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Thursday, March 12, 2009

How To Create Health + Healthy Lifestyle Brand Ambassadors

Check out this SlideShare Presentation, which lays out Netlog's 5 "C"s of creating brand ambassadors. Do you agree with them?
1. Content - which should be useful, unique, newsworthy, first, controversial, insightful, inspirational, extraordinary, unexpected, etc., that captures people's attention and gives them something valuable and sharable (e.g. Kashi Wellness Hub)
2. Conversate - the community(s) of people who share the same interests and passions who are speaking (and spreading) to one another through non-stop brand interaction (e.g. Kashi friends and events)
3. Continuous - facilitating the ability for brand conversations to take place anytime through any device from anywhere around the world (e.g. Nike Plus)
4. Context- the conversation isn't driven from the brand, it's among friends telling friends, such that the brand becomes intertwined into people's daily conversations, which can be good and bad (e.g. Restaurant's creative way of disguising bad health report)
5. Contribute- how the brand ultimately contributes to making people's lives better (e.g. LiveStrong)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Social media a great platform for health brands

Please view our most recent Brand Energy newsletter with these articles about social media for health and healthy lifestyle brands:
• Marketing To Moms Through Social Media
• Maximizing The Insight From Your Online Communities
• Trimming Portfolio Pounds For Brand Health
• 140 Healthcare Uses For Twitter
• Engaging Boomers Through Social Media

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bringing your healthcare practice to the people

The typical dentist has a typical office in a typical building. Not Dr. Roemer, who's one-man dental practice is inside the Iowa 80 Truckstop, at Exit 284 of Interstate 80. A complex which claims to be the world's largest truck stop.

Dr. Roemer - truck stop dentist - did what we all need to do. Realize that in desperate times, creativity and innovation is the only way that we'll survive and succeed. His actions provide lessons that any marketer would be proud of:
observe and learn from your customers - the doctor noticed that many of his patients from his former practice called from the Yellow Pages ad he ran, and were in the phone booth from the Iowa 8 Truckstop.
make it easy and convenient for people - there's a steady flow of 35,000 people who pull into the truckstop each week
be the solution they turn to when they need you the most - for his patients, treatment isn't an option, they need to see a dentist right away.
create a new business model - away from the traditional practice built around cleaning the family's teeth, to providing immediate relief
get people talking about you - word-of-mouth is the primary way truckers learn about the doctor (more credible, and a lot less expensive, than advertising).

I'm thinking "Truckstop Doc" franchise.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Trimming portfolio pounds for brand health

Not all products and services are created equal. Not all deserve "brand" status. Particularly in this environment, where resources are scarce and need to be laser-like focused on customer satisfaction.

Some brands might not meet customers' important unmet needs, be able to meet revenue or profit goals or no longer support your business strategy. Identifying opportunities to trim portfolio fat turns up more resource to support those brands that are both strategically and financially the most important to the company (and your consumers).

Your portfolio goals should be to create:
• the optimal number of brands in line with business strategy
• each with a clearly defined role
• that work together to support one another
• grow value back to the company and shareholders
• and make it easy for customers to navigate and purchase their desired products

In an environment in which you have more to do with less, here are some questions that brand owners need to be asking:
Principle. What is the organizing principle of the portfolio
Perspective. What story is the portfolio telling from a customer perspective
Place. Do each of the brands in the portfolio have a clearly defined role; is there sufficient separation between the company offerings
Positioning. Which of your brands is best positioned for growth
Profit. How do our different brands contribute to profitability
Potential. Which offer future economic potential; and does market attractiveness (size and potential growth) merit investment
Performance. Do you sufficiently cover the market and target customer segments, with the fewest brands possible
Possibilities. Which brands are more firmly positioned for future growth

Answers to these questions (which really come down to relative brand strength and market attractiveness) should lead to the following actions:
• shut down weakest outcast brands
• rationalize overlapping brands
• push sleeper brands to realize full potential
• defend power brands that are strategically and financially important
• launch or acquire brands to fill gaps

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bringing attention to California resident's lack of healthcare coverage

Impactful and arresting way to bring attention to the fact that 6.7 million Californians don't have healthcare coverage through 40 life-size statues. Agency is Taxi NY. Effort has a strong social component, as people will certainly be compelled to share with others.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Client/agency relationships - a lot like the best brand/consumer relationships?

Seems to me that the client and agency relationships that thrive are a lot like the best brand and consumer relationships, based on:
• mutual respect
• open communication
• understanding
• interaction
• collaboration
• transparency
• shared passion
• exploration and innovation

Giving health and healthy lifestyle brands the ability to do the best they can

I know an organizational consultant who gets through the day by saying to himself "they're doing the best they can." It is the only way after many years of consulting, he says, that he can survive his customer engagements. He's learned to accept the fact that we're all flawed, and don't always operate (no kidding) in a rational manner.
But through social media, we have the ability to speak through an unfiltered pipeline about, and to, brand and company owners. So there's no excuse for them not to be doing the best they can. Unless they're not listening, in which case, we'll talk more frequently and virally until they do.
Using Twitter as an example, here are seven ways that social media helps us help brands "do the best they can":

1. Great experience. Nice to meet you on Twitter- I love shopping on, great user experience!
2. Lousy experience. I'm really hoping that what I need will be at Target so I can avoid a Walmart shopping experience.
3. Never again unless you fix it experience. Worst online shopping experience!
4. Customer service channel. Sorry to hear about that @xxxxxx call 8009612075 and our customer service team will correct this for you.
5. Product feedback. wholefoods: @xxxx We appreciate your feedback though and will look into creating a better system for collecting and reviewing product requests
6. Special events announcement. Special hands-on activities at the Grand Opening of the WOW Science Museum this weekend! Schedule of events:
7. New product and service ideas:Good morning "twitters"! I need 5 great/NEW innovative suggestions to launch a product to the industry. All ideas are welcome!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Health 2.0 reform movement

I visited Wikipedia to see if there were any updates for the definition of Health 2.0, as it's still being defined. There's a traditional view offered by The Wall Street Journal, and this ambitious game-changing definition from Scott Shreeve, MD., who states that Health 2.0 goes way beyond just the pervasive social networking technology to include a complete renaissance in the way that Healthcare is actually delivered. He developed this visual representation of the Health 2.0 reform movement, and provides an accompanying explanation of the model.
To date, adaption of Health 2.0 technologies and tools among health care practitioners lags behind healthcare consumers, who use social to research and manage their health, their medical conditions and to gain emotional support. The collaboration between patients, caregivers and medical professionals (the ultimate goal which will benefit the consumer in their daily lives) is still largely a concept - though inevitably this will change. As Matthew Holt points out the issue is, how are these tools and technologies going to be used, what does that mean for health care organizations, and doctors and patients, and how fast will it matter?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Does Your Healthcare Brand Have Fans Like This

When was the last time someone publicly raved about your organization? When they told the world how impressed they were with you. What if you had to gauge your success by the number of fans raving about you, which is a lot more credible relative to us pounding our chests about how great we are. Watch this video from a Ford fan. 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Seven Ways To Generate Health Brand Energy Through Added Value

I created this client presentation following a discussion about how to provide added value to consumers who are worried about their future and who are evaluating their purchases with great discretion (if they're purchasing at all). Implicit to being able to provide added value to consumers is understanding how they feel, how they define "value" and how they're making decisions. 
Not one of the seven examples that follows reflects a better feature-driven mousetrap. Rather, all of them provide a platform for enriching people's lives by understanding where they're headed, and then providing better experiences, new relationships and new ways of interacting. I've included examples from both inside and outside health and healthy lifestyles, as big insights and ideas typically come from outside the client category being studied.
1. Great Brand Experience - which inspires trust, builds loyalty and promotes word-of-mouth (e.g. J&J's, Amazon, Zappos
2. Tried & True Comfort - the "authentic" foods and household products that we grew up with and that remind us of safety, warmth and joy (e.g. A&H Baking Soda, Kraft Mac N' Cheese, J&J Baby Shampoo)
3. Tying To A Cause - purchasing a product to support a cause people care about (e.g. Yoplait Pink Labels, Green Works and Sierra Club)
4. Reinforcement - through the brand, consumers can track their progress (e.g. myAlliplanNike + iPod)
5. Community - where consumers actively participate in co-creating brand value (e.g. digg, patientslikeme, Wikipedia)
6. Ongoing Dividends -  where the initial outlay provides sustainable, meaningful and relevant gains (e.g. Prius, Solar Energy)
7. Personalized Expression - where the brand serves as a blank canvas for personal expression (e.g. My M&M's, Build My Mini)

Friday, February 27, 2009

A little "healthy lifestyles" levity for a Friday

Actually, there's nothing light about this at all. Sharing this post from Consumerist – "The Worst Food Product Ever" May Have Been Found.  Should provide the impetus for us all to strive to have a healthy day. 
After seeing this, it compelled me to go to Armour's site. I was interested in seeing how they spoke about the company and the Armour brand.  Armour is actually part of Pinnacle Foods Group LLC. Their mission is to "make our brands an increasingly important part of consumers' everyday lives so we build sustainable value." Hmm...wonder how this fits with this mission? 
Armour is one of their brands. As they say in their Product Description, "Armour offers a wide range of easy-to-make solutions for all your meal and snacking occasions…given today's busy lifestyles, you're sure to find a quick, convenient and great tasting Armour Star product to satisfy your craving, whatever the occasion." Yes, this is quick and convenient. But don't even want to think about what the craving could be. 
Interestingly, when you click through to the Armour site, there's no Pork Brains to be found. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why technology is no longer an option in public health

Another call to arms for the healthcare industry and healthcare marketers to be open to change and to embrace the opportunities that technology and social media provide to make things better.  View post by Andre Blackman Why Technology Is No Longer Optional in Public Health.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boomers, social media and healthcare marketing

More than 60% of boomers consume and contribute to social technologies like blogs, social networks, microblogging, podcasts and online videos, according to a recent report from Forrester. This is up from roughly 40% a year ago. The implications for healthcare marketers are clear – either integrate social into your marketing efforts or risk becoming irrelevant. 
Here are some tips on getting started:
• understand the different segments of boomers in terms of how they use social technologies, e.g. their interests, goals, benefits and rituals (here's an introduction from the book Groundswell)
• confirm and prioritize your business and social media objectives
• identify your priority stakeholder groups based on your objectives
• develop your social media platform, e.g. is it education, empowerment or both
• determine the social media strategies that make sense to reach your stakeholders, e.g. content and conversations, types of channels and promotion activities
• determine the roles and responsibilities of those who will be driving and influencing your efforts, e.g. researching and developing content, providing videos, ongoing execution, conducting analysis, implementing refinements, etc. 
• clarify and develop your corporate social media policies
Importantly, it takes time to ramp up with social media. It takes time to engage people, to draw them into conversations, to build credibility and relationships. But the wonderful thing about social media is that you can take baby steps. Steps that are extremely efficient and that allow you to learn and quickly adjust as you go. 


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Growing brand energy in the downturn

To flourish in this downturn, challenge convention.  "Recessions provide fertile ground for launching new businesses, developing disruptive new products and strengthening customer loyalty." These are the words of marketing expert Andrew Razeghi from Northwestern University. Here are a few tips he offers based on the many examples of successful companies that prospered during recessionary times:
• While managing cash is important, don't put the brakes on. Continue to invest in R&D and marketing. "Listen to the market, invest in products for the long term, and keep in front of the customer."
• In a recession, the worst thing you can do is to go dark. In a recession "fear creates focus." "Customers wonder how you're doing. Now is the time to increase communication and restore confidence not only in the products you're selling, but also in the company behind those products."
• Marketers need to play to their strengths, and rethink how to turn those strengths into new opportunities. As marketers continue to clamor for attention, sensory branding will grow increasingly relevant to help cut through the clutter.
As he points out, many high-profile name brands were born in the midst of the Great Depression. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Maximizing the insight from your health and healthy lifestyle online community

Some online communities are specifically built and managed as insight tools, states FreshNetworks in a recent post Maximising the insight you get from your online community.
However, all communities can be useful sources of insight, as companies are able to observe and learn from the unfiltered, real conversations taking place among community members.
Here are eight ways that FreshNetworks describes how companies can learn from online communities:
Profiling data: to help you understand the demographic and lifestyle make-up of the people who comprise your community
Focused discussions: that can be built around priority areas of interest, which can then provide rich insights for research and development
Learn their language: by observing how members talk about your market and products, you can gain rich insight into their lives and priorities and your messaging and outreach 
Rating and voting: asking members to rate or to vote on ideas or content provides input for you in turn to be more relevant and meaningful to them 
Photo uploads: can reveal what people are thinking and feeling beyond words alone; and are often an easier vehicle for people to express their ideas
Photo activities: by asking members to upload photos that they believe reflect a specific topic or a response to a question, you begin to learn how they see the world 
Discussion events: can be focused on specific issues important to the company; at times that reflect the usage patterns of your community
Quick polls: are easy to put together, and provide a tool to gather quick, directional insight about specific topics of interest