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The Convergence of Wellness & Consumerism in Health Care

The relevancy of current health care brands is under distress in the era of population health given the collision course of these two concepts: Wellness and Consumerism. On the one hand, value-added health care is rooted in the paradigm shift to keep populations well and minimize hospital intervention.  On the other, given more patient financial responsibility and higher deductibles, consumer control and choice is greater than ever when “shopping” the price of health care.

Each concept is significant enough alone to merit an evolution in aspirational brand positionings.  However, it is somewhat daunting when both concepts need to be addressed. Here are some suggestions to consider when calibrating your brand moving forward:

4 keys to help health care brands embrace Wellness

  • Simplifying health care communications and interactions with older America will be a big winner moving forward
  • Moving beyond the squishy concept of wellness to demonstrating and supporting specific health improvements in daily life
  • Focus on the core demos of middle age and older Americans with key aspirational themes like:
    • This group is growing and not fading
    • 60 is the new 40
  • Evolve health care connection to life partner connection

4 ways to help align your health care brand with Consumerism

  • Demonstrate tangible quality outcomes through positive physician experience, strong hospital cleanliness and quality ratings and high patient satisfaction
  • Address patients’ priorities by providing the right care in the right setting at the right cost complete, providing cost estimates directly to the consumers
  • Accommodate patients busy lives by working around their schedules rather than the traditional approach that favors the hospitals. Several key examples are extended hours and same-day appointments.
  • Given the proliferation of free-standing, physician-owned clinics, walk-in clinics and retail drugstore clinics, understand the price elasticity of these types of services as not to be priced out of the market. While operations departments work on pricing efficiency, communicate the key benefits of your services over the competition that are most relevant to consumers.

The branding challenge to remain relevant is not only for hospitals, but insurers too.  Cleveland Clinic and Humana are examples of health systems and insurers taking real steps in the evolution of their brand. These and others are forming the vanguard of health care entities that understand the need to optimize their brands in the face of real and substantive change in health care across these two fronts.

Hopefully your health care entity is addressing the convergence of Wellness and Consumerism with real proof points in both areas and an aspirational brand positioning that can become real very soon. If you feel your entity is lagging in either area, we have experience with optimizing brands in the challenging times of population health and would love to start a conversation.

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