DSO Accommodates Growth with New Brand

Gentle Dental Partners of New England (Gentle Communications LLC) recently began a rebranding of their organization to 42 North Dental, which they did in order to better reflect all their supported practices.

In the last three years, the number of practices supported by the DSO has nearly doubled, and the organization has expanded to support additional brands across four New England states. Once their affiliation growth kicked into high gear, the DSO felt the need to be inclusive of all their dentists and employees at Gentle Dental clinics, as well as their affiliated practices. These unique brands include Gentle Dental, Great Hill Dental, New Haven Dental and several other locally branded practice locations.

The Gentle Dental brand is extremely well-known and easily recognized by patients and the dental industry, however the DSO did not believe that every practice should be, or is primed to be, branded ‘Gentle Dental’. The new name, 42 North Dental, allows them to give their full time and attention to the supported brands, and the DSO believes their new brand will make them stand out from other DSOs.

None of the dental practices are changing their name to 42 North Dental. They will continue to operate under their legacy brand name as the DSO sees value in retaining the practice name.

According to Greg Wappett, Director of Corporate Development, “42 North Dental is a dentist and employee-facing brand, rather than a patient-facing brand.  The Gentle Dental brand was always a dual-facing brand to both patients and dentist/employees. We don’t envision a practice called 42 North Dental.”

So, how did they come up with the name and logo? They tapped into the resources of a brand agency to formalize the rebranding process. They conducted interviews with key stakeholders to understand deeply held values, and reviewed the cares of their target audience in order to build a framework to brainstorm a list of over 150 name combinations. From there the list was narrowed, taking into consideration URLs and trademark availability.

When the list was trimmed to six potential names, they did a survey of their core audience across the New England region to test the names against their core values.  They wanted to know if the name implied quality care, trustworthiness, and honesty.  With those results, the rebranding team made the final decision.

The name 42 North celebrates the DSO’s geographic roots, representing the latitude of Boston where Gentle Dental was founded. This idea is further illustrated with the logo’s compass arrow representing forward movement and continued geographic growth.

The newly launched 42 North Dental is based on three pillars: quality focused patient care, the power of partnership and empowering people.  The rebranding begins with the website, but in an effort to build a sense of community throughout the organization, they intend to celebrate their employees’ hard work, offering giveaways for staff. During the week of October 1, they had a ‘Go North’ tour (see video highlights below) where the entire home office staff visited every supported practice in one day. Furthermore, they are updating their home office space, recruiting materials and affiliation marketing to reflect the new brand. At the upcoming 2019 Yankee Dental Congress, they intend to make a splash.

Source:  42 North Dental 


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