It’s not about the pants…

It’s time for health systems to stop promoting themselves.

Our intrepid strategist Christian Barnett, who’s worked across the globe with some of the most iconic brands in existence, recently presented on creativity – showing a classic advertisement from Levi’s introduction of black jeans to the U.K. in the 1980s. The ad headline read “When the world zigs, zag” and showed a flock of sheep heading up a hill, with one black sheep in the middle walking the other way.

His point was how the brand was all about attitude (not a product benefit). And the story goes that when the client first saw the ad, they asked: “Where are the pants?” Christian then made the point: “It’s not about the pants; it’s about the wearer.”

And that, in a nutshell, is the argument for the Post Health System Brand, outlined in this paper. 

We’ve heard a million times about the impact of growing consumerism and new competition from players like Apple, Amazon, and CVS. The combination of these two forces shines a harsh light on health system brands. What’s worked in the past for health system branding will likely not be enough moving forward. For example, the point has repeatedly been made that consumers are not just comparing your health system brand to other health systems, they are comparing it to Uber, Amazon, and Starbucks. If that’s true, then why are health systems still the same old health system brands? 

It's time for health systems – those who are ready – to consider moving to a Post Health System Brand, one that isn’t focused on you or your organization, but instead on a driving emotion or motivator of your audience. Sounds obvious. Yet 95% of health systems are not following this advice, relying on promotional brands. It’s time to move on – our survival may depend on it. 

Download a copy of “The Case for a Post Health System Brand” and contact us if you want to know more. 

December 19, 2019
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