July 31, 2012 Leave a Comment
All is not status quo in the healthcare marketing sector. Seemingly a coincidence, many of the insurance biggies and several Blues have introduced fresh, spanking new brand tweaks in the wake of the Supreme court’s recent Obamacare decision. Prescient, anticipatory brand architecture redos appear to have been on advertising agendas coast to coast.
Aetna is a great example. The old “Aetna, glad I met ya” days are long gone. The logo alone is a tectonic shift in brand identification. In place of the old blue (of course) wordtype is a new approach in lowercase, which is, well, friendlier. Most revolutionary is the use of color. There is no guideline. No limit, virtually. Whatever color you want to use as a designer, to match the piece you’re crafting, you can use. This would appear to be saying, “This brand is all about you. Instead of our color—all about us—there are as many Aetnas as there are members. We can adapt to your flexible needs. We no longer need a capital ‘A’ in our name because it’s You with a capital ‘Y’ that concerns us most.”
Why—or Y—now? Why is Aetna, along with myriad others, moving like lemmings toward the kinder-gentler brand cliff?
Research indicates that many Americans—both individuals and small and large groups—are not feeling the warm and fuzzy toward the companies to which they pay increasingly higher and higher premiums and co-pays. The most satisfied members, not shockingly, are those who are regular claim-filers who “get something” for their premium dollars. Those with the greatest brand resentment are the crowd who are relatively healthy and regularly envision what else they could be doing with those several hundred dollars a month per person. (A new hybrid, perhaps?)
The response by these brands is a proactive attempt to change and influence consumer attitudes and spending in what will become a healthcare provider Olympics. That is, a Darwinistic fight to the finish over the healthy among us. It has already started, with positioning designed to appeal to the lifestyle-focused, gym-going, supplement-taking, good-cholesterol-carrying, ideal-weight non-smokers of the populace.
Let the branding begin.
Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn