Aug
31

From the WSJ.com: Health Blog – Teen Boys Drink 273 Calories of Sugary Drinks Per Day.

The CDC published new stats on how much non-diet soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks we actually consume. And for teen boys, 12-19, the results aren’t pretty – 273 daily calories from sugar-sweetened drinks (with some 70% of them consuming sugary drinks on any given day).

To put this in context, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 450 calories per week from sugar-sweetened drinks, the equivalent of about three 12-ounce cans.

Any ideas on how to reverse this trend…to bridge the divide between those businesses born in pleasure and those in health? To please both these consumers and the health community?

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Aug
09

E is shorthand for an important tenet of creating brand energy – Energizing Idea.

There are a lot of different ways to describe this idea – brand DNA, essence, mantra, promise, core identity, etc. But for us, the phrase Energizing Idea is simple, clear and alive.

It refers to a company’s source point for its energy. It’s higher aspirations in people’s lives beyond its commercial purpose. And as a central “energizing idea”, it should (must) serve to inspire, guide and align everyone and everything inside an organization.

Without it, there’s no connective tissue that binds people together around a higher meaning or common cause – which motivates and drives the people who drive your organization (and its greatness). It’s like a football team whose only rallying cry is to play hard.

High-energy brands (and businesses) are guided by (and deliver through their actions) their “energizing ideas.” Importantly, they’re not just baked into their products. These beliefs in what they stand for are delivered across the organization, and across all facets of what should be a uniquely branded customer experience.

Here are five examples of companies who get it – whose “energizing ideas”, and execution against these ideas, serve to ignite passions both inside and outside the organization:

Lululemon: where dreams come to fruition. I really like the supporting “public” manifesto. Which you get to take home with you, as it’s written on their carry out bags.

TOMS: improving the lives of children. Delivered through their One for One Movement.

Chobani: nothing but good. Reinforced through their Shepard’s Gift charitable foundation.

innocent: healthy habits. Reflected, among other ways, through innocentkids.

Virgin: the people’s champion . The common thread (of putting themselves in the customer’s shoes) that has led to more than 300 branded companies worldwide.

Common across these companies is that their brand is truly at the center of what they do, and how their people intellectually understand, emotionally connect and behaviorally deliver towards a common goal. And the starting point is their “Energizing Idea.”

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Jul
17


Six Senses is a resort and spa management and development company, established in 1995 by Sonu Shivdasani. Its core purpose is to create innovative and enlightening experiences that rejuvenate guests’ love of SLOW LIFE.*

From the top down, everything about Six Senses drives from this purpose…

– enthusiastic leadership embracing and living the brand, and working to deliver on what it promises
– cult-like culture engaged and aligned around Six Senses core values
– organizational structure borrowing from nature
– uniquely branded experiences absorbed by all the human senses
– authentic delivery:
• building materials and finishes from sustainable and local sources
• quality and origin of the food
• innovative experiences that heighten guests knowledge

If you’re not familiar with Six Senses, take a few minutes to learn more about this high-energy brand.

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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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Jun
19

Empowering the patient. Enabling the physician. Enhancing wellness. Curing the well, before they get sick.

Daniel Kraft is a Stanford and Harvard trained physician-scientist with over 20 years experience in clinical practice, biomedical research and innovation. These are key themes from his talk at TEDxMaastricht, where he offers a fast-paced look at the next few years of innovations in medicine – powered by new tools, tests and apps that bring diagnostic information right to the patient’s bedside.

Inspiring, exciting and fascinating what’s on the horizon!

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Jun
14

From a simple project by Blake Mycoskie in 2006 to help get a small group of kids in Argentina new pairs of shoes, TOMS has since redefined what it means to bring about social change (and health) through business.

With their One For One™ business model, a pair of shoes is donated for every pair purchased. The success of their bandage-style shoes (more than 1 million pairs distributed in over 20 countries) proved it’s possible to truly be led by purpose and be profitable. TOMS has also proven that social media is the catalyst for digital activism be it on Facebook (942,116 likes), Twitter (732,763 followers), guerilla marketing or blogging.

Now, TOMS is expanding beyond shoes (leaving this “descriptor” behind in its brand name) and transforming into a truly one-for-one brand. Similar to its “one for one” BOGO (buy one, give one) model, TOMS is expanding its brand into a second product line (eyewear) to give the gift of sight to those in need.

TOMS new collection of sunglasses, priced from $135-$145 a pair, come in three styles and will be sold in the same way as TOMS shoes – for every pair of shades sold, TOMS will help give sight to a person in need through medical treatment, or sight-saving surgery (such as cataract operations) through a partnership with the Seva Foundation, and prescription glasses. The TOMS website also offers the option to upload a photo for a virtual fitting.

Why glasses? Helping save vision is a solvable problem, and Mycoskie feels it’s an issue where TOMS can make an immediate impact. And it certainly flows from their mission and model of solving great human needs worldwide. TOMS Eyewear will begin with initiatives in Nepal, Tibet, and Cambodia. Seva has been in the business of sight restoration for over 30 years – and has given help to nearly three million people globally.

I’m a huge fan of TOMS (could you really not be?). It’s a company…
• built around a massively important (and attracting) central energizing idea
• propelled by a cult-like culture
• driven by a purpose to solve a real problem
• providing a uniquely branded experience
• empowering customers through their actions
• ultimately creating (and fulfilling) a global one-for-one community of like-minded participants.

Please share your point-of-view.

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May
28

As in any relationship, you’re only as strong as your significant other.

No different when it comes to your health brands and customers. Your organization’s, product or service brand energy is directly proportional to that of your customers. Because your brand can only grow stronger if your customers do. It’s very much a symbiotic relationship.

In effect, customers are your brand’s “strategic brand partners.” You link your future to theirs, through the value that your brand delivers. The more they advance, the more you advance. Side note, this is why it’s so important to periodically take the pulse or your customers – their lives, how they view the category and your offerings, where and how you fit and how they feel about you.

Remember that your future’s are intertwined. Elevate your customers and you’ll elevate your brand. Ensure that your must do’s equal their needs. Your differentiators equal their wants. And that your true distinguishers equal their most important aspirations.

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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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