What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.
Great companies invest in their brand. In the Bay Area, Kaiser Permanente’s Thrive campaign has become part of their brand.
Why does Thrive work?
Risk: When Thrive was launched, it went against the grain. A one word tag line? Nobody did that. Bold visuals of patients, not doctor? Unheard of. But Kaiser wanted to stand out. Now every healthcare company is looking for their own “Thrive.”
Spend: Kaiser distributes the message. Thrive wouldn’t work without the billboards, radio ads, social media engagement, online display ads. I would never remember Thrive if I hadn’t heard it 7 to 12 times already. No brand is so magical that it is heard once and remembered forever.
Thrive significantly increases Kaiser Permanente’s level of trust and attraction in California with employee benefits departments, consumers and medical personnel at every level. (I got a peek at the competitive stats in a private presentation by a KP marketing executive.)
Every time a new financial executive rolls in, KP’s marketing department has to defend their $40 million brand spend all over again. This is because branding has no trackable return on investment, and finance teams are uninterested in the brand. There is no mechanism to track eyeballs and ears the way we can track clicks and downloads. At Kaiser, the marketing team always wins, and the CEO, BJ Tyson, has their back.
There is no magic powerpoint presentation to convince the board to invest in the brand. It’s a measure of influence of Marketing and the time horizon of the CEO.
How do you create brand juice? Start with one target market and invest 10% of that segment’s marketing budget in branding for 3-5 years. Start now, and in 2021 you’ll have results you an measure in brand awareness (survey now & later), shorter sales cycles (days-to-close), referrals and PR opportunities. 2021 is just around the corner!
My pick for best target market for your branding project is an under-served group: LGBTQ or POC. You can do good while doing well.
Have a great week, Lisa