13 October 2016

Healthy New Horizon

Written by: Snezna Kerekovic, Director at Edelman

General, Health

Health today is all about living life well vs trying not to be sick, with people actively integrating wellness into their daily life. And, as this trend continues on the upward trajectory it presents brands, especially health brands, with new opportunities.

Brands and companies that can actively engage in their consumers’ well-being win their loyalty. The American Wellbeing Study 2015 found that 85% of consumers are more likely to buy products and services that effectively engage in their wellbeing.   Cross-generationally, consumers believe companies could be doing more for their well-being.

All of this signals a need to shift brand communications from product claims to health benefit, from functionality to inspiration. Just as consumers are taking a far more holistic approach to their health so too must brands in order to also enjoy a healthy future.

Today’s health care consumer is all about taking control of their health and wellbeing. This has resulted in a massive power shift away from the traditional health gatekeepers of medicos to the power of the individual and their community. The yelpification of health, whereby health information is now sought and found via Dr Google and online chat forums more so than in the clinic, has meant, now more than ever, consumers are equipped with information, albeit not necessarily the best information, but nonetheless they are more informed and empowered than ever before. In this world, it is all about earning their attention with meaningful, compelling dialogue that delivers to their thirst for information focused on helping them live healthier, happier lives.

A company or brand’s narrative and purpose needs to be intrinsically linked to consumers’ wellbeing, but it can’t be just stated, it needs to be lived by the brand and organisation. It needs to be consistently communicated and demonstrated by actions. It needs to be simple in its transparency. Not only are consumers looking to live healthier, longer, happier lives they are seeking simplicity in those lives. Brand narratives and messages need to be simply communicated and they, above all, need to be authentic to gain trust that will lead to engagement and, ultimately, advocacy.

Health and wellbeing are well entrenched in mainstream culture and for health brands this presents a massive opportunity to offer true purpose and value in the quest for a healthier life.

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