Brand Strategist
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CVS Health

 

CVS Health

 
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Approach: When picking one or the other doesn't work, try "and."

Skills used: Sub-brand building, experience strategy, brand repositioning, brief writing

Situation

When something is wrong with someone, traditional medicine and its purveyors believe in the mantra “there’s a pill for everything.” And while pills may offer a solution for symptoms, they often don't solve the root problem. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and CVS appears no different than its competitors.

To its credit, though, CVS Health changed its name from CVS Pharmacy back in 2014 to reflect its new mission to provide for healthy lifestyles. Stores stopped carrying tobacco products and food with trans fats, though they still maintained a focus on its pharmacy.

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But health encapsulates more than prescription drugs or over the counter medicines. And while CVS is trying to walk the walk of a sincere health brand, we felt that they had a ways to go. They were making some of the right moves, but not enough of them. If they wanted to be perceived as an advocate for personal health instead of just a pharmacy, they needed to prove it and we found the doorway in.

 Whether someone's in good health and looking to improve or frustrated with their symptoms, the start of their journey looks very similar. There's a lot of testing and review involved.

Whether someone's in good health and looking to improve or frustrated with their symptoms, the start of their journey looks very similar. There's a lot of testing and review involved.

My "aha" moment

Our research also showed us that the consumer health journey often incorporates both traditional and alternative medicine and frequently features opportunities for people to experiment with health fads or trends (like The Whole 30 diet, going vegan, or face masks) to improve or augment an aspect of their health beyond their current health.

Cultural trend - A simpler way to live

At the same time as CVS is trying to change how it interacts with the public, Americans are simplifying. Instead of seeking more, they have slimmed down to their staples in an attempt to make that better. In health, it’s no different: They’re pursuing alternatives such as clean eating and self care as opposed to taking the 4+ pills that 50 percent of Americans take daily. Plus, 1 in 3 Americans are now interested in alternative medicine to reinforce their holistic, (and often minimalistic) approach to personal health care.

Tension

The medicinal worlds do not play well together. It’s either/or. You either play in the world of alternative medicine OR you favor traditional medicine. No brand is offering the common sense, but comprehensive balance in between.

Target - The Health DIYer

The health DIYer is younger, proactive about their health and more likely to investigate than take what’s handed to them. They consider their doctors one of many useful resources, but define their health on their own terms. They may experiment with health-related fads, but their bullshit detectors are on full alert. They hate feeling duped or lost, so making smart, informed decisions is incredibly important to them. Being able to answer “why” is the key to their trust.

Business strategy

Create a sub-brand for CVS that does both: it augments traditional medicine with evidence-based alternative medicine without discounting either.

Sub-brand values

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The experience

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"Be Bot" Alexa Video Demo

This is a visual demo of an Alexa Skill called Be Bot. It's job is to help users isolate the cause of symptoms to better give better solutions that you can find at Being by CVS.

 

What I learned from this project

There is a lot of dangerous and incorrect medical info out there. Being able to distinguish what can help you and what can seriously hurt you is complicated and people could use a guide.

The team

Alyssa Fea, CBM
Carole Trickey, ST (hi!)
Jass Sosa, ST
Angelica Ortiz, XD
Dylan Tucson, AD
Brendan Howard, CW