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Stepping Your 'Smart Lipo' Laser Clinic Out Of The [Branding] Box 

Let's say you needed a tissue and asked a friend for a Kleenex... would you be perturbed if they handed you a Puffs instead?

Silly point, but it seems to be somewhat of an ethical conundrum that I came across at ASLMS while talking with a group of physicians who are contemplating adding laser lipo to their already successful aesthetic practices and are unsure of how to market it.

Let’s face it, there have been quite a few technological advancements since the FDA approval of the first SmartLipo in November of 2006. There’s ProLipo, Vaser Lipo, SlimLipo,... let me take a breath here... Cool Lipo, LipoLite, Lipotherme (I know I have omitted some, but you get my point).

Since SmartLipo was first to market, it has now become a household name like Band-Aid or Clorox even though we know there are more brands of those products. In fact, the same situation is going to happen once Reloxin is released.

These physicians made a valid point when they stated patients are calling in asking for “SmartLipo”. So what if the physician decided they want a different laser lipo device? How would they market it since the public is primarily only aware of “SmartLipo” and are specifically asking for it?

Ethics suggest to me to market it as “laser lipo” and that use of the name “SmartLipo” would not only be misleading, but probably even illegal for false advertising. So what’s a physician to do if he wants different technology? What’s the best marketing strategy?

  • Purchasing a used SmartLipo device on eBay, perhaps, just to say they own one?
  • Advertising your device as a “SmartLipo-like” device?
  • Co-purchasing a SmartLipo device with another practice?

It definitely proves the point that first-to-market has sustaining branding longevity.

Author: Paula D. Young RN runs internal operations and training at Young Medical Spa and is the author of the Medical Spa Aesthetics Course, Study Guide, and Advanced IPL & Laser Training course for medical estheticians and laser technicians.

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Reader Comments (4)

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One who has underwent the procedure are much more happy and fine with the process and have got the fine results. Recovery is much more faster that a patient can go on with the procedure very faster and can get back to their work very faster.


Hey Paula,

How's it going?

You are right. A surgeon or medi-spa owner would be legally unable to advertise anything with the "smart-lipo" name as this name is trademarked and Cynosure has no qualms about suing a business that uses its trademark and does not own the machine. A while back a medi-spa in our city had a power-assisted canula and wanted in on the "Smart-Lipo" craze. They put a flashy billboard up stating they performed Smart Lipo. Within weeks, Cynosure told them to either buy the Smart-Lipo Laser or take the billboard down to avoid a lawsuit filed. (hee hee, I was pretty happy about that :)

I believe the "Smartest" way to handle the Smart-Lipo craze is to educate your patients during their consultation. I like to explain that Smart-Lipo was the first generation of Laser that came out to perform laser-assisted lypolosis. The parts to these lasers are manufactured in many different countries to make the smart-lipo laser. What this means is that they do not hold up very well and are known for there capacity to break down A LOT. (what if this machine breaks down during a case, yikes!) In adddition, there are far better lasers currently on the market that outperform the Smart-Lipo Laser in terms of tightening. (i.e Cooltouch). In our office we call our laser the "smarter" lipo laser. I like to take this dialog one step further and show our before and after pictures, and if the patient still insists on "Smart-Lipo" (very few at this point), I show the patients a local Smart-Lipo competitors lousy before and after pictures this business foolishly used in their print advertisments. I emphasize how you cannot visably see a difference both in fat reduction and tightening with their advertised before and afters, which must be their best sets of before and afters. Patients will agree with me and seem to like to see for themselves the difference in results from one place to another. I have had excellent results with this strategy.

As for ever buying a Smart-Lipo, geez I would never. Why buy something you do not believe can give your pateints the best results? Besides, I'm a Cooltouch gal!

Wendy Hovorka

04.9 | Unregistered Commenterwendyh

Hey Wendy!

I totally agree that practices shouldn't advertise branded services which they do not perform. Good thing Cynosure is up on practices such as the one you mentioned in your response above!

I even have a clinic in my area who not only advertises SmartLipo, they also advertise Water Assisted and Ultrasound Assisted lipo and do not perform any of the procedures! They won't even tell you who the doctor is who performs the procedures and where they perform the procedures when you call in!

Some people will do anything to make a buck.

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