Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 8.14.28 AM

There is only one way to help the many teams across your health system or hospital to understand, rally around and consistently reinforce what makes your organization different and special.  Through the development of a Strategic Brand Platform. 

Without this foundation, you have no compass to guide those who represent your brand through their decision-making, actions and communications. Which means you have no basis to catalyze internal teams, nurture customer relationships and foster sustainable, more profitable growth.

In the best of times, it’s hard to keep everyone (staff, nurses, doctors, leadership, volunteers, etc.) across departments, service lines and facilities on the same page about brand building. But in the absence of a formalized brand strategy, it’s impossible. And if there isn’t clarity inside, there’s confusion and misperception (among customers, partners and other stakeholders) outside.

Your brand is a driver and a compass for your organization. Having a clearly articulated brand strategy (in the form of a strategic brand platform) ensures everyone involved in the delivery of your brand shares a common and consistent understanding of what your health system or hospital stands for, how it’s different (positioned differently) from other local providers, why your communities should care and what they should expect when they have an experience with the organization.

There are many variations of a strategic brand platform. We at Trajectory have our own flexible versions honed over the years developing strategy alongside leadership teams across the related categories of healthcare, personal care and wellness. But the strength and integrity of any platform should be judged by several criteria:

  • reality of the changing healthcare marketplace
  • your organization’s culture, passion, business direction and greatest strengths
  • promises you can genuinely deliver to all internal and external audiences
  • what meaningful needs you see in the marketplace that you can uniquely address


The bottom line is that your strategic brand platform (properly shared across the organization) gives you the essential foundation needed to consistently express your brand (and increase your ROI) in everything you say and do. Without it, there is absolutely no way for your organization to consistently manage your brand nor influence the perceptions and behaviors among the people who matter most to its success.




Related Posts:


Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 10.48.32 AM

Just read this article, and it’s a perfect post for a Friday. Should motivate you to get out for some exercise this weekend.

Think you’ll be too tired? Or are you feeling a bit stiff? Sorry, but if Don Pellmann can set his fifth age-group world record, you can at least get out for a walk.

Read this NY Times article – you’ll be inspired and it should put a big smile on your face.

Here are a few shots from the slide show accompanying the article, which is about this 100-year old world record setting athlete. Go Don!!!

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 10.49.45 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.04.25 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 10.50.33 AM

Related Posts:


Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 9.13.32 AM

There are many opportunities today for health system and hospital marketers to create new partnerships and platforms to more meaningfully connect and engage with their audiences. In fact, as the industry evolves to more a population health management and consumer-driven future, these opportunities should move up on the list of healthcare marketer priorities.

Our client Orlando Health is the exclusive provider of medical care for the new MLS franchise Orlando City Soccer Club. And their logo (the one Trajectory created as part of our major rebranding initiative), is emblazoned on the front of their jerseys.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 10.25.48 AM

The relationship (cultivated by John Marzano, VP, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer) reflects brand activation at its best. But it gets better. Orlando Health is now able to reach an expanded fan base through Xbox and its just released FIFA 2016 MLS Soccer Video game. Orlando Health is featured on the MLS cover as well as its own personalized team cover.

These efforts bring the Orlando Health brand to life in ways that:

– help distinguish it in a crowded marketplace
– fit with the core values of the Orlando Health brand
– create assets that offer long term benefits to the organization
– create real emotional engagement with communities through their passion for soccer
– ultimately, make it easier for consumers to believe in the Orlando Health brand.

Last but not least, leveraging the relationship with soccer and its pro athletes leads to new business for Orlando Health’s sports med program – whose mantra is “Get Treated Like A Pro.”

Very cool all around!!

Related Posts:


According to market research and consulting firm Grand View Research, the global market for organic cosmetics and personal care will reach USD $15.98 billion by the year 2020, and will continue to grow at a CAGR (compound average growth rate) of 9.8% –– which trumps all other industry categories.

Likewise, Kline Group estimated that the much larger natural cosmetics market hit $30 billion last year and also predicts that CAGR will also grow at around 10% up to 2019. Note that both of these statistics were published in this article on

With this kind of demand (driven by consumers taking a more proactive approach to their health and wellness), its enticing to want to get in on the action. So how do you retain the equity of your cosmetics, skin care or personal brand while creating a fresh “healthier” face to stay relevant. Here are 6 tips based on our years of unlocking brand potential (not only here at Trajectory, but also as client-side marketers):

1. Don’t run from who you are. Unless your brand is stagnating and in decline, there are equities (both strategic and tactical) that your brand has built over time. And you need to treat them preciously, because they’re really hard to come by. So your first priority should be to refresh what made you famous in the first place.

2. Deliver on points of parity. Success requires more than differentiation. There are certain must-have’s that customers are looking for. In this case, they’re the increasingly important attributes of natural and organic. And no matter how compelling your points of differentiation are — you can’t win unless your brand is perceived to be “good enough” to deliver on these point of parity (POP) dimensions. So sure up what you can.

3. Leverage Your Strengths. One key to success is to focus on being brilliant at the things you’re good at, rather than worrying about your weaknesses. Hopefully, these strengths align with what customers are hungry for. But focusing on your strengths does not mean ignoring your weak points. Rather, seek to reduce or neutralize them.

4. Seek out customer opinion. Elicit the feedback of your best customers. Which is easily done today given the ability to engage in an ongoing two-way dialogue. They’ll provide the most insight into the opportunities for your brand. Find out what’s sacred? What’s flexible? What can go away? And then beyond your brand, what are their needs? What are their daily pain points? What kind of help are they searching for within your industry?

5. See Inspiration From Outside Your Market. We always recommend (and have a disciplined process for) clients to seek out inspiration beyond their direct competitors. If you want to be distinctive and relevant for your customers, you need to defy convention. And the way to do this is to look beyond competitors who tend to look, sound and act alike.

6. Re-visit the brand experience. Step back to take a broad view of the entire experience prospects and customers have with your brand. Map their journey from search, to selection, to purchase to performance to post purchase experience. And then overlay this with all of the elements that make up your experience, i.e. people, product, place, price, promotion. Based on your positioning and promises, add, augment, or erase steps as necessary.

Every brand owner needs to look forward by paying attention to culture, shifts in attitudes and values and the competitive landscape that they need to react to. In this case, it’s the pursuit of natural and organic. But at the same time, do not forget to look back to what made you successful (and your consumers successful) in the first place. This is often the smartest starting point to retain your equity while you fill in the gaps to stay relevant.



Related Posts:


Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 1.03.57 PM

Note to beauty care marketers – the more we learn about certain ingredients that are common in skincare and cosmetic products (from Sulfates to Parabens to Benzoyl Peroxide), the more we want to avoid them all together! Rather than give up our entire beauty regimen, we’re reading labels and making more natural choices to bypass toxic ingredients.

Living in a generation post a chemical revolution that allowed Americans to have whatever they want, whenever they want for marginal prices, millennials are reacting to the lack of transparency on potentially hazardous ingredients that women in our mother’s generations didn’t even bat an eye out. My mom often jokes about how they would chase the DDT truck that drove through their neighborhood spraying for bugs. For real! But, times are changing, and we are moving forward with the kind of knowledge that our parent’s did not have regarding the effects of synthetic ingredients on our bodies.

In a recent study, surveyors found that over half of women (54%) are checking labels on their skincare products and buying accordingly. The study also highlights that the skincare segment is the most important for products that include natural ingredients within the category of beauty. Interestingly enough, women are willing to pay more for the peace of mind that natural and safe ingredients bring. This factor marks a departure from the trend of brands racing to be the lowest price point. As with the food industry, it is a positive change to note that consumers are willing to dish out a little extra cash for quality, safety and  product integrity.

Out of this trend, the beauty industry has exploded with brands catering to every Green consciousness from organic beauty products sourced from natural ingredients to probiotic skincare to products suitable for vegan beauties. Besides the obvious impact of the products we use on our bodies, a movement is growing for companies with ethical practices who focus on lowering the carbon footprint of their factories.

As organic, natural, and green skin care moves from the fringes to the main stream, the market is open to companies that can get it right. The consumers clamoring for these products aren’t green market hippies; they are educated professionals willing to spend some cash on a well-conceived, respectful product that works. The spoils will go to the brands that can strike the balance between all natural, luxury and efficacy.

Related Posts:


Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 12.31.11 PM

Brand strategy and activation firm Trajectory co-president Randi Brody is quoted in this article on – 4 ways the nutricosmetics market is maturing.

For personal care marketers, three important takeaways include:

1. Given that health and wellness is booming, positioning around “beauty supplements” is limiting and might be leaving money on the table. Aging isn’t just about how you look, but about how you feel.

2. By using ingredients that can help consumers thrive physically while looking their best, nutricosmetics (as well as close-in categories like skin care) may have a more far-reaching appeal beyond anti-aging to “healthy aging.”

3. Beyond the formulations themselves, companies taking an overall healthy lifestyle approach to their marketing (integrating how we live, what we consume and how it affects our overall health, vitality and appearance) may also have an edge.

Net: there has never been a better time for companies to seize the opportunity to assist consumers in their quest to live healthier and better lives!


Related Posts:


Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 1.40.48 PM

You might be saying to yourself – what the heck does Tesla have to do with us? We’re in the healthcare business, they’re in the car business. Tesla’s a new and exciting brand. We’re not. Tesla can be featured in articles like this on – Another Quarter, Another Retail Refresh for Tesla. We can’t.

But that’s where you’re wrong. Who carved the hospital marketing rules in stone? Who pre-determined that it must consist of seemingly interchangeable print ads and TV spots featuring doctors and smiling patients, and mentions of multiple awards, world class care close to home and foreign-sounding technologies and procedures.

Now is the ideal time for hospital marketers to spread their marketing wings. Consumers are actively shopping for their healthcare, and new retail and technology competitors are shattering traditional boundary lines and practices. As a result, expectations are changing and hospital marketers need to step up to the plate to maintain their relevance.

Consider what makes brands like Tesla stand out. Beyond being driven by a compelling vision, they’re brought to life in ways that are distinguishing, interesting, empowering, surprising and delighting. And these characteristics don’t change based on the category. The rules, and expectations, are the same across the board.

Which brings us back to what hospital marketers can learn from Tesla. It’s implementing a twice-yearly retail refresh to generate buzz, attract shoppers and offer something new to existing drivers. The idea is less about selling product and more about shoppers spending time with the brand. Ultimately, Tesla’s goal is to build a luxury lifestyle brand (a la BMW, Porsche and Ferrari) by pushing expensive clothing and accessories and deepening relationships with its affluent customers.

Clearly, we’re not suggesting you introduce your own line of designer hospital clothing and accessories. But we are strongly suggesting that you can bring your hospital brand to life in more distinguishing, interesting, empowering, surprising and delighting ways. To get you started:

1. View your world through the eyes of the customer, and how you can better their lives, rather than your organization, offering and brand. Thinking like this provides a path to a much deeper relationship (a la Tesla), beyond one driven by functional benefits and which tends to be relatively shallow and vulnerable.

2. Look outside at external role models. Based on your brand purpose and goals, start by reviewing a number of different product categories, and identify the brands that focus on the same or similar brand purpose dimensions or have tackled the same kinds of challenges. Which best interpret and deliver the elements that your brand is striving for? Finding role models almost always leads to fresh thinking and insights.

3. Widen your lens to consider the entire ecosystem of potential platforms and partnerships available to advance your customers beyond what you can do alone and beyond the means of your competitors. Look across the entire customer journey, and consider with whom can you partner, what can you help customers accomplish and what are the environments that you can own to make this happen.

For the right audience, your brand can be as exciting as Tesla!



Related Posts:


Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 1.02.26 PM

As a brand strategy and activation firm focused on creating new energy for brands across healthcare, personal care, wellness and lifestyle, we’re into brands, products and behaviors that help us to get well, stay well and live well.

So here’s a helpful article on beautyandwellbeing.comTop 10 healthy snacks – to help you create your own healthy burst of energy.

After all, we want to help keep our clients as healthy as possible!



Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 9.04.14 AM

As a brand strategy and activation firm focused on healthcare, personal care, wellness and lifestyle, our Trajectory team members are obsessed with brands that help us to get healthy, feel healthy and live healthy.

From a personal story that you’re drawn to, to packaging that simply and beautifully attracts, to a lifestyle brand that creates a vibrant and interactive community within its users, we can’t get enough of our favorite brands.  This week, VP of Business Development, Rick Zaniboni, lists three of his favs.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 4.51.12 PM

I love Kuhl, a terrific outdoor lifestyle brand that delivers well-crafted, durable and stylish outdoor apparel. The company was founded by three skiers and a rock climber and has built up an impressive line of rugged, yet stylish pants, shirts, jackets, sweaters and outerwear for like-minded and aspiring adventurers. Khul has also created an impressive digital and social brand platform that authentically reinforces their brand promise of “Born in The Mountains.” Visually stunning, is easy-to-shop and home to multiple role model bloggers, gear reviews, trip reports and content built around “Mountain Culture” for a community of like-minded, stylish adventurers.

Izze – All Natural Flavored Juice Beverage

I drank my first Izze at a Chipotle. I was drawn to the glass bottle, vibrant color of the juice and simple labeling.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 4.56.03 PM

Crisp, sweet and satisfying, I loved that first Izze even more than my first burrito bowl. I quickly scanned the ingredients after my first swig to see if this would a one time guilty pleasure or genuine, healthy alternative beverage. To my surprise the ingredients read: Fruit Juice Blend (Filtered Water, Apple, White Grape, Orange and Grapefruit Juice Concentrate, Sparkling Water, Citric Acid, Gum Arabic, Red Radish Juice (Color). No High Fructose Corn Syrup? Not even Cain Sugar? And no artificial food coloring? They use Red Radish Juice to color their Grapefruit Izze! How cool. Izze is a winner and now a healthy favorite of my entire family.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 5.02.50 PM

Another huge winner in my book is Chipotle, not only because they introduced me to Izze, but for numerous other reasons. Primarily because my mouth and my tummy love them! The food tastes fresh and nutritious and I don’t feel like a pig after eating a giant Carnitas Burrito Bowl. I feel satisfied. I believe this all stems from Chipotle’s promise to deliver “Food with Integrity” and the fact that, as they say “Real Ingredients Just Taste Better.” They serve only 100% non-GMO, fresh, local produce and meat from real farms that raise their livestock in open space and don’t inject them with all kinds of hormones and antibiotics. Chipotle not only tops my list in the Fast Casual dining space, my daughter and I will travel well beyond our intended path just to dine at one, it is iconic in my mind as one of the few brands that live its promise or a true “Brand with Integrity”.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.26.14 PM

They are the most fundamental of healthcare branding questions:

• What does your healthcare organization stand for?
• How is it different?
• Why should people care?

With everything in healthcare changing around you (as well as your customers and prospects), a strategically grounded brand platform keeps you on course by guiding your organization’s thinking, communications and behavior.  Essentially, everything you say and do as an organization. Without it, you’re like a ship whose lost its rudder – drifting without clear purpose and direction.

If you’re into sports, and analogies, think of the brand platform as a football playbook. Built upon the strength of your personnel, the personality of your staff and your past successes, the playbook (platform) contains descriptions of all the strategies and plays used by your team, issued to personnel to study and memorize before the season begins (or when new people join the organization).

Imagine the consequences of not having this playbook. Team performance would be chaotic and haphazard. And the team itself would be unrecognizable to fans. Same without a brand platform, though not as immediately obvious. Though the outcome would be the same.

While elements of a brand platform tend to differ, what can not differ is the rigger with which it’s developed. It must be grounded in:

• the discovery of your organization’s true purpose
• its going-forward business direction
• its guiding values and true voice
• the context of the changing healthcare marketplace
• promises you’re capable of delivering to all internal and external audiences

Everything you say and do inside and outside of your organization – through your people, products and services and experiences – builds an impression. Either a positive one or a negative one. And the only way to ensure that you’re all marching from the same playbook is through the creation and deployment of your brand platform.






Related Posts: