Denplan rebrands as Simplyhealth Professionals By Jonathan Fine. April 12, 2017.
When Tina Turner released Simply the Best in 1991 the phrase suddenly became midwife to a raft of corny enterprises, appearing on everything from barbecues to brothels. I thought we had left this approach to branding in the 20th century, but I see Denplan has become Simplyhealth Professionals. It is however keeping the Denplan name on its products, and if that seems half baked it’s because Simplyhealth wants to hold on to Denplan’s considerable brand equity for as long as it can (it bought Denplan in 2011).
I understand the rationale for the change but sometimes names just don’t feel right. Remember when everyone called their practices “dental spas”? That didn’t feel right either. I imagine the name Simplyhealth came about through decision by committee, the result of a protracted boardroom debate, possibly led by the chairman’s wife, where in the end the rest of the board just rolled over. Now they’re rolling it out over Denplan, even if it’s not in keeping with the Denplan brand position. And the roll out hasn’t been very slick.
On the Simplyhealth website, buried in a paragraph about the Simplyhealth Great Run (?), the softly softly Denplan rebrand strategy is explained: “The Denplan brand will remain in dentistry for your patients as the leading payment plan in dentistry, in time they will also come to recognise Simplyhealth as a company to support their overall health, as well as their families and pets too.”
So what does this mean for dentists and the industry as a whole? For Denplan members not much, because their patients won’t notice anything apart from maybe not seeing the famous Denplan apple logo any more, which has been ditched. Simplyhealth claims dentists will see increased footfall because people will be more aware of the Denplan and Simplyhealth brands, but I can’t see why. It says new products like the hygiene plan will help member businesses grow, and they will, yet these have nothing to do with the rebrand. And it says “there is now more room than ever for your practice brand, as Denplan becomes focussed as the product brand for the payment plan in your practice”. Hmmm.
So what does the rebrand mean for the industry? Perhaps it’s a harbinger of the joined-upness of private health care of the future. Perhaps when Denplan’s customers start to feel more like Simplyhealth customers, a transition that begins with this rebrand, they will become amenable to the idea of one payment a month to cover all aspects of their family’s health including the dog.
Simplyhealth is at pains to point out the difference between dental plans and health cash plans, but I suspect it’s inevitable that Denplan customers will want the same access as Simplyhealth cash plan customers to things like MyWellbeing, where you can get medical help and speak to a GP and a trained counsellor 24 hours a day. The demand for both of these services is rising fast.
My final thought is that on a brand matter affecting 6,500 member dentists, which should be about clarity if nothing else, Simplyhealth is surprisingly sloppy in its communications. The blurb I read announcing the rebrand was full of errant commas.
If you’re concerned about the name and branding of your practice please give me a call.
JJF | [email protected] | 07860 672727
“I imagine the name Simplyhealth came about through decision by committee”
Jonathan Fine, MD