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How Hospitals Can Be 'Sherpa' Brands

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, June 26, 2013

Research indicates that consumers are ready to take on more responsibility for their own health—that translates to patient engagement. To capitalize on this, healthcare marketers, like Sherpas, should offer guidance, trust—and emotional rewards.

Arnold Worldwide, the Boston-based advertising and creative agency that is responsible for creating memorable campaigns such as Volkswagen's "Drivers Wanted," and Progressive's "Flo," the perky auto insurance spokeswoman with the blue headband, has new data that is directly relevant to healthcare marketers.

In an Arnold study released this month, Sherpa Brands: Guiding Consumers to New Heights, the agency details what consumers are looking for in their brands, and the results are tailor made for hospitals.

According to the Arnold Strategic Insights Group, which surveyed 2,400 adults in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, and China, consumers want brands "to provide increased guidance, empowerment, trust, and emotional rewards."

The study argues that economic pressure and the vast amounts of information available to make decisions have left consumers feeling overwhelmed and somewhat out of control. According to its survey, consumers are focusing on satisfying more personal goals.

For example, when respondents were asked to list their priorities over the next 12 months, 39% said they planned on focusing on their health; that answer was second only to increasing financial stability (41%).

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