Long relegated to the realm of the old-fashioned or to TLC daytime voyeurism, beauty pageants are suddenly relevant. In case you missed it, Sierra Sanderson just won the title of Miss Idaho 2014—and she rocked her insulin pump during the bathing suit competition.
While naysayers continue to pick on pageants for promoting sexist standards of beauty, Sierra made a small but incredibly impactful human statement. And brands should take notice. In a glorious mashup of social media, health empowerment, and forward thinking, the #showmeyourpump campaign epitomizes how healthcare is changing and where the future lies.
Health is no longer something hiding behind the closed-doors of a doctor’s office. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 25 percent of Internet users have read or watched someone else’s health or medical experience in the last 12 months. In the Age of the Internet, health is personal, visible, and increasingly public—something we openly share information about.
In fact, a report by PwC revealed that 90 percent of adults ages 18-24 said they would trust medical information shared by others in their social media networks. In light of these trends, healthcare brands need to keep pace by recognizing this shift in how health-related information is being consumed, shared, and exchanged. Patient to patient is now a powerful marketing device.
Reshaping brand strategy with the patient at the center is crucial for the industry. Whether it’s a medical device, hospital, or app, smart design and personalization will be key to staying relevant in consumers’ lives. As we take more ownership of our health and begin to share our medical data, we can expect health to extend into other sectors including fashion, tech, luxury goods, and more.
Healthcare brands that shift their thinking to the empowered consumer, crafting tools and services that are more than just functional, will lead the way. As health comes into the light, it’s possible that everyone will benefit—learning from others with similar conditions, sharing data with the best and brightest researchers, and understanding how to influence our own well-being, could result in a healthier world for us all.
Nicole Diamant is the Marketing Manager for InterbrandHealth. You can follow her on Twitter @NicoleDiamant.
Curious about using brand strategies to boost your marketing efforts? Connect with InterbrandHealth here.