The changing nature of health brands and customer relationships


The Brands Create Customers blog (on next-generation brands: new models, platforms, applications) is authored by Brian Phipps. I find great value in Brian’s take on the changing nature of brands and the brand-customer relationship.

Brian wrote a post last week titled New Brand Glossary: update 4. It’s worth holding on to this glossary. Because it doesn’t resemble much of the current (old) thinking about brands and their holds on customers.

Here’s a snippet of his introduction:

Traditional brand glossaries usually assume a passive customer “audience” for brand messaging campaigns, where the brand aspires to be a “belief system” that serves the company’s interests. In this view, brands aim to be timeless (static) “icons” worshiped by “consumers,” who are positioned as little more than sheep with credit. Traditional brand glossaries are therefore largely glossaries of control. The brands they describe really don’t do much for customers—except to keep them in place.

In contrast, this is a glossary of value-based brands and of brand innovation. It contains concepts, terms and definitions for a new era of brands designed to foment new business by creating new customer opportunities. The essence of these brands is collaboration, not control. These brands create proactive new customers who leave old brands—and old companies—far behind.

How do you find most health brands stack up against these new definitions? How about most health brand marketing?

Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, a brand and marketing firm specializing in creating momentum for businesses across the health + wellness continuum. The common threads are consumers who want to get well, stay well and play well, and brands that fulfill these aspirations and goals.

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