Dec
05

Over 81% of Ameimagesricans over the age of 50 have become more conscious of what they eat.                              

Overall consumer interest in selecting food and activities geared toward wellness is increasing.  Consumers are realizing the effects that their eating habits and on-the-go lifestyles are having on their ability to maintain a healthy, sustainable life. They are becoming more selective in their product and lifestyle choices and increasingly understand the connection between their diet and health. Health and wellness is not a fad — it is becoming a way of life.

While most people pursue some form of health and wellness, the extent of their interest and engagement varies considerably – meeting consumers on their terms will motivate change and influence partnership with brands. Let’s face it, it’s not surprising that consumers vary in their commitment to exercise, dieting habits, and product choices, and that underlying demographic characteristics influence these decisions – a Gen X’er is far more interested in a stress reliever than a Boomer who may be looking for a memory supplement.

So what are the triggers that continue to motivate consumers to partner with health and wellness brands, and drive this industry forward?

  • Increase in consumer acceptance to a broader set of health and wellness solutions, including non-traditional treatments (herbal remedies, supplements, etc.).
  • Accessibility to more health information than ever; 96% of American adults who use the Internet look-up health information and they are not just looking, they are buying.
  • Growth of high opportunity segments like Boomers, a population expected to grow 41% by 2020, who will seek out solutions to maintain their vigor. And, on the other end of the spectrum the new generation (infants and their families) who will seek products for healthier development.
  • Government, health association, and employer advocacy of healthy eating and wellness initiatives are on the rise – an effort to temper increasing healthcare costs.
  • Broadening of health & wellness offerings at retailers in multiple channels, across various markets – everything from nutrition assessments, to testing services and preventative screenings, to spas and in-store clinics.
    • Take a look the next time you visit a Target, or even ShopRite store, you’ll be surprised at what you see.
  • Emergence of new players and partnerships are creating innovative solutions and expanding definition of the health and wellness space. Brands as diverse as Nestle, DuPont, and even Google are entering the sector.
    • Nestle is investing in gastro-intestinal health; Google in organization of personal health information; and DuPont, through purchase of DSM, in dietary supplements.
  • Accessibility to healthier products is optimal. Manufacturers are continually developing new, healthier products… just look at the supermarket shelves where new products appear everyday.
    • Supermarkets are becoming one of the leading channels for distribution; other channels, such as mass merchants, warehouse clubs, natural food stores, convenience and drug stores, continue to play a formidable role.

And, technology is helping to lead the way with digital, social, and mobile applications providing a more efficient and effective experience between consumers, healthcare providers, insurers, and health and wellness brands  – propelling consumers to connect, learn, and engage in more interactive experiences. 

The Proof Is in The Numbers

The trends all point in a single direction – more and more consumer spending on health and wellness. In fact, if the pace continues wellness could be the next trillion-dollar industry (Euromonitor International). Let me leave you with these stats:

  • Today the average household spends $148.48 per month on categories that have a wellness halo.
  • Over half of all consumers (54%) say they have recently changed their views on health & wellness.
  • 85% of consumers believe that certain foods have health benefits that go beyond basic nutrition and may reduce the risk of disease or other health concerns.


Health and wellness is the new way of life… for consumers and brands, those who adapt will ultimately succeed.

 

 

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Dec
01

The 2011 ANA Masters of Marketing conference brought together more than 1,700 marketers and marketing service firms to share in the year’s official theme — growth. Forrester Blogs has provided a good “cliff notes” version of the conference, which you can find here.

Despite the somewhat cautious tone of many speakers, the CMOs delivering growth are doing so by demonstrating enterprisewide leadership. Three strong examples, very relevant for healthcare marketers, were from:

• Stephen Quinn, VP and CMO at Walmart, who talked about leading like your customer is your boss.

• Esther Lee, senior VP of brand marketing and advertising at AT&T who talked about leadership beyond the marketing department.

• And Jon Iwata, senior VP of marketing and communications at IBM who talked about leading by building corporate character.

Easy to relate these three examples back to the need for an expanded enterprisewide leadership role for the healthcare CMO…

Customer as boss. Disruptive technologies (access to information, influencers, communities, grades, reviews, wait times…), new business models, alternative care options, etc, translate to an empowered customer, not a captive patient.

• Leadership beyond marketing. Consider how much brand value is enhanced or destroyed based on the customer experience, pre-during-post care, across the organization’s many access points. This evolves the role of marketing to impact brand-led culture, experience design and operationalization.

Leading by building corporate character. What’s your bigger envisioned place in the world, beyond that of (obvious) community health provider. The “core energizing idea” that resonates with, inspires and aligns employees and customers. As CMO, help to create the platform that continuously works to move both customer and organization forward in more meaningful ways.

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Jul
29

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

This is Simon Sinek’s simple, smart idea presented through his TED talk: How great leaders inspire action. He calls his idea the ‘golden circle.” And it explains why some leaders and companies are able to inspire while others are not. It’s a concept that can’t really be boiled down to it’s essentials any further. But its value is big.

All companies know what they do. Most can identify how they do it. But far fewer (like Virgin, Harley Davidson, Six Senses, Innocent, Lululemon – my examples) can really identify why they do it – articulating why they really do what they do.

And “why” reflects how people make decisions (within their limbic brain, which controls our feelings) supported with the information (the “hows and whats”) people need to know to make them.

Simon’s ideas can just as effectively be applied to brand-building. And in some cases, might effectively replace the vision and mission statements which tend to sit and collect dust on corporate shelves.

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Jul
05

Though outside the health industry, this article by Gary Leopold of ISM which appears in MediaPost’s Marketing:travel – Playing With Partners: Some Rules of The Game – provides eight important considerations for creating successful co-brand partnerships.

These include:

• shared purpose and objectives
• shared strategies
• shared risk
• collaborate and support each other
• responsive to each other
• invest appropriate resources
• negotiate and work in good faith
• measure results and seek continuous improvement

Read the full article here. Any comments to share?

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Jun
23


High-energy brands share similar characteristics:

• strong and compelling visions
• central energizing ideas
• brand-centric cultures
• ability to link businesses and stakeholders
• drive shareholder value

And this energy shines through in their marketing. To marketing that is far more meaningful beyond messaging alone. Marketing that in and of itself adds value to people’s lives and that at the same time unlocks the real differentiating value of their brand. To marketing with energizing differentiation.

Healthcare, given its importance in people’s lives, has a real opportunity to up its marketing game. But this begins with acknowledging that communities and prospective patients don’t really care about the narrow view of what you have to offer. But they care deeply about their broader view of what you can do for them.

So beyond marketing messaging, consider additional ways to deliver what your audiences really want. Being the focus of their interest – instead of the interruption (by focusing on your hospital, service lines, procedures or technologies) – you’re much more likely to succeed.

Change the frame and look through your customer’s lens:

• consider their vision rather than yours
• their desire for participation vs. your desire for attention
• their aspirations vs. your functional benefits
• their desire to engage by doing vs. your selling
• their desire for community vs. your focus on the transaction
• wrapped in the most individualized, differentiating and branded experience you can provide

Competitors can copy much of the functional things that reside within your hospital, but they can’t copy your organization’s unique brand energy. This is your most sustainable competitive advantage.

If you truly look at the world from your customer’s pov, you’ll be surprised at all the different creative ways you can provide them with information they can use, with knowledge not easily gained elsewhere, and opportunities exclusive to their relationship with you.

Every year, Ad Age comes out with their list of the worlds Top 100 marketers. I look forward to the day when a healthcare marketer makes it to this list!

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May
20

Where are the trailblazers in mobile health heading? Peer-to-peer health care: wherein engaged patients and caregivers take an active role in tracking and sharing what they have learned.

Here is Susannah Fox’s (Pew Internet Project) presentation from the recent What Really Works Mobile Health conference at Stanford University. She discussed what people are really doing online – “how they are gathering, sharing and creating health information and what it means now that a majority of adults have on-the-go internet access.”

Some facts from her presentation:

• Six in ten US adults gather health info online
• 59% go online wirelessly, with a laptop, mobile device or tablet
• 48% of wireless users look online for information about doctors or other health professionals, compared with 31% of internet users who do not have mobile access

And two important (not yet mainstream but growing) trends:

• the “mobile difference” – give someone a smart phone and they become more social, likely to share and contribute
• the “diagnosis difference” – having a chronic disease significantly increases an internet user’s likelihood to say they both contribute and consume user-generated content related to health. Learning from each other, not just from institutions.

Does this ring true for you? How much have you personally connected with others, shared and contributed as it relates to health conditions?

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May
02


I’ve written in previous posts about the integration of health into hotel stays (Westin and New Balance).

Disney’s first specialty offering, brand-new health and wellness suites, will debut this fall at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. These suites will feature 100 percent cotton sheets, bamboo floors and non-allergenic wrapped mattresses, along with bathrooms that will include tea tree oils and rainwater showers for a relaxing, spa-like experience.

In addition, guests will also be able to indulge in seasonal and organic fresh foods at the concierge lounge, or enjoy a yoga session or a relaxing spa treatment at the resort’s newly renovated wellness studio. Finally, guests will also have the option of having cardio fitness equipment brought right to their rooms.

Disney’s core brand idea (or DNA, mantra, essence…) is family fun entertainment. More than a slogan, these three words should serve as a touchstone for business and brand decision-making. So, is integrating health into the Disney experience consonant with this brand idea? Share your thoughts.

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Apr
27


The idea was to have the store be a community hub where people could learn and discuss the physical aspects of healthy living from yoga and diet to running and cycling as well as the mental aspects of living a powerful life of possibilities.

This is how Chip Wilson, founder of international retail phenomenon lululemon, describes his first store, which he opened in 1998 in Vancouver BC. He goes on to say that “unfortunately for this concept, the store became so busy that it was impossible to help the customer in this way in addition to selling the product.”

There’s a great lesson to take away here about lululemon, which underscores their success: while their business might be selling yoga-related apparel, the business of their brand is about enlightening, creating community and enriching people’s lives. Here are just a few reinforcements:

1. Their mission is creating components for people to live a longer, healthier, more fun life.

2. Their “public-facing” manifesto, which is just as much about their customers as it is about them.

3. Yoga serving as the vehicle to create community, happiness, energy and change. Every week, lululemon stores and showrooms push their products aside, unroll yoga mats and turn their spaces into instant yoga studios. Classes are complimentary and lead by instructors from local community studios.

4. Helping employees and their customer community with goal setting, which is a big part of lululemon culture. Every employee is encouraged to set personal, health and career goals and is given goal setting training. They provide this framework (below) and this downloadable worksheet on their site.

I really like what lululemon stands for. Obviously, so do many others given their dramatic growth. It’s a high-energy brand with a strong point-of-view, that creates interest and excitement, is experiential, participatory and responsive and provides life-enriching value in ways that others do not.

What’s your pov?

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Apr
22


You can create health brand energy, and new customer value, in many different ways.

You can do things instead of saying things. Empower people rather than control them. Engage them in dialogue instead of delivering a monologue. Create a community rather than focus on transactions.

Easy enough to say this, but you still need inspiration and fresh insights to make it happen. And there are many places to look.

Here are seven “ignition starters” (beyond the obvious one of Customer Insights) to help you see things differently and create new value for your customers and your organization:

1. Market Insights
2. Purchase & Experience Insights
3. Usage & Experience Insights
4. Brand Idea Insights
5. Cultural Insights
6. Future Insights
7. Outside Category/Role Model Insights

Are there others to add to this list?

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Apr
15


Make it easy for people to do themselves some good. And to make it taste nice too.

Thus begins the story of three guys who quit their day jobs in 1998 to make smoothies. Who today, zealously lead an innocent brand continuing to deliver interest, excitement and more relevancy to people’s lives by getting natural, healthy food and drink to as many people as possible.

Look beyond the cover of the innocent story and you see what makes them so special:

It begins with their name. innocent reflects the fact that their drinks are always completely pure, fresh and unadulterated. It’s simple, full of honest and healthy meaning and easy to remember.

Standing for something. Simple, strong, meaningful. And the basis for every single decision the company makes, and doesn’t make. Starting with a purpose of “make food good.” A long term vision of becoming “the earth’s favourite little food company. One core principle around which they base all their decisions “create a business we can be proud of”, supported by five simple values: “be natural, entrepreneurial, responsible, commercial, generous.”

Relevant brand story. Distinctive, real, light-hearted and highly meaningful. Brilliantly, meticulously and seamlessly delivered across all aspects of the business (both inside and outside).

Exceptional, coherent customer experience. From cow vans, to playful packages, to fruitstock music festival to the big knit to raise money to Help the Aged, among other things, innocent delivers a distinctive, powerful and true customer experience.

Passionate Leadership. innocent leaders embrace the brand, in fact “are the brand”, and work zealously to deliver what it promises through their own behavior.

Cult-Like Culture. The people at innocent go to great lengths to protect the DNA of their brand. Unique rites and rituals reflect this. As do employee hiring practices and rewards, separated (in a uniquely innocent way), into two pots: the important stuff and the nice stuff.

Staffing. With marketing people who are really into their products. innocent isn’t a job for these people, it’s a lifestyle.

Importantly, the glue that holds consumers, company, brand and products together is that innocent reflects a healthier, happier, fun lifestyle. It’s a point-of-view that continually opens up opportunities for the company to play more of an important role in customers lives. And ultimately, for both innocent and customers to grow stronger together.

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