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Teladoc Health: Building Purpose-Led Consumer and Employee Experiences

Every year, Prophet surveys thousands of consumers and asks, “Which brands play an important role in your life at why?” And every year we crunch the numbers, synthesize their feedback and produce a ranking and insight-rich report for business leaders to leverage as they transform and grow their businesses through innovative customer and employee experiences.

This year’s survey focused on questions about the “head” and “heart” of consumers. While companies that won over the “heads” of consumers brought pragmatism and convenience, “heart” winners found ways to connect with them on an emotional level. The top brands – aka relentlessly relevant all-stars – did both.

In the 2022 Prophet Brand Relevance Index® (BRI) leading healthcare entities—pharma, providers, suppliers—gained traction and awareness for bringing innovative solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pharma giants like Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson grew in name recognition and brand value as they stepped up to the world stage with life-saving vaccines. Non-traditional care platforms also gained traction as consumers opted for telemedicine experiences.

But which healthcare organization was the most relevant to the lives of 13,500 U.S. consumers? Teladoc Health, the multinational telemedicine and virtual care healthcare company, ranked as the #1 healthcare organization and #21 overall.

The pandemic forced the adoption of virtual care and Teladoc Health’s newly transformed experience was there to meet the moment – providing whole-person digital-first solutions to patients. And with gaining momentum, more and more consumers have begun to embrace digital native health platforms. These platforms are rapidly scaling to become not only the digital care continuum for patients but the care continuum. Traditional sectors of healthcare are drawing inspiration from modern digital healthcare players like Teladoc Health who are taking center stage (and top spots in rankings).

Stephany Verstraete, chief marketing and engagement officer at Teladoc Health, joined Prophet’s brand leadership team in the Prophet BRI webinar to share her take on the organization’s rise in consumer relevancy.

What was the focus of Teladoc Health’s brand in 2021 and is that changing as we step further into 2022?

The pandemic created this unique moment where Teladoc became relentlessly relevant – hitting both on the needs of the ‘head’ and the ‘heart.’

We’ve reached an inflection in the adoption curve of virtual care. Which is something that is pretty rare in the world of healthcare. And I think that really stemmed from being there in the moment of people’s needs. In 2020, suddenly something they had taken for granted – access to a doctor – was compromised. And fundamentally, it transformed the relationship they had with our brand, from being largely “head” dominated, focused on convenience and value, to increasingly meeting those needs of the “heart” side as we became a place that they could safely turn to, speak to, without leaving their home.

How do you ensure brand relevance is at the core of building the brand and customer experiences?

We have been digesting our recognition on the list for the first time and are using the brand relevance construct to put a framework around what we are focused on this year.

People naturally gravitate to Teladoc for the “head” needs – like simplification and transparency – and how it can provide individuals in system-centric environments with experiences that are more “person-centric.” As we think about moving forward, we want to focus on how to make those deeper focuses on the “heart” as we deliver innovative experiences. We want to change the way people think about the Teladoc Health experience – from just sick care to healthcare. This brand thinking is transformative for how we go to market, from a marketing perspective, all the way through how we infuse it in our experiences.

Outside of marketing, what do you do to drive relevance in other aspects of the business? How do you inspire the rest of your organization around a brand?

Getting your employees to be power users makes them your greatest brand evangelists. They are the first line of feedback that we incorporate into our experience.

Fundamentally, the Teladoc Health team is inspired by our mission of enabling all people everywhere to live their healthiest lives. Our 5,000 global employees are really the power users of our services. And I would tell you, as a marketer, who has not spent a career in healthcare, this is unique.

We are very intentional about keeping consumers front and center in all of our strategic conversations. For a lot of our DTC marketers, this would seem like an obvious statement but as you get into a healthcare context, it’s really important. For example, we start every strategic meeting with a story from one of our members. It really has a powerful impact on how to keep us grounded in our company’s true north. That is the experience we are delivering and the people we are helping. We are defining a category and something for consumers that is new. When I talk about the brand, it is critical because our brand relevance is still being formed for a lot of consumers.

It is rare to see a study of this kind that can parse out innovative and traditional brands in a way that is relevant and meaningful for all of them. That’s something that we’ve really appreciated.


FINAL THOUGHTS

The Prophet BRI serves as a roadmap for building relevance with consumers, the type of relevance that leads to business growth. Contact our team to learn how to apply the insights from the 2022 Index to your organization.

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