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Monday, January 26, 2009

Finding energy for health and healthy lifestyle brands

Like all other industries, healthcare and healthy lifestyle brands are feeling the effects of the recession.

There's no magic bullet that will help you come out stronger on the other side of the downturn. But there are ways to seize what is admittedly an awful situation and steer it to your advantage. By discovering new insights. Uncovering and providing what your customers are hungry for.

Address these five questions to help you position yourself as the one to turn to when things come around. Questions that revolve around three "R"s - reshaping, refining and rationalizing. And which are ultimately about customers. Because without them, nothing us really matters.

1. Is your message simple and sharp? Are you providing a crystal clear understanding of the value of your offering?

2. Does your portfolio reflect this clarity and simplicity? Is it focused on those offerings that drive reputation, relationships and business? Is it simple for customers to easily shop and choose what they want?

3. Are you adding value in ways that are important to customers while building on your differentiation and strengths, e.g. through new product or service enhancements, channels, partners, content, experiences?

4. Are you investing in what matters most to customers? If not, go dark. Because nothing else really matters. Stop marketing to them, and do for them. Engage then where they are and how they want. Align all your activities and spending to deliver that value. And if you can’t find the value in an activity, let it go.

5. Are you operating with integrity and treating employees, customers, shareholders and partners with respect? Too many have already let us down. And they've been called out. Rise above, and you'll come out stronger on the other side.

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