Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. We regularly answer questions from marketers everywhere. Today we hear from Dan, a VP of Marketing in New York, New York who writes…
“With the arrival of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, my healthcare insurance brand will have to advertise a point of difference. We will have to win in a B2C situation. This is completely new territory for us. Please share the process for gaining an advantage.”
Thanks for your question Dan. Certainly the time to evolve is now for many healthcare marketers. The first step in any branding effort is to identify all of the most promising consumer segments and then figure out how to most effectively and efficiently connect with them. Most of these will likely be the uninsured including the previously uninsurable. Many will be young adults, a potentially profitable market for medical insurance companies. And don’t forget about the fastest growing demographic markets in the US, such as Latinos.
Given that you will be marketing more directly to the individual (versus corporate) market, you will need to understand not only how to reach these individuals, but how their needs may vary from the needs of business customers. For instance, do you know the following for each target market segment?
- Their hopes, fears, aspirations and anxieties
- How they perceive their health and their health risks
- How they perceive the medical insurance market – the good the bad and the ugly
- What they believe they can afford and not afford
- Of which medical insurance brands they are aware
- How they perceive your brand and its competitors
Taking this information, which will come primarily from qualitative research but perhaps also from some quantitative research, you will need to develop campaigns that appeal to people on an emotional level. While medical insurance plans may seem “cut and dry” (subject primarily to analytical thought), most brand decisions are based on emotions. Every brand needs to have a unique value or selling proposition, one that is believable and emotionally compelling to its target audiences.
You mentioned that the brand campaign also needs to work in a B2B situation. I assume you are talking about corporations, professional associations and other organizations that offer insurance to more than one person. In this case, you will first need to understand the end consumer’s needs and then the B2B decision maker’s needs. You will need to factor both sets of needs into your brand positioning and messaging to the B2B decision maker.
Dan, focus on customer targeting, marketing research, brand positioning and storytelling and you will be on your way to building an advantage for your healthcare brand.
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