The formula for success involves some unique math: 1 + 1 = 3. No, this is not an addition mistake. Rather, it is a multiplication strategy. At BVK, we call it brand + demand. It is our strategy for telling a compelling and defensible story of business growth for health plans. Coupling values-based brand building with lead generation and customer experience best practices produces the potential for short-term sales and long-term growth and differentiation.
There are three pillars to the brand+demand model and each makes a valuable contribution to business growth. 1. Brand Craving, 2. Lead Generation, and 3. Customer Experience. In this segment, we’ll unpack brand craving, what it is and how you create it.
Human values form the foundation of our identity, shaping who we are and who we want to be. Like an inner compass, they guide us based on what matters most. We crave brands that reflect our values; and they become an antidote for what we desire.
Values-based branding generates business growth by articulating the soul of the brand and facilitating a data-driven, human-centered approach to bridging strategic insights, connection planning, breakthrough creative, and holistic measurement.
Outlined in his book “Grow,” Jim Stengel former CMO of P&G conducted research with one of BVK’s advisors from UCLA Anderson School of Business. They studied companies on the S&P 500 and found that brands that market based on a core human value drive more business—over 400% better performance on the S&P 500 than comparable brands that marketed based on features and benefits.
In the end, human values are the lifeblood of how people make decisions. They drive our perceived need and desire, while speaking directly to our aspirations and fears.
By finding the intersection of the audience (their cravings and values), the culture (trends, competition, distinction), and the brand itself (the essence and purpose) we can identify a brand value that is distinctive, differentiating, and centered on purpose.
The Value of a Health Plan
To help local health plans navigate these challenging times and understand their unique approach to brand craving, BVK conducted proprietary national research studies in July and December 2020. The studies indicated that locally based brands have a distinct leverage point over regional and national health insurance brands. And it is a big one: Trust. That trust is rooted in consumers’ beliefs that locally based health plans:
- Want the best for the community
- Prioritize customer needs over profits
- Are more likely to be accountable
- Are responsive to their needs
- Are open and transparent
In other words, local health plans offer a rock-solid competitive advantage that touches consumers’ minds and hearts.
The Starting Point
We have designed a process to develop a brand value and a wealth of brand craving best practices and it begins with three essential steps that can give your organization a strong start to values-based branding.
- Identify a distinct, durable brand value platform that communicates trust in some form.
Consumers believe in locally based health insurance organizations, so linking directly to that inherent trust is the North Star for developing a brand value that is respected, resilient and, most important, divergent from your competition.
- Determine brand distance to provider, if applicable.
Examining your brand architecture regarding your parent provider brand is integral to clearly defining provider brand association and building a values-based brand that elevates consumer experiences.
- Develop and deploy an integrated awareness-building campaign.
Bringing your brand value to life with engaging creative and a fully orchestrated campaign will create consumer connection that increases the effectiveness of your lead generation efforts. Together, they provide a multiplier effect that builds business now and for the future.