Mega trend. Revolution. Sensation.
Tidal Shift. Zeitgeist. Era. These words are overused to the point of exasperation. Exasperation. This tells us that something is, indeed, wrong. Wellness as a buzzword has seen its share of hype. And yet, 15 of the top 50 bestselling books on Amazon address one overarching category — wellness. Not to mention documentaries and movies across the web and on streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu.
There are several reasons the word “wellness” has become such a thoroughly-repeated term. Namely, public health issues like the opioid crisis, ethical challenges in pharmaceuticals and the increasing importance of the customer experience in health and wellness care.
Ethics & Health Crises du Jour
Like the 2005 documentary “Thank You for Smoking” reminded us, big companies are really good at rhetoric — the intentional use of language to affect popular ideas. This is ever-present in today’s news climate. The star of 2019 so far has been the Purdue Pharma opioid matter wherein company executives have been accused of knowingly downplaying the effects of these cripplingly addictive drugs.
- The City of Memphis is actually suing 21 pharma companies alleging deceptive opioid campaigns.
- And who could forget the ethics dilemmas galore of the past several years — Martin Shkreli and the $600 epipen matter is only the tip of the iceberg.
- People who can’t afford their medications are dying, and there is now a black market for diabetes testing strips — products that aren’t that expensive to manufacture.
As of the writing of this article (3.20.2019), the Google search “black market diabetes supplies” yields more than 30 million results.
The Economic Impact of Wellness-Focus
Back to Amazon’s bestseller list. Many of the books in the group we mentioned address growing concerns around nutrition, fitness and longevity. People don’t just want to live longer. They want to feel better, live freer and enjoy maturing into seniority while minimizing the spectres of Alzheimer’s, diabetes and age in place gracefully.
The entertainment market has clearly bought in, as have the e-commerce markets. The global dietary supplements market is expected to grow to $220 billion annually by 2020. That’s not including fitness services and products, medical care, services, products or pharmaceuticals.
Tidal Shifts in Healthcare — How Retail Has Influenced an Opaque Market
As of 2019, hospitals are now legally accountable to pricing transparency,
“creating a patient-centered healthcare system by achieving greater price transparency, interoperability, and significant burden reduction so that hospitals can operate with better flexibility and patients have what they need to be active healthcare consumers.”
What’s most compelling here is that the conversation in government has shifted toward using terminology like “patient-centered healthcare” and “healthcare consumers.”
Renowned physician and author of “The Patient Will See You Now” and “The Creative Destruction of Medicine” Eric Topol is no stranger to the topic. He has, in a sense, become the professional voice associated with the profession’s acknowledgement that change isn’t coming — it’s here.
Threading the Needle
To connect the dots, retail has transformed since the time when brick and mortar stores and catalogs were the only way to get the things you need. If video killed the radio star, Amazon and ecommerce, writ large, have killed traditional retail. But that’s not the whole picture. Amazon didn’t single handedly kill retail brick and mortar stores. The truth is much more complex; however, there is one thing people often overlook during this conversation, and it’s not the convenience factor.
It’s the customer experience.
Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook have become everyday customer experience watchdogs. Today’s consumer doesn’t just expect good service — they demand it. Or they take to these platforms and call out bad businesses and bad experiences.
Some industries have embraced the value of a great customer experience — ChickFilA, for instance, is outselling its competition in spades. The big difference? They say please and thank you. And they’re quick about it. And they are masters of velocity— they didn’t build more stores or widen their drive-thru setups. They brought on more people to improve the customer experience. They’re killing two birds with one stone and winning in business.
As the millennial generation ages and continually takes the fall for “killing” things from canned tuna to paper napkins to Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebees, these so-called “deaths” beg a question — what are businesses doing to provide a customer experience worthy of survival?
Honesty, Integrity, Courtesy, Transparency
In healthcare, it’s about outcomes as well as the patient experience. Patients—people— have choices about where to spend their dollars, and they’re increasingly making choices to avoid buying services obfuscated by the healthcare industrial complex. People want good experiences, good service and better health outcomes.
Embrace the value of the customer. Show them they matter. Operate with integrity. Realize the competition will leverage the means of production and distribution in new and innovative ways.
Your biggest threat in business isn’t your competitor — it’s complacency.
Learn more about how great businesses are surfing the megatrend with healthcare consumerism expert Ken Robbins at his next seminar in Atlanta, GA on March 28, 2019. Ken’s unique experience in marketing for healthcare and ecommerce clients coupled with his compelling personal story make for a talk you literally can’t afford to miss out on.
To buy tickets or learn more click here.