternatively, you could start a new bandwagon rather than joining an old one.
Anyone for perio?
If you would like some help with making your practice remarkable, please contact me for a chat on:
t. 07770 430 576