Health Brands Need to Prioritize Brand Experience in Today’s Customer-Centric World

We’re in the midst of a brand revolution in healthcare. With consumer-focused giants like Apple, Amazon, and Walmart entering the space, it has reshaped what people expect from the healthcare brands they engage with, and it’s redefining standards across the board. While sectors like retail and entertainment might be the first to come to mind when thinking about customer experience, we’re now at the point where healthcare can no longer afford to lag behind.

Traditionally, healthcare brands have operated in a somewhat insulated environment. The emphasis has been more on medical outcomes than on patient experiences. But as more customer-centric brands have set new precedents, even in the healthcare space, there’s a growing realization that delivering a standout brand experience is not just desirable – it’s essential.

Starbucks has mastered consistent quality, atmosphere, personalization, loyalty, and community engagement.

Take a look at the modern consumer. People are used to instant feedback, 24/7 accessibility, intuitive interfaces, and above all, brands that seem to anticipate their needs and wishes. That’s because the most iconic brands in the world focus on disproportionate consumer value. And when these consumers become patients, their expectations don’t magically adjust to the slower, more bureaucratic pace of traditional healthcare systems. Or at least, they shouldn’t have to.

This expectation gap can lead to dissatisfaction, mistrust, and ultimately, disengagement from the healthcare process and impact patient outcomes. In a domain where patient engagement and adherence to treatments can be critical to outcomes, this is a scenario no health brand can afford.

A even bigger challenge is that the competition is growing, quickly. The healthcare market is becoming increasingly crowded with options, and many are investing heavily in patient experience. This makes it a powerful differentiator. A strong brand experience can set a health brand apart, fostering loyalty and encouraging positive word-of-mouth, both of which can have tangible effects on a brand’s bottom line.

Warby Parker bypassed the traditional eyewear industry’s multi-layered distribution channels to connect directly with consumers.

It’s also worth noting that a superior brand experience often aligns with improved internal processes. Streamlined operations, effective communication tools, and a focus on holistic well-being often contribute to better patient experiences, a win-win situation where both the brand and the patient.

Most importantly, there’s a moral and ethical dimension. Health brands are in the business of care. It’s not just about treating ailments, but about providing holistic support, understanding, and empathy. A genuine, patient-centric brand experience is an embodiment of that care ethos. It sends a message that the patient is not just a number, but a valued individual deserving of the best.

Apple has quickly transformed what a brand experience in healthcare can look and feel like.

The benchmark for brand experiences is being set higher each day by customer-centric brands in various sectors. It’s time for healthcare brands to recognize this and act. Not only is it a smart business strategy, but it’s also aligned with the fundamental mission of healthcare: to provide the best care possible. Too remain relevant, impactful, and genuinely helpful, today’s healthcare brands must deliver a top-tier brand experience.