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With DIY health on the rise comes a plethora of healthcare companies offering a range of generic medications across therapeutic areas—wrapped in a veil of aesthetically inviting, simple-to-navigate experiences. Many of these companies share a vision centered around enabling patient choice and making access to prescription medications easy and approachable.
How do they realize that vision? Rather than focusing on the product, what these brands truly stand for is outstanding service:
All while taking something that used to look like this:
And transforming it to this:
Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Thirty Madison introduces itself as a human-first healthcare company that is powering access to affordable specialized healthcare for people living with chronic conditions.
Combining telehealth with personalized treatment plans, Thirty Madison’s offerings reduce the patient burden so much that a patient can receive their prescription, treatment and support without ever leaving their couch.
The Thirty Madison portfolio includes:
A quick and easy prescription process
Skipping the pharmacy with doorstep delivery
Support throughout the treatment experience via access to doctors and pharmacists
Ro's mission is to be a patient's first call for all of their healthcare needs. Ro believes that in 10 years “more healthcare services will be provided online or at home than in a doctor's office or pharmacy.”
The way they are working toward future-proofing healthcare: a vertically integrated primary care platform that enables patient-centric services from diagnosis, to delivery of medication, to ongoing care.
Of Ro’s direct-to-consumer offerings, Rory and Roman offer a range of women’s and men’s health products, respectively. However, instead of leading with the product range—they brand Rory and Roman “digital health clinics” and often refer to them as “healthcare without the waiting rooms.” The product is secondary to the experience of receiving the prescription and taking the medication.
One additional differentiator for Ro is its interlacing of generic product offerings with a select few branded products (Plenity® for weight management and Latisse® for eyelash growth).
Founded in 2017, Hims & Hers Health, Inc. has significantly expanded in the past few years. Once focused on hair loss and erectile dysfunction disorder, now it spans across primary care, psychiatry, women’s health, dermatology—along with over-the-counter supplements and personal care offerings.
New customers are prompted to “start a free visit” upon arrival, and they are met with messaging around:
The secret sauce: approachable services
These above examples are just a few of the many brands that have essentially created an enhanced product out of services. What these brands lack in Rx brand recognition, they make up for in the customer experience.
What can we glean from the experiences they create? What is special about their services?
In summary, what all of these brands do well is:
Make it easy: Reduce the number of customer-dependent steps in the process (often taking undesired tasks off the patient’s plate)
Make it enjoyable: Transform the remaining steps to familiar and rewarding interactions
Set expectations: Provide upfront transparency in pricing, along with savings that truly function like online retail coupons
Here are some examples that show this approach in action:
Making opt-in easy and similar to everyday text conversations—using visuals and emojis, and by providing one question at a time.
A dermatology prescription product next to a dark spot corrector? The only difference: the “buy now” button is replaced by “start visit” on the Rx product.
Amazon Prime-like Shipping
Shipping time frames that compete with Amazon—plus, the additional benefit of discretion.
Demystifying the ability to save on prescriptions via familiar coupon codes.
Trial Periods and Subscription Pricing
A 30-day trial for $5? Yes, please. Not to mention the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly how much you will pay every month even before the consultation.
The wrapper is just as important
While this new generation of Rx products revolves around service—not unlike product commercialization—great services without the right branding may not reach or connect with the intended audience.
The “ease” and “approachability” of the experience is communicated through warm and inviting brandmarks, optimistic color palettes and packaging akin to luxury skincare.
Branding unlocks the opportunity to depict the core benefits, purpose and personality of service-first brands across each interaction: from the first impression to unboxing.
The service-first model is one we expect will take off in the years to come and one that will continue raising customer expectations around healthcare services.
Now more than ever, branded Rx products have an opportunity to elevate their services to anticipate customer needs and expectations.