Friday, May 7, 2010

Device makers, the patient is your brand.

Years ago, I worked with a creative director who would constantly say to our clients: “Your customer is your brand.” I don’t know how many times I heard him repeat that. His point was that customers always have something important to say about the brands with which they interact.

Today, due to the power of social media, customers are even more likely to share their brand experience with others.

Ever since receiving an implantable device in 2007, I’ve felt this was also true for patients and their devices. Almost three years have passed since I first heard the names Medtronic, Boston Scientific and St. Jude Medical. But as we advance toward a model of health care in which the active role of the patient is emphasized, we all become invariably more engaged in the co-creation of the brands that help keep us alive.

So, I wasn’t surprised to come across this clip in which Dave deBronkart (a.k.a. e-Patient Dave) corroborates this very point. When asked which message he would relay to the CEO of a pharmaceutical company, this is what he had to say:
“Increasingly it’s not possible to control the message about your brand, about your product, about its benefits, its side effects. And that if you want to steal a march on the competition, and if you want to fortify your company’s foundation, what you ought to be doing is building things on the foundation of the future world in which smart patients who talk to each other become a primary source of information.”

Here’s some more food for thought. In the clip below, Grant McCracken (anthropologist, blogger and author of “Chief Culture Officer”) explains the notion of brand co-creation:
“The old contract in marketing said [that] you load up the cannons, you come up with a very simple message, you say it as loudly as you can and as often as you can until the dimmest person in the world understands that, say, a Ford Fiesta stands for excellence in engineering, or something.

The new contract in marketing says that this is just irritating for everyone. What we want instead is something closer to a conversation, and the buzzword that people are now using is this notion of co-creation that says that if you want a vital, animated brand you want to bring in people like this guy, in the spot we just saw, to help create that brand, to co-create the brand.”

1 comment:

greg cryns said...

Great post! Thanks for your concern.