We publish our annual Trends Report to help our clients and colleagues in health care grow their brands by leveraging the trends impacting patients, prospective patients, providers and caregivers.
There are three ways that health brands can impact trends.
1. Be a trendsetter.
2. Be a trendspotter.
3. Be a trendfitter.
We love our role as trendspotters. It’s thrilling to look out into the horizon and see the things that others aren’t seeing. It helps us add value to our clients and colleagues.
Our firm has also been recognized as a trendsetter. We were out front on the power of mapping the patient journey. We launched fully responsive hospital websites long before it was standard practice or even close to standard practice. And we also leveraged marketing automation for communicating valuable services to different health audiences years before it became a common strategy in the health care space.
But our greatest joy is being a trendfitter: taking macro trends and fitting them into the needs of our clients.
Being a trendsetter has its perks. You’re the first! The only! But only for a limited time.
There are also perks in being a trendspotter. You’re the smarty pants in the room. But just because you can see something coming doesn’t mean you know how to capitalize on it.
By contrast, being a trendfitter is a win-win for you and your organization.
You’re responding to market conditions. You’re capitalizing on the here and now while preparing for what’s to come. You’re letting others (the trendsetters) do the heavy lifting while reaping the returns.
If you’ve read my other posts on trendspotting, you know I love a good question.
So here’s a powerful question to help you leverage trends—in other words, how to find creative ways to fit trends into your brand:
“What is the humanity behind the trend?”
Let me explain.
We’ve talked about Uber as an example of the trend of Radical Convenience.
What is the humanity behind the trend of Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing apps?
Time is precious.
And when we wait to hail a cab we feel time slipping away from us. That creates tension, stress. So what Uber, Lyft and other trendsetting brands have done is given us back some of our humanity.
Here’s another question to help you leverage trends and fit them beautifully into your health brand:
“What emotional state is this trend filling?”
We buy everything based on what we hope the product or service will make us feel.
The brands that make the deepest emotional impact and can sustain that emotional impact are the brands that last.
This is why Facebook continues to dominate the social space. Facebook fills the emotional state of wanting to be accepted.
Acceptance is one of the three basic human needs. (The other two basic human needs are the need for safety and the need for satisfaction.)
If you’re reading this, it’s likely you represent a health brand: whether it be a provider, manufacturer, pharmaceutical company or other service that helps people get well or stay well. Health care is the business of humanity.
So to leverage the trends we’ve identified in our report, find the humanity in the trend. Explore the emotional state the trends are filling.
Then set out to fit that trend into your brand and business opportunities.