In 1995, the AMA expanded its definition of “brand” to include intangible attributes by adding “or any other feature” to the “attributes that differentiate one from another”. For better or worse, the open-endedness of this updated definition invited new and diverse interpretations and definitions of “brand” and “branding” among marketing professionals.
In dental marketing parlance for example, “branding” represents the creation of a positive perception of a dentist or dental practice through the development and use of logos, graphic design, creative writing, and websites with impressive images, videos, and eloquent copy. Social media marketing campaigns, SEO, AdWords, etc. may be used to promote the practice site in support of the unique “brand” of dentistry that’s being practiced. Unfortunately for dentists, however, the typical agency interpretation (and application) of the term “branding” relative to the dental industry seems geared more towards the creative and production capabilities of the agency, than on the realities of successfully branding dentists and dental practices.