How consumer trends will drive healthcare brand experiences in 2023

Jack Health Blog

February 7th, 2023 By

Entering 2023, there’s a new way of living and working grounded in balance and restoration. What we expect of ourselves, our health, our careers, and how we choose to build our lives around them is forever changed. While we spent this past year reconciling these changes – even overcompensating – this year will be about restoring our health, redefining our purpose and the influence we want to have in the world, and refocusing our priorities and passions more holistically.

Check out our 2023 report on trends and behaviors that will drive brand experience from our colleagues at Jack Morton.

Here, Jack Health’s top talent share the trends and opportunities in brand experience that healthcare marketers should be paying attention to in 2023.

Emphasizing progress, purpose, and passion

healthcare brand experiences in 2023‘Acts over ads’ isn’t a new concept, but 2023 should be the year that healthcare brands embrace it at scale. Consumer brand focus has shifted – it’s no longer enough to have a product or service someone likes; your corporate brand must align with their personal values: the environment, sustainability, equity in care, and even seeing purpose over profits. Consumers will increasingly vote with their wallets for brands that live their values, and healthcare will be no exception.

This is no easy feat in healthcare where the industry tends to lag others. With well-known consumer-facing brands like Amazon, Walgreens, and Walmart waging war for the “last mile” in healthcare, pharma brands run the risk being of being sidelined if they don’t develop more meaningful relationships with consumers and healthcare providers (HCPs).

The healthcare brands that will stand out will be the ones that emphasize progress, purpose, and passion – the ones that leverage brand acts to show up in unexpected places, cut through the noise, and answer the question: what do you stand for?

– Nigel Downer, Head of Jack Health, U.S.

Creating technology-rich experiences

healthcare brand experiences in 2023In recent years, technology adoption has increased exponentially both at work and at home. From virtual assistants and to wearables, to augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and everything in between, new technology has created incredible opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences in new ways. While using the latest technology in brand experiences is by no means new, the applications for healthcare brands are not only exciting, but potentially revolutionary.

Healthcare brands can differentiate themselves from competitors by creating engaging, technology-rich brand experiences that attract new customers, while retaining existing ones.

For example, through VR, customers can explore medical facilities, meet with doctors, or learn about treatments in an immersive and interactive way. And using AR, brands can create interactive experiences that allow customers to try on different products or treatments, or to see how different procedures might look on their own bodies. When you combine, AR and VR with the myriad of custom experiences possible in the Metaverse, we’re talking about a whole new world of ways to experience and share your brand with patients, HCPs, and employees.

– Jo Hull, SVP, Director, Jack Health EMEA

Whole-person healthcare changing consumer and brand behavior

healthcare brand experiences in 2023Looking across healthcare, the whole person health and wellbeing movement is driving remarkable change in how we engage and consume healthcare. Even more, it’s redefining how we view relationships with our care providers and employers. The body is the new priority eco-system.

At the same time, healthcare brands that used to go unnoticed are recognizable and others are part of our lives in ways they never were before. Take CVS Health. They used to be just a retail pharmacy. Today, they’re the 4th largest company in the U.S. providing health insurance, pharmacy benefits, retail care, telehealth, and a multitude of other offerings, like behavioral health, aimed at supporting whole person health and wellness.

These converging factors have led many primarily b2b brands to reconsider how they connect with audiences – particularly consumers and patients. With expanding market choice, success requires a shared vision for your role in their lives. If you want to lead the way as a health and wellness brand, authentic and value-led relationships have never been more important. This moment, where we all continue to restore balance and redefine our passions and purpose, is the perfect time to rethink how your brand acts.

– Jamey Hardesty, MPH, SVP, Senior Strategy Director

Showing up authentically

healthcare brand experiences in 2023After the last several years, consumers are craving connection, choosing to live values-led lifestyles, and no longer interested in stoic, values-agnostic corporations. To stay competitive as consumers weigh their ever-growing choices, healthcare brands must amplify what they stand for and how they will better the communities they serve. However, today’s audiences can see through talking heads and good intentions, so authenticity is key. Simply put, authenticity is about demonstrating values through actions. Once brands can identify what they believe in and speak their truth, they will be able to truly connect with their audiences in a meaningful way.

Sharing people-first content – the stories of patients, scientists, clinicians, and HCPs is an incredibly effective way of humanizing a brand and reinforcing its values, however the mode of delivery is equally important. In today’s omnichannel delivery of marketing messages, the easiest way to reach the masses is to develop engaging, original content that can be shared across multiple platforms and channels to connect with the right message and experience, at the right moment. Whether it is a captivating brand activation or a mesmerizing experiential moment at a trade show, the possibility of authentic, meaningful, and culturally relevant content curation and generation is all around us, just waiting to be unleashed.

– Sohini Mitra, SVP, Director of Client Services

Storytelling on bigger stages

healthcare brand experiences in 20232023 should be the year that corporate healthcare brands embrace the spotlight they’ve been thrust into. Healthcare enables people to come together, so it’s time to think about new sponsorships and partnerships, direct-to-public engagements. As consumers of content and culture, we have become accustomed to seeing vaccine mechanisms of action on the Today Show, Hologic partnering with Mary J. Blige at the Super Bowl, Abbott leading digital health sessions at CES, and Pfizer broadcasting corporate, product-agnostic ads in primetime.

It’s abundantly clear that healthcare brands have big messages and big stories to share. This year, expect to see a more significant emphasis on finding big stages where healthcare brands will use storytelling not only to share brand messages, but to create more impact! And in doing so, they must share their content in ways that we’re used to consuming it – shorter, episodic messages, more digestible stories, and on-demand experiences.

– Jimmy Doucette, VP, Director of Strategy

Technology leading the way to increase public health equity

healthcare brand experiences in 2023Consumers are increasingly accustomed to the role technology plays in their day-to-day healthcare activities. From telehealth appointments to wearable health trackers, technology is now intrinsically woven into how we manage our healthcare needs both for ourselves and our families.

In 2023 and beyond, health tech will increasingly take center stage. The brands to watch are those who leverage these technologies to better meet the needs of under-served communities, increasing public health equity overall. These communities have historically unequal access to quality healthcare leading to worse outcomes and a heavier burden on the emergency healthcare system. By focusing on digital innovation that democratizes healthcare services, brands can both reach and support these communities while also building brand trust and loyalty.

– Katie Brown, VP, Group Account Director, Genuine

It’s never been harder to be a healthcare brand. Consumer focus and expectations are high for how brands live their values and brand promise. With more options than ever, consumers have the power to choose which brands they engage with and give their hard-earned money to – especially in a turbulent market. The opportunity to build authenticity into healthcare brands through action has never been clearer, and the brands that do will win in 2023.

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