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As a brand strategy and activation firm focused on healthcare, personal care, wellness and lifestyle, our Trajectory team members are obsessed with brands that help us to get healthy, feel healthy and live healthy.

Jean_Trajectory_VP Client ServicesFrom a personal story that you’re drawn to, to packaging that simply and beautifully attracts, to a lifestyle brand that creates a vibrant and interactive community within its users, we can’t get enough of our favorite brands. Over our next few posts, we will share our insight on what makes them so great. This week, VP of Account Services, Jean Mastrandrea, lists three of her favs.


Dr. Andrew Weil






Dr. Weil is a medical doctor and Director for the Center for Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine at University of Arizona, author on holistic health and natural preventive practices, as well as a chef and restaurant owner. His center is the leading effort in the world to develop a comprehensive curriculum in integrative medicine. Through his fellowships, he is now training doctors and nurse practitioners around the globe. Dr. Weil is transforming healthcare one fellow at a time through IM, healing-oriented medicine that takes into account the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. Check out his Self Healing newsletter and his cookbook (in my opinion the best cookbook out there), True Food.


Hampton Creek

My new favorite brand. Exists because they believe that everyone should be able to eat delicious food that’s healthier, sustainable, and affordable. Led by the question what would it look like if we started over? Great line. Check out their Dear______, open letter series in the NY Times. So clever.

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Also, their website is stunningly simple, visual and tasty.

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Michael Chiarello, Celebrity Chef


“Gathering friends and family around the table is one of the best ways to celebrate life.”-Michael Chiarello, chef, host, vintner, sustainable farmer.

I could not have said it better myself.  From his recipes and books, to his Napa Valley store to his fabulous restaurants, his brand resonates with me being a cook and lover of good wine (plus the fact that he is environmentally on point with his sustainable philosophy when it comes to farming and farm to table). Chiarello is one of the best chef personalities in the business. My favorite recipes of his include: Tiramisu Bon Bons, Prosciutto Wrapped Fresh Green Figs, Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms.




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Revealing article with implications for marketing wellness on – Brands should prioritize wellness, finds Daymon Worldwide study.

The study, conducted among 500 women and 500 men across the US, sought to uncover how shoppers’ concerns about personal care (and food) ingredients are changing purchasing behavior. Findings revealed that ingredient fears are dictating the choices consumers make regarding where to shop, what to buy, and what to avoid – in an effort to choose healthy products.

These findings reinforce what we know to be true on a larger scale (and beyond our verticals focus of healthcarepersonal care, wellness and lifestyle) – that interest in wellness is going mainstream, and that it cuts across all demographics in our search for better, healthier and smarter solutions that fit with a “healthy lifestyle.”

In fact, we see many brands today, beyond those in the traditional wellness space, integrating themes of wellness into their marketing:

• Prudential, provoking us to think about our “financial wellness” in retirement through its Challenge Lab

Ikea, whose vision is to “create a better everyday life for the many people”

• And Four Seasons, which integrated wellness into its social campaign by laying out a month of healthy activities as part of its #30DaysofEnergy challenge

Given the pervasiveness of wellness, it has never been a better time for brands to seize the opportunity to support people in their quest to live happier and healthier lives. Key to success, we believe, will be how seamlessly and simply brands can help integrate wellness into people’s everyday lives.




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Our work should provoke some kind of action. It should make people feel something, do something, see something in a new light. Help them solve a problem beyond what they can do on their own. Ideally, in ways that are both simple and practical. Which moves them forward, moves brands forward and moves business forward. Otherwise, what’s the point.

Here’s an example of this kind of (industry-recognized) work. It’s from Grey Group Singapore which teamed with the NGO Neelvasant Medical Foundation and Research Center for client Talwar Bindi. The campaign, called The Life Saving Dot, turned bindis into “Life-Saving Dots.”

As background, millions of women (71 million plus) living in rural India suffer from diseases linked to an iodine deficiency. It has been linked to breast cancer, fibrocystic breast disease, and it severely affects the mental and physical development of babies in pregnant women.

While supplements in the form of pills are available, women weren’t getting or taking them. So, how do you help these women get the required dosage of iodine? When talking to doctors, Grey discovered that the problem could be solved by absorption through skin—this was their eureka moment.

The solution was the Life Saving Dot – an idea that transformed bindis (already worn by every Indian woman as a traditional symbol of beauty) into iodine patches. Every woman requires between 150 – 220 micrograms of iodine daily. These bindis dispensed that amount to the wearer daily.

The bindis were initially distributed at Neelvasant’s already existing network of medical camps, reaching 30,000 women. The next stage will see them produced and rolled out on a larger scale. Congrats to Grey on this amazing initiative.

How to build this kind of meaningful two-way activation? Here are five steps to get started:

1. Isolate the real problem you’re trying to solve, rather than leading with the “supposed” solution
2. Identify what drives (or not) customers’s attitudes, passions and behaviors
3. Unearth all of your brands ambitions and possibilities
4. Brainstorm possibilities at the sweet spot of #2 and #3 to deliver maximum customer value and competitive advantage
5. Advance ideas that move customers forward, who in turn drive business forward




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Do you ever get a warm, fuzzy feeling when thinking about your favorite brands? You’re not alone. As a brand strategy and activation firm focused on healthcarepersonal care, wellness and lifestyle, our team members are obsessed about brands that cross these categories.

From a personal story that you’re drawn to, to packaging that simply and beautifully attracts, to a lifestyle brand that creates a vibrant and interactive community within its users, we can’t get enough of our favorite brands. This week, Trajectory Account Executive, Michelle Zarella, lists five of her favs.


Poler Stuff


As I mentioned in a previous post, I love Poler Stuff. Pulling on one of their beanies on a cool morning before a run, bringing their camera cooler with me on longer day trips to keep things cold, or sipping coffee from one of their mugs in the morning—I love using their products, and its because I feel involved in the brand. Poler speaks to the type of lifestyle I like to live, and they fit seamlessly into my every day. Not to mention, their social media is on point.



Oribe has everything you could want in a line of hair care products.  They’re silky and effective, and the smell is amazing (really, men and women alike should own their texturing spray). Their signature scent, Cote d’Azur, runs throughout the line, so that all products work together and build upon each other. The packaging is also so appealing that you don’t mind leaving it on the counter. Some brands just signal luxury and Oribe is really the pinnacle for hair care. They recently started using the hashtag #oribeobsessed and I definitely fit into that category.

Harvest Snaps

Harvest Snaps

This brand is fun. Like really fun. They are fun to eat, fun to look at, and fun to tweet at—all around I just really enjoy the experience that Harvest Snaps creates for its consumers. I don’t eat chips, but in the office, you’ll usually catch me with a bag of these on my desk.


tesla_favorite brands

There isn’t a more interesting (or exciting) brand out there right now. Even people with very little interest in the auto industry (like myself) cannot help but be charmed by Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, and his vision for the future of tech and automotive. He’s also sort of the people’s champion/real and human challenger up against the establishment. Plus, they already have some pretty serious brand loyalty on their side.

Kim Kardashian


Just Kidding! Kim actually ranks as one of my least favorite “brands.”  I will turn my television off if she (or any of her sisters) come on screen. As certain brands speak to your values and your beliefs, the Kardashian brand speaks to what I most dislike about our culture. By spreading their lifestyle of wealth, wantonness, and lack of real substance across the general population, this brand is doing the world zero favors. It’s ashame that they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

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The evolution in the health care delivery model to value-based reimbursement means an emphasis on improving quality and the cost efficiencies of care.  This translates to healthcare providers actually having to compete on value, like most other consumer-based industries.  At the same time, new retail and technology competitors are shattering traditional boundaries, further challenging customer expectations and the traditional “behind the curtain” healthcare value proposition.

How does a hospital marketer prepare for this transition – from a focus on volume and profitability of services provided, to the patient outcomes achieved?

Here are a few suggestions.

Activation Beyond Advertising. It’s one thing to raise awareness through advertising. But getting customers (your patients) to participate in their own health requires activation. Alongside you and through your brand as a platform to deliver maximum customer value and competitive advantage. It’s a win-win all around to prevent hospitalization through a more participatory approach – physically, digitally, experientially – to improve outcomes and cut costs.

To quote Dr. Sheldon Zinberg, founder of patient-centered medical group CareMore: If you put the patient first, the patient will profit, and you will profit. Driven by this philosophy, CareMore actually bought air conditioners for frail elders during a heat wave, a much less expensive alternative to a hospital stay.

Look Beyond Current Borders.  Consider the convergence of multiple industries like technology, telecommunications, music and consumer electronics. New industry players transformed traditional value propositions by asking the question “what’s best for the customer.”  The same will happen (is happening) in healthcare. But beyond new competitors, apply this same proactive thinking to seek out prospective partners, to create an ecosystem of providers aligned to improve health.

Different Patient Populations, Different Needs.  Consider the broad buckets of clinical segments, i.e., people with multiple chronic care conditions (who account for the largest percent of healthcare spending), people who are at-risk for major procedures and those who are healthy and who might have minor health conditions.

How can you do what’s best for each of these customer segments? How can you significantly improve the value equation – moving them forward in ways that they can’t do on their own and beyond the reach of your competitors?

Create A Strong Brand Identity. Given the changing healthcare landscape – empowered patients, growing cross-industry competition, evolving provider and insurance industry relationships – an overarching brand identity must be able to support an ecosystem of traditional, retail, e-health, and social-media components; along with binding together the multidisciplinary teams of providers who need to see themselves as part of a common integrated unit.


For hospital marketers, the future requires a fundamentally different strategy. One that is focused on maximizing (demonstrating) value for patients, where value is defined as the health outcomes achieved that matter to patients relative to the cost of achieving those outcomes. Most industries already compete on value. Now healthcare must do the same.



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Do you ever get a warm, fuzzy feeling when thinking about your favorite brands? You’re not alone. As a brand strategy and activation firm focused on healthcare, personal care, wellness and lifestyle, our team members are brand obsessed.

From a personal story that you’re drawn to, to packaging that simply and beautifully attracts, to a lifestyle brand that creates a vibrant and interactive community within its users, we can’t get enough of our favorite brands. Over our next few posts, we will share our insight on what makes them so great. This week, Trajectory’s President, Eric Brody, lists five of his favs.

Eric Brody, Trajectory President

In general, I’m attracted to brands that have a strong point-of-view and Eric_Brodythat have a bigger story that transcends their immediate category. I also appreciate brands that have more of a human versus institutional face, that take a stand (whether for or against a prevailing belief), that have carved out their own unique path, and whose execution (down to the last detail) reinforces their uniqueness.  Here are five within our space that come to mind:

1. LuluLemon

trajectory_favorite brand_lululemonTruth be told, at one point, they really let me down. I wanted to enlist their support for an incredibly important cause, which aligned perfectly with their reason for being, but they made it impossible to ever speak to a real decision-maker. It would have been a perfect match, which would have legs for years to come. But…I’m over it. I relate to their company story, and everything that flows from it. From their manifesto, to their aesthetic, their stores, their apparel (which I wear), their people, their service, their take-away bags. Everything about the brand is very tight.

2. Arnold Palmer

tracjectory_favorite brand_arnold palmerWho I view as a lifestyle brand. And who we had the incredible up close and personal pleasure to do global brand strategy and design work for. It’s hard to imagine a life filled with even a fraction of his accomplishments. But for all he’s achieved, he’s the most humble and gracious of men. He truly could be the guy next door. When you meet him and spend time with him, it very quickly becomes apparent why Arnie’s Army stormed the course behind him.

It’s a shame, however, that younger generations aren’t fully aware of all of his accomplishments. Case in point, one of our summer interns a few years ago couldn’t believe that we were working with “the tea guy.”

3. Suki Skincare

You might not be familiar with this hard-working line of skincare products, named after the founder, Suki Kramer. Beyond the fact that all of the products are 100% pure formulas that are clinically proven effective in 3rd party trials (outperforming letrajectory_favorite brand_sukiskincareading synthetic products), Suki (also the formulator) is a force of nature. Given her backstory, she’s incredibly passionate in her mission to empower women to feel beautiful and strong in their own skin, and unstoppable in her desire to unearth the real truths in the skincare category. By the way, her signature and best-selling product – Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser – will make you feel cleaner than you ever have before.


4. Nike & Adidas

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I’m a jock. I played soccer in college, and find my way to the golf course and tennis court as much as I possibly can. In the winter, I suit up and hit the streets on a bike when they’re not snowed or iced over. So needless to say, these two brands strike a real emotional chord with me. Though they’re two of the largest companies in the world, I see myself in the very human stories they tell. And I want to be a part of them. I also really appreciate how they tell their stories –full of depth, color, graphics and excitement.

5. Cliff Bar

trajectory_favorite brands_clifbarI should own stock in the company. Their energy bars are with me whether I’m on the golf course, tennis court, taking a bike ride or taking a long run or walk (nothing as exciting as this shot as I don’t like heights).  Their story is simple, believable, and a bit playful. Not too much. Not too little.  Just like their branding and how it’s executed. Shows you that you don’t need a big budget to make a big impact.

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adventure lifestyle brand

How can you get away from it all, while still being connected?

Tech has taken over. Preparing for a hike (like I did this past weekend), you’re more likely to see someone glued to their phone, than studying a map of a trail. In a world where we rely on smartphones, wearable tech, and the ubiquitous presence of Wi-Fi, an interesting brand trend has begun to take hold.

Lifestyle brands that urge millennials to stray from the well-worn path (while still being connected) have become huge. Outdoor brands like Poler Stuff, Herschel Supply, and Best Made Co. are creating a micro culture of 20 and 30 something’s who want to align themselves with a more adventurous and healthy lifestyle, lived outdoors, with all the right gear.

adventure brands

Taking consumers offline (sort of), and outdoors, Poler Stuff, based in the uber trendy Portland, Oregon, has taken advantage of an emerging niche in millennial culture, and has utilized Instagram as a way to bring their brand into the larger arena of a lifestyle movement. The most interesting thing that Poler has accomplished as a brand is not their wearable knapsack, but the community they have created within the larger community of social media.

adventure brand poler

Not only are the photos that Poler posts on Instagram averaging 6k likes apiece, but customers and brand enthusiasts are stepping up in droves to promote their love of the brand. Poler’s hashtag #campvibes has over 56k photos on Instagram alone. Their #adventuremobile hashtag is rapidly approaching 100k. With their well-curated social network, Poler has found a way to keep their target audience engaged—whether at home, on the beach, or at the edge of a mountain (literally).

adventure brand poler stuff

As the ever evolving over reach of Social Media extends, brands need to stay on their toes: anticipating emerging trends, and learning to best use these platforms in ways that are genuine to their target audience’s lives. Poler is a great example to marketers of knowing your demographic, and creating a space where customers can communicate with one another, by way of  the brand itself. It’s the type of interaction that’s powerful, meaningful and creates a win-win for both customers and brand.


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Experts describe a future in which the chronically ill have their bodies minutely and continuously monitored by wearable devices. But that’s not the future. That’s today.

This article on Motley Fool – Could Fitbit’s Wearables Transform Healthcare – is written on the heels of Fitbit’s successful IPO. While this is due to the company’s personal fitness tracking success, a bigger $2.6 trillion healthcare market potentially awaits.

According to IMS Research, the market for wearable medical devices is projected to account for at least half of all wearable technology sales by 2016. And there are instances mentioned in the article where this is already the case.

But another important implication is from a brand-building perspective. For health system and hospital marketers, Wearables is yet another non-traditional segment (like pharmacies turned health providers) encroaching upon your traditional provider turf. And given this, it impacts how consumers think about the healthcare category as a whole.

The upshot is that the consumer healthcare lens has widened beyond your narrow view. For health system and hospital marketers, this means…

• thinking more expansively about your healthcare brand and its potential role in the life of a customer (like CVS and Apple)

• examining how to create new forms of value given that your customers (formerly known as patients) have more resources and choices than ever before (like Patients Like Me)

• adapting a more expansive approach to brand engagement that marries products, services, experiences and communications (like Mayo Clinic)

It’s important to remember that it’s not brand marketing that your sharing, but rather brand relevance and meaning. And in this transformative period for healthcare, things just don’t work the way they used to.


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Editor Bill Santamour’s column in May 2015 Hospitals & Health Networks magazine – The 3 C’s of Health Care Today – refers to collaboration, coordination and continuum — which he says sums up one big emerging health care theme.

It’s the idea that much of healthcare today takes place beyond a hospital’s four walls, so everybody involved in promoting individual and community health must cooperate more than they have in the past.

But I’d add a fourth C to this list. Because to get the most out of these changes – providers must be able to make the necessary connection with current customers and prospects, healthcare professionals, and the communities they serve. To do this, they must invest in, and leverage, one of their most important business assets: their hospital brand.

As the healthcare business model continues to evolve, and as new consumer-oriented competitors threaten traditional hospital and health system turf, the way hospitals brand themselves must evolve as well. Investments in collaboration, coordination and continuum – and the rationale behind them – must be communicated as part of an overall hospital brand that ties them together and conveys the most meaningful benefits to each of its constituent groups.

Ultimately, it’s the combination of these “4C’s” that will help you attract new customers, highly skilled healthcare professionals, and position you to become the provider of choice within your region.

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Here’s a good article for healthcare marketers on MediaPost’s Marketing:health – The Art And Science of Effective Work. While it’s primarily speaking to pharmaceutical marketers, it rings just as true for health system and hospital marketers.

The context of the article is the talk by Chuck Porter (chief strategist at MDC Partners) on creativity at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival last year. But the more important point by Graham Mills, a member of the 2015 North American Final Round Health Effie Awards Jury, is that people want more than advertising from brands; they want a valid reason to let brands into their lives.

In order to do this, marketers need to go beyond product-centric advertising to positioning marketing as a service that answers both the emotional and practical needs of the consumer. Selling product features is not enough to prove value.

We refer to this as creating marketing that matters. Marketing that in and of itself can make a difference in people’s lives (i.e. “marketing as a service”). Marketing that goes beyond the still too typical health system and hospital advertising that touts latest technology (until tomorrow), number of awards (which are not an important driver in decision-making) and is written in insider hospital-centric language.

This need is intensified given the shifting landscape of consumer and technology brands like CVS, Apple and Teladoc (among hundreds of others) fighting for a piece of the traditional healthcare pie. Brands who’ve cultivated consumer relationships in ways that health system and hospitals have not.

In this environment, traditional health system and hospital marketers must re-evaluate their marketing through a new lens of possibility. Because the interrelationship between people’s needs (people who you used to refer to as your patients) and the new benefits that are offered up to them by the new “health” companies and brands are where the real “maas” opportunities lie.

By understanding the emotional payoff that people will feel as a result of their ideal “health” experience (which now could be CVS, Apple or Teladoc), you can then begin to identify what’s driving their choice and the direction your marketing should be heading. Clearly, this is beyond communicating the “functional benefit of your traditional healthcare services.”

Robin Wight, co-founder of WCRS in London, mentions in the article about interrogating a product until it confesses to its strength and that strength is not always a product attribute. That underlying strength for health systems and hospitals is an emotional end benefit far beyond the immediate functional fix. And owning this emotional end benefit territory provides a more robust platform to keep you ahead of constantly evolving market changes, consumer needs and competitive activity.

But in order for the relationship with a brand to work, as with any relationship, it must be based on exchange of something of value. One of these “exchanges” should be going beyond product-centric advertising to positioning marketing as a service that answers both the emotional and practical needs of the consumer.



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