Healthcare marketing is at its best when it’s built on engagements that (beyond words) deliver maximum customer value and competitive advantage. Case in point – as reported here on drugstore by senior editor Michael Johnson, CVS Health’s Project Health is set to deliver $8 million in free health services between September through December 2016.

Since 2006, Project Health has delivered more than $112 million worth of free health care services to nearly 872,000 people, many of whom are uninsured or underinsured.

In brief, the Project:

  • offers many free health risk assessments
  • following screening, CVS Pharmacy helps patients through on-site consultations with nurse practitioners or physician assistants who analyze results and refer patients who require additional medical attention to no-cost or low-cost medical facilities nearby or to their primary care physician
  • CVS pharmacists are also available to conduct 1-on-1 medication reviews and answer any questions patients may have.


In terms of impact, over the past 10 years, high rates of certain treatable conditions among Project Health participants have been identified, including:

  • 53% were found to be overweight or obese;
  • 38% had abnormal blood pressure readings;
  • 26% had abnormal glucose readings; and
  • 37% were found to have abnormal cholesterol levels


Brand value, which grows in proportion to customer value, can no longer be built on messaging alone. CVS’s Project Health is a powerful example of this – as they offer better, easier ways to manage and improve our health.

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Powerful article on written by Catherine Hope, associate creative director at Naked Communications – Brands’ focus on body confidence not enough.

This issue really hits home for Trajectory. Not only because we work exclusively across healthcare and wellness, but given that a few years ago we produced this important non-profit video for Tri Delta’s national “Fat Talk Free Week” program.

But Catherine’s article also speaks about men, who also suffer from unrealistic expectations and inequalities.

Begs the question, just how far should brands go to not only change the conversation, but to take action?

Take a couple minutes to read her article.

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Healthcare re-brandings are major milestone events where everything is shifting: strategically, creatively, internally and externally.

As experts in the rebranding of health systems and hospitals, we’ve worked alongside many leadership and marketing teams on these major initiatives over the past 17 years. Along the way, we’ve seen some mis-steps and missed opportunities. Here are our Trajectory insights about eight of them.

1. Clinging to history. One of the more frequent reasons to rebrand is to maintain the relevance of your health system or hospital. Today, this is in the midst of changing reforms, the drive from volume to value, consolidations and partnerships and a drastically different competitive environment. While it’s beneficial to have a history to look back on and build upon, it’s dangerous to cling to it when so much around you is changing.

2. Relying too heavily on customer perspectives.  There are times when current and prospective customers should weigh in about your intended outcomes. But not all the time. Not if you’re asking your long-standing hospital-based “sick-care customers” their point-of-view about how to express (for instance, in a tagline) your future health-focused vision. Remember that there is a predisposition to choose anything that is more familiar to us. So be careful about letting them steer your ship.

3. Not building a team of brand champions. A rebranding affects the entire organization. As such, there should be a senior cross-functional team of flag-bearers for the initiative outside of the formal leadership hierarchy. Their role should be that of sounding board, facilitator and change leaders. Ideally, they should be able to win CEO approval for their decisions.

4. Neglecting brand architecture. Brand architecture refers to the structure of brands within your health system or hospital. Think of it as a hierarchy, a way of helping employees and customers better understand the relationship among your organization brand, hospitals, facilities, service lines, etc.  As these are the gateway to your brand, it’s important that the architecture, and the names of your offerings, reflect the strategic direction of your rebranding.

5. Not thinking in a series of phases. Done right, a rebranding must pass through deliberate internal phases: launch (where employees here it/feel it), post-launch (where employees learn it/engage in it) and ongoing (where employees live it). A change process is not a one-time, brief display of fireworks, it‘s a long-term process – and you don’t want stakeholders to view the process as merely “surface changes.” This is the one opportunity you have to drive home the changes made, promote buy-in and build participation to your organizational transformation.

6. Internal audiences vs. participants. Our approach to rebranding recognizes employees as important and active participants in change. Not just an audience. Your brand is your business strategy brought to life, and it should inform all aspects of (and people across) your healthcare organization – providing everyone a means to create new and greater shared value.

7. Stopping short of building a brand culture. There’s only one way to ensure that your re-energized brand has the power to unite your stakeholders in creating new and greater value. It requires your brand be center stage and in alignment from the inside out. It requires a brand culture. At Trajectory, we define brand culture as squeezing every bit of meaning, purpose and direction out of your brand to drive the everyday actions of the people who drive your business performance.

8. Not maintaining post-launch momentum. Prior to, and during launch, there’s anticipation,   excitement and expectation. But afterwards, do you tend to return to a back to business as usual mentality?  A rebrand must be looked at as a stepping-stone to creating long-term change within your organization and creating broader impact externally. To achieve this, there needs to be measures, incentives, guidelines and mechanisms for training and feedback – to increase buy-in and to help each individual play their role in delivering on your repositioning and promises. In summary, the rebranding must be operationalized.

Considering a re-brand? Reach out to Rick Zaniboni at 978-994-8009, or via email at

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For every brand, and for every brand marketer, there’s a wellness opportunity.

Because wellness isn’t what we do, it’s who we are. It’s a way of life that now touches everyone and everything, and consumers of both sexes and across all demographics are propelling it forward.

The Global Wellness Institute estimates that the world’s wellness economy exceeds US$3.4 trillion. To put this into perspective, this is three times larger than the global pharmaceutical industry. Market watchers agree that the trajectory of consumer spending in the wellness category will continue to increase in the future.  And the trends all point in this direction.

The beneficiaries of this spend will be the brands that best assist consumers in their quest to live balanced and healthy everyday lifestyles— encompassing physical, mental, emotional and social wellness. We see ample opportunity for brands across all sectors to connect with consumers who integrate wellness goals into their everyday activities.

To learn more, read our e-Book, The Momentum of Wellness: What It Means For Your Brand. And for more information on how we can help your brand tap into the momentum of wellness, contact Trajectory’s Rick Zaniboni. He can be reached at, or via phone at 978-994-8009.


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Our national health and wellness revolution is stoking the demand for clean skin care products. It’s led to a clean beauty movement that is mainstream and here to stay. That’s the focus of this article: Why We’re Predicting A Clean Beauty Revolution.

From bloggers to brands, retailers to manufacturers and members of Congress, the article cites examples of the clean beauty movement in the works (like the Personal Care Products Safety Act) —with the goal of keeping consumers safe from harmful chemicals in the products they reach for every day.

What does the clean beauty movement mean for skin care brand marketers? Here are some takeaways:

  • it means more aware, educated and anxious consumers who will continue to scrutinize, question, seek out product truth’s and call-out false claims
  • it means, in light of above, being transparent about defending your ingredients and processes
  • it means more online and social media conversations that keep the “clean beauty movement” momentum going
  • it means that your brand will need to satisfy beyond conscious consumer needs: from functional ante’s (e.g. all natural), to advantages that deliver what your target audience value (e.g. more emotive and social needs), and distinguishers (that truly give your brand its own unique appeal and better people’s lives)
  • it means breaking through the noise by creating ideas and experiences (beyond products and messaging) that help people to take health and wellness into their own hands

Lasting change happens when people form a movement! To join in, you can sign Ashley Prange’s clean beauty lobby here.  You can also sign this petition from Senator Diane Feinstein and call your local Congress member and ask that “The Personal Care Products Safety Act” receive a hearing from the HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) committee in the Senate.




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TripAdvisor, lest you’ve just been defrosted after 30 years in a cryogenic freeze similar to Austin Powers in International Man of Mystery – lets you read reviews, compare prices and book your best trip. At least today.

But in the future, might your hospital brand appear alongside other travel destinations? Your facilities, accommodations, amenities and customer experience subject to the due diligence and comparison of your health-shopping consumers.

While a healthcare facility review on TripAdvisor might seem far-fetched, who can really say. One thing we do know for sure is that your prospective health-shopping customers are on a new path to discovery. Which increasingly and proactively begins by searching online.

And they’re not just searching other health systems or hospitals. Rather, their potential provider set includes:

  • retail clinics inside CVS, Walgreens and Walmart
  • the closest urgent care center
  • Wed MD and healthcare tech companies
  • telemedicine companies

Starting with a search on Google,, Why Not The Best, Leapfrog, among others; on their laptop, tablet or mobile phone; influenced by the same values of choice, convenience, cost effectiveness and experience offered by other industries like retail, banking, hospitality and travel.

If you’re a healthcare marketing executive, there are three things you know to be true. First, prospective “elective service” health-shopping customers don’t view your competitive set as narrowly as you do. Second, their path to provider selection is nothing like the straight line that it used to be. Third, their expectation around customer experience is borderless.

The conventional healthcare marketing war is over. Given the changing dynamics of the marketplace (competitors [changers], consumerism, commotion), here are three ways of thinking that will help healthcare marketers thrive in the new landscape. A landscape where your healthcare brand has been stripped of its control and no longer controls the customer experience.

  1. Think about the total customer Journey. Map what your prospective health-shopping customers are experiencing across their entire customer journey. And understand the impact of each touchpoint along their journey to provider selection. Which is increasingly their digital and 3rd-party influencer journey. Developing this understanding will help you to prioritize touch points, create value-building interactions and identify opportunities to impact behavior.
  2. Consider the end-to-end consumer strategy. Based on above, rather then literally translating a communication idea across every touch point, allow each touch point to be optimized based on understanding the task and intended behavior change at each of these points in time. Importantly, because you can’t invest everywhere, identify the more “decisive moments” (both physical and increasingly digital) and target these specifically.
  3. Brand actions speak louder than words. In today’s transparent, attention-squeezed, information-empowered consumer world, successful brands can not be built by advertising, but by actions. It’s not what you say, it’s what you do. Gaining influence requires engaging ideas deployed at decisive moments on the customer journey and then letting people participate in your efforts. To ensure your healthcare brand has the momentum to keep moving customers and business forward, address these four simple but powerful questions:
  • Why will they want to engage with the idea?
  • How can they get involved with the idea?
  • Why will they share it with others?
  • What will keep them interested?


Your healthcare brand might never be reviewed on TripAdvisor. But we know for sure that the relationship between your healthcare brand and consumers has fundamentally and irreversibly changed. How you acknowledge and get out in front of this change by melding physical, digital and other experiences dictates the future trajectory of your brand, customers and business.






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We like to see wellness marketers bring their brand beliefs and promises to life. To this end, vitamin and supplement brand Sundown Naturals just wrapped up its three month cross-country 100% Goodness Tour in early July. As reported on, The Tour, which celebrated the simple goodness in life, began in Indianapolis and ended in Dallas with 23 stops in between.

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Chipotle’s new animated film “A Love Story” seeks to win over (win back) audiences with a food-based love story. But it’s also a film that touches on the themes of wellness, clean/organic and conscious consumerism.

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