Alun Rees has doubts about Denplan’s rebranding to Simplyhealth.

The origins of branding come from the custom of using physical marks to express animal ownership – literal branding.

The Flying-V, Bar-L, or Greenapple-D ranches would have logos burned onto their cows’ rumps to differentiate them.

Dentists are loyal to a material, a technique or a company because they know what has worked in the past can usually be relied upon to work again for their benefit of their patients and their practice.

They will tolerate changes in delivery systems, packaging and even price, but once that trust has been broken it is difficult to recapture.

By dentists for dentists

The recent announcement from Denplan, the generic name for dental plans, that its member dentists are being re-branded to Simplyhealth Professionals has surprised many.

It appears that this was done, NHS style, without consultation or communication so that the first they knew was when a letter landed on the doormat last week.

Is it possible the people at Simplyhealth have forgotten their sales force are dentists and their ‘customer facing teams’ – to use a phrase that they will recognise.

If dentists don’t suggest and recommend, then it’s unlikely the patient will buy.

Could it be that Simplyhealth doesn’t want to be ‘attached’ directly to practices and just wants to sell insurance policies to individuals?

Over 30 years of successful growth, Denplan has erred before.

Cross-selling of insurances angered many clients, practice ownership stalled with just one practice, and an incentivised online registration scheme fell foul of the GDC and was shut down without communication.

Denplan was founded by dentists to help their fellow independent professionals grow and maintain their private patients. This change will be a shock for many dentists.