THE FEELING GOOD CYCLE: How to help consumers make healthy choices

by | Oct 16, 2023 | Insights

5 MIN READ

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Our recent research showed us that the majority of people don’t feel confident in their health choices. Some have lost faith in public institutions and others are inundated with misinformation online, unsure of what to trust.

Consumers feel motivated to improve, but they don’t have the confidence to take action (DEFINING HEALTH & WELLNESS, AND THE BARRIERS TO CHANGE, 2023).

So, how can you empower your consumers with the confidence they need to take control of their health? It’s all about education

The role of confidence and feeling good in decision-making

Research shows that success is more closely linked with confidence than it is with competence. That means confident people are more likely to make positive health choices (Source).

This goes hand in hand with fear’s role in decision-making. For the most part, we fear what we don’t know. And anyone who has suffered from anxiety can tell you that enough fear of what could be can seriously impede your decision-making. Psychologists call this tendency of fearing the unknown “Intolerance of Uncertainty” (Source).

Understanding access challenges

To understand access challenges, we have to broaden our understanding of what it means to be “underinsured.” [Check out our recent blog post: “The Access Myth: Why having insurance doesn’t ensure access to healthcare” for more on this topic]

MOST ARE COVERED

90% of adults under 45 have insurance of some sort, according to the respondents of our study. Despite this, those same respondents still had trouble accessing healthcare — citing time and cost as the primary barriers that keep people from pursuing health and wellness services.

“Healthcare coverage doesn’t equate to healthcare access in 2023. That’s why healthcare marketers need to shift their focus from obtaining healthcare to access and education.”

Increasing consumer awareness of available support programs

So, education is the goal. Educate your consumer on your brand’s specialty (e.g. Women’s Health) so they’re not tricked by misinformation. And educate your consumer about the options available to them! What can they get for a lower cost or time expense? What is covered by their insurance?

Working against misinformation

How can you combat never-ending misinformation online? One morsel of truth at a time. Let’s say you work in health foods. Consider the access to food information that your target audience has.

What does your health-concerned audience already know about your food product? What do they know about nutrition and health in general? What do they know about nutrition labels of food packages?  If eating healthier matters to them, teach them how to identify what is healthy. 

If you provide uniquely fresh foods, make that benefit clear. Why is fresh better? If you provide versions of food that make preparation easier, simplifying the path to healthy eating, teach your audience ways to use it! Recipes, videos, infographics. Partner with content creators and influencers who share your values when you can, so your audience can be educated by a friendly face.

Don’t assume that what seems obvious to you, someone entrenched in your industry, will be obvious to your audience. Teaching with clarity and humility is the best way to garner trust. 

Lack of confidence in understanding healthcare

An educated consumer is a confident consumer. And a confident consumer is empowered to make healthy choices for themselves. 

In The 3rd Eye’s recent study, we learned that our respondents wanted to improve their health, but most don’t have the confidence to get started.

There’s a need for greater understanding due to complex coverage and access, and health and wellness brands can help fulfill that need. 

How can you do that for your consumers?

  1. Take a step back and listen to the communities that make up your target audience. What is stopping them from accessing healthcare benefits? Our respondents — Hispanic, Black, and White, non-Hispanic adults under 45 — said time and cost. Others may face transportation barriers, for instance (which cut into time and cost!)
  2. Consider where they get their information. We found the first source is Google, and other than that, most respondents sought advice from friends and partners rather than medical professionals. So not only are they contending with complex coverage, but misinformation has likely been thrown in the mix.
  3. Create content that educates against misinformation and instructs that consumer on how to alleviate those barriers. Provide information that simplifies misunderstood health and wellness knowledge. Let’s say you’re a women’s health brand focusing on family planning. You learn that your consumers want to get their yearly pap smears, but are often just too busy. Educate them on 1) its purpose, process, and importance; and 2) how they can easily schedule an appointment through their insurance.

Shift towards intangible health benefits and uncertainty in achieving them

“While a majority of people are motivated to improve their health, it can be difficult to gauge improvements without measurable goals, especially when you aren’t sure where to turn.”

How can we address this? Give your consumers measurable goals. 

The fear surrounding a health concern combined with the anxiety of trying to fix it is a perfect storm for decision-freeze. This gets even worse if we constantly feel like when we do try, nothing works. 

So, give your consumers a way to track their improvement. Technology helps with this. A digital platform to accompany your brand — whether product or service based — can help people feel accomplished. With the fitness app Classpass, for instance, you can set a weekly goal for your number of classes. When you’re near the goal, the app notifies you that you’re almost there. Reaching a fitness or wellness goal every week increases your confidence each and every time.

Health and Wellness brands can help consumers confront that fear and face their health concerns by instilling confidence through education!


Key Takeaways

  1. Confidence is more important than capacity when it comes to success.
  2. Consumers aren’t feeling confident in their health choices. Why? They’re faced with misinformation on one hand and confusing coverage on the other.
  3. Education makes consumers feel empowered, aware, and confident. 
  4. Brands should recognize the importance of education, support, and confidence in making healthy choices — empowering their audience through both education in the brand specialty and guides to accessing health and wellness resources they have available. 

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