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Fancy a BMW with your dental check-up? The business that believes giveaways still work

Melinda Oliver /

Dental practices are not normally linked to premium cars and corporate box seats, but a NSW-based business is breaking the mould to build its customer base.

My Dental Team has launched a competition for new clients to win a luxury BMW car for booking a dental check-up. Its next step is a competition offering free corporate box seats as the incentive.

The giveaway competitions are among a raft of bold strategies the two-year-old company is taking in a bid to stand out from the crowded dental market and attract business.

Glass-walled rooms on the street front where the public can see the dentists at work, gap free check-ups, an online blog and extensive sponsorship of community ventures are also key to its approach.

My Dental Team managing director Dr Ramesh Sivabalan told SmartCompany this morning the practice was keen to make dentistry transparent and welcoming for customers.

“We don’t understand why people shouldn’t know what they are getting and what they are paying for when they go to the dentist,” he says.

He says the giveaway approach is to attract new clients, which can traditionally be hard to do. The company built a customer base of 3000 in its first year at its South Coast practice, and has now opened its second practice in north-western Sydney, building to 1400 new patients in four months.

The giveaway strategy appears to be working for My Dental Team, but are they still successful more broadly?

Independent brand strategist Michel Hogan thinks they are, saying that giveaways tap into the motivation of consumers, as “everyone likes to win something”.

Hogan says giveaways are excellent for database building and for getting new people on your client list, especially if you have to make an appointment in order to enter the draw.

“The giveaway opens the door, but you have to deliver on your promises,” she says.

Hogan says that building your brand is about alignment, and the giveaway must align with your position and the services you offer.

“My question is, by giving away a BMW or corporate box seats, what are they saying about their prices?” she says.

“If you are taking a luxury approach to your giveaways, the experience must match up with the expectations.”

Hogan says giveaways are still immensely popular, but the mechanisms through which they are delivered are changing to adapt to the online world.

In the past customers were often asked to post in their details, along with giving a 25-word answer to a question. However, now with the huge value placed on customer data, giveaways appear regularly on social media sites such as Facebook in exchange for personal information.

They are often linked to survey entries or signing up for loyalty programmes.

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