We began working with the team at Nease & Higginbotham Orthodontics in October of 2019. They were about to merge with another local practice, expanding their reach to 5 locations across Upstate South Carolina.
They knew that merging two practices that had existed as stand-alone brands for more than 30 years would require planning, tactful messaging, and careful execution so that neither brand would suffer. They also knew that as they grew and added new doctors to the practice, they would eventually need a revamped brand that was more inclusive to multiple providers.
The process of merging and rebranding spanned nearly 24 months, with multiple rounds of internal and external communications, campaigns, and agile adaptations as the COVID-19 pandemic hit right in the middle of the process.
The first step in this multi-phase project was to announce the merger of the two established practices, Nease & Higginbotham Orthodontics and Live, Laugh, Smile Orthodontics. While not direct competitors, the practices had existed somewhat parallel to each other in different areas of the region for more than 25 years.
It was important to get ahead of any miscommunication of the merger that may construe it as hostile or unwanted by either party. We wanted to take extra care to ensure that the current and future patients of both practices were informed of the merger in a way that highlighted the positive outcomes they would experience, more locations and provider options, and explained the reasoning for the merger.
We crafted multiple rounds of communication via different channels; such as email, social media, and direct mail; to get the word out about the merger.
From an online presence and search perspective, we began claiming and reviewing the years worth of online listings and citations for both practices to consolidate and organize for our future rebrand. The two separate sites were merged into one interim website representing both practices while the process began for their merged branding, with considerable care taken to put in place 301 redirects and the necessary groundwork to ensure no loss in either site’s search ranking and website traffic.
The second phase of this project was to develop a new, fresh brand for the practice that emphasized more of the practice’s values as a whole and less of the practitioner’s names. The doctors realized that adding more names onto the brand as the practice grew was not a realistic long term plan, so we set to work to create a new name and logo that would be an exciting fresh start, while giving homage to the years of strong reputation that accompanied the practitioners names.
We ultimately landed on Nth Degree Orthodontics. The ‘NTH’ is a nod to the foundation of their past with Dr. Nease, Dr. Higginbotham and Dr. Horvath. The ‘T’ represents their future with their new partner, Dr. Thomas. When we put “NTH” together, it means going to the next level or the Nth Degree of patient satisfaction, personalized care, and community support.
We created internal and external communications to announce the new name and brand including flyers, emails, mailers, social media posts, and press releases, and launched an internal campaign asking team members and patients to share how they were going to the Nth Degree in the upcoming year.
The third phase of the project was to launch their new, custom website and continue developing the visual language of the brand as we revamped collateral such as referral pads, letterhead, business cards, office flyers, billboards, and more.
All the while while their new site and branding was under construction, our SEO team was working hard in the background to ensure that we were seeing gains in search ranking with a cohesive content marketing strategy and link building strategy.
• 31% increase in website online appointment requests
• 43% increase in percentage of keyword ranking all platforms*
• 42% increase for all keywords across all platforms*
• 25% decrease in website bounce rate
*Google, Google Mobile, Google Maps, Bing and Bing local
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