Joe: Is there any example you could share of a client that really benefited from that brand camp? To the point that you could share, what was the strategy statement, just to put some flesh on, or is that confidential?
Graham: No. I can share one that I love dearly actually. You’ll have to forgive me. It’s an American example. But there’s a company in America, it was a startup, called One Medical. And essentially, it was founded on the idea that the primary healthcare system is essentially the gateway into the entire health. If you can fix primary care, you can fix a lot of the rest of the healthcare system because primary care doctors are so critical in terms of funneling folks into this.
Graham: And so One Medical came to us. They had just had a leadership change. So they hired a bunch of … They poached like a new CEO, a new head doctor, a new head of strategy, I think even a new CFO, from Stanford health where all of those folks had been working, and a new CMO who is the former CMO that we’d worked with from Nest, which is the smart thermostat that Google acquired.
Graham: And anyway., they showed up to a brand camp and the problem that they were having was they had done a couple things really, really well. They had actually pretty expansive growth. And the couple things that they’d done really well is, one, they were really rooted in convenience and they were kind of like, okay, well, instead of our doctors being in some far away place, often if you have a doctor’s appointment, it’s a huge pain in the middle of a work day, for example, you have to set it up days or weeks in advance, you’re calling people, you have to drive out to the middle of nowhere. And so they had amazing locations that were often in the center of very urban areas. So really right next to your office, was often the vibe.
Graham: And the other thing is that the experience of it, they decided to really change. So they were known as kind of the spa of doctor’s offices. You’d go in and there’s cucumber water and there’s just a really … It smells nice. It’s a little bit of Virgin America of flight experience kind of. It felt a little bit nicer that in that sense. And that was really good to get them in the door because it felt inherently different. And you knew the experience was different.
Graham: The problem was it really undermined the breadth of their ambition. And the reason that they brought on folks from Stanford Health is that they had a thought they wanted to genuinely revolutionize primary healthcare in America. And so when we got into brand camp, an example of sort of how to merge the audience in and then make or build a point of view that everyone was aligned around, was as we started to dig into the mindset of the audience, we referred to them … Basically, these are folks who had the ability to Uber Eats anything or call an Uber with the push of a button, or DoorDash, or Postmates, anything to themselves. They were just used to everything being really on demand.
Graham: Healthcare just was never that to them. And so we referred to these folks as the inpatient patient. The idea that healthcare was a drive out to what people called hill hill, which was essentially this … It’s a literal part of the Bay Area. But some far away place to do this thing is insane. And the other truth of this audience is that, I mean, they’re humans, they’re messy, fallible people. We lose pieces of paper all the time.
Graham: And the insight that came from this rigorous discussion with their entire C-suite team, who did this inside of the offices as it could be, was healthcare is kind of only as good as its ability to meet patients where they are. Patients are not some … You can’t expect human beings, who are also in many cases quite sick, to follow all of these perfect things and therefore to get … And a lot of people, they fall in the cracks of the medical system. We’ve seen this all over the place.
Graham: And so instead, the ability to meet these kind of messy and impatient folks exactly where they are changes the entire dynamic and improves the quality of healthcare. And so we landed on this really cool point of view, which we just called real life care. And the idea was that if you can build the healthcare system, instead of you being a patient and having to go and work in a healthcare system that was built around servicing the efficiency of doctors and healthcare professionals, instead, if the healthcare system could be built around the patient, it changes everything.
Graham: And so the idea of a spa-like experience and actually waiting rooms that you actually don’t mind waiting in, is an amazing experience. There was the convenience of the locations as part of that. And then they had same day bookings that were just a really kind of beautiful user experience. But then they were one of the first to do now normalized, but one of the first to do online video where you can talk to a doctor at 3:00 AM, when you’re going down your WebMD, medical wormhole, freaking out, thinking that your runny nose is terminal or whatever.
Graham: And there’s kind of a sense of that was already the stuff that they existed in real life care. They did that. But became really cool is the way that it starts to … Once that group gets aligned and everybody, then the tech team is going and they’re building even more kind of clean user experiences that are built around real life and making it easier to take an image of your documents to upload them, and it’ll automatically turn them into text and go.
Graham: And on flip side, on the marketing side, even from a design standpoint, if you go to the One Medical website, you can see a lot of really intimate human touches or we did the initial launch campaign. We had two campaigns that came out of this real life care thing. The first one was the world’s most contextual, hyper contextual thing, where the vibe was sort of getting sick is easy, but getting care shouldn’t be. And so you would show up in Times Square and be like, lot of tourists crawling around here, lots of diseases too, or something like that. And basically no matter where you were, or you’d be at the airport, lot of things airborne around here sort of thing, which is kind of triggering now in a post COVID world. But all that it was, it was kind of meeting you in your real life and speaking to you as a human.
Graham: And then the next wave of that, which was a campaign I loved even more, was kind of just a series of uncomfortable questions that no doctor, nobody would ever, no healthcare. A lot of healthcare companies are very stock imagery. They all kind of look and feel the same. It’s like old, happy, healthy people having a good laugh and telling you to thrive. But this was instead it would ask how much screen time should my kids spend on their phone? Or is it weird to feel sad all the time? It was asking a lot of real and uncomfortable questions. And it doing so …
Graham: Anyway, it was just really cool. Real life care sounds very simple on its surface. But sometimes that simple provocation that has attention baked in is a perfect way to make decisions on a daily basis. And so it’s really cool because the idea of real life care implies that not all care is built for real life. And then the question becomes the constant test in your head when you’re coming up with either creative idea, or informing the product, or making a speech at the CEO level is how might we ensure that this feels like it’s really rooted in real life, on the one hand, or that it’s pushing off of the sometimes inhuman ways that the healthcare industry can act at it’s worst.
Graham: And so anyway, that was kind of, I think, a cool example of something that really infiltrated the entirety of the company. But if we didn’t get that leadership alignment around that one idea, it probably would’ve been an okay marketing campaign, as opposed to a holistic company transformation, which is at its best, what a lot of these … And honestly, since nobody cares about ads anymore anyway, then you kind of need to do a full brand transformation and not just an advertising, a new advertising campaign. I don’t know a lot of companies that would thrive off of just an ad refresh right now.