Creating overlap between online and offline engagement — as we did with this meetup in LA — can help to lengthen and strengthen relationships with your ambassadors.

Great Brand Stories Aren’t Heard. They’re Felt.

How to find the emotional core of your brand.

If you’re not leading with your brand’s emotional appeal, you’ll have a hard time grabbing people where it counts: their hearts.

Our client, Smile Doctors, had experienced initial success growing to 31 locations in 5 states by leading with a best price positioning. They wanted to continue adding more clinics across more states without competing solely on price. Smile Doctors asked us to find a way to reposition their brand that would help fuel this growth and improve margins.

Uncovering the Brand Truth

Our engagement began with a discovery process to uncover the deep insights that would lead to compelling emotional brand stories. Our primary target, Parents, told us what they care about more than money: their kid’s happiness. They believed that giving their kids the confidence of a good smile was key to their self-esteem. Happiness for their kids equaled happiness for Parents—and a way into their hearts. 

We also discovered that the welcoming, fun-loving staff at each Smile Doctors clinic is critical to turning the dreaded experience of getting braces into a surprisingly positive one. We found the emotional core, the intersection of brand and target audience – Smile Doctors helps parents achieve the impossible: a happy teenager.

Turning Insights into Brand Stories

That fun-loving, energetic in-clinic experience was something Smile Doctors could own, one that’s very different from their audience’s perception of getting braces. To reach new patients, we needed to turn that experience inside out. It all came down to happiness. We developed a strategy for Smile Doctors that centered around smiling as an expression of happiness, a rich place to craft heartfelt brand stories with genuine emotional appeal.

  • Consumer Insight

    A good smile gives teens confidence, boosts self-esteem.

  • Cultural Insight

    Parents want happiness for their teens. Confidence equals happiness.

  • Category Insight

    Most lead with price. Opportunity to stand out by leading with emotion.

  • Company Insight

    Smile Docs offers a unique, fun-loving in-clinic experience.

  • Brand Expression

    “Don’t Just Smile. Smile Happy.”

Creative Expression of the Brand

We let the brand personality shine through the new tagline: Don’t Just Smile. Smile Happy. That personality was amplified with vibrant colors, playful videos, and clean visuals designed to pop within a cluttered environment. Music was used throughout to add a layer of energy to the videos, and many of our social videos used simple animation to inspire engagement. 

Authenticity matters to consumers, especially on social media platforms. To portray an authentic Smile Doctors experience, all creative was produced using real Smile Doctors employees, patients, and family members. Through meticulous planning and coordination with the client, we were able to leverage their culture and community without sacrificing quality, and with the bonus of saving the client thousands of dollars.

Happy Results

Since the launch of the new brand positioning, Smile Doctors has grown from 31 clinics in 5 states to 160 clinics in 15 states. Our client is ‘smiling happy’ ear to ear. 

Let’s tell your brand story together.

We’re excited to put our insight and creativity to work for your retail brand. Just tell us about your brand’s current state, and our deep bench of brand experts are ready to put a new plan into action.