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Inviting and Inclusive

When designing a brand they knew would appeal to their wide demographic, this Tennessee practice learned from the best.

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Dr. Will Tantum

Dr. Will Tantum

AS THEY WERE designing their cheerfully eye-catching brand, founder/CEO Dr. Will Tantum and his team at Blount County Eye Center in Maryville, TN, took a few cues from the best, studying the logos, marketing and messaging of “a lot of the top brands we’re all very familiar with: Apple, Google, Nike, McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A…” The look that emerged, Tantum says, is what you’d get if “HGTV and Chick-fil-a decided to collaborate and open an eye clinic. It’s clean, friendly, inviting and caring.”

The starting point was consistency: BCEC’s logo — consisting of four very specific shades of purple, light blue, light green and a yellow/orange — and message are the same across all platforms. And they’re used liberally — the practice brands everything it possibly can. “If it’s going to be seen by our patients, we want it to have our logo, colors, theme, etc. We use business cards with our pictures on them, rack cards for our specialty clinics and nonprofit, T-shirts, pens, optical supplies, and on and on. We want people to see our brand and logo as many times as they can when they’re in our office,” says Tantum. They even created a TV channel with slides about the practice and music that plays in every room in the clinic — that’s 33 TVs. Other branded items include the building itself, staff uniforms, artwork, direct mailers, lens cloths and the website and social media.

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To keep the feel consistent, the practice goes back to the same designers for all of its branded products. Adds Tantum: “One of our best resources has been Fiverr. It allows you to pull from skilled artists all over the world at a very affordable price.”

BCEC strives to serve all demographics, and reaching that audience can be a challenge. “We have to create a very inclusive and inviting brand that kids, teens, young adults and older folks alike are drawn to… Each media hits a different demographic, and you have to be hitting them all.”

Tantum urges his fellow ECPs to be intentional. “Think through every touch point in your practice. Details matter when it comes to crafting a great brand. Some of the absolute best branding I’ve seen in eyecare has come from smaller, boutique-type practices. It’s not about who can spend the most. It’s always about who cares the most.”

PHOTO GALLERY (8 IMAGES)

After years covering some of the farther flung corners of the world of business journalism, Heath has more recently focused on covering the efforts of independent eyecare professionals to negotiate a fast-changing industry landscape. Contact him at [email protected]

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