Healthy is the New Green – Panel Recap

During the DHLB “Healthy is the New Green” session at Advertising Week New York, a panel of experts from Plum Organics, Chobani, Westin Hotels, and EmblemHealth opened up about their strategy and techniques for responding to consumer demand for healthy options.

The panelists shed light on what it means to be an innovator in their respective fields, and three core messages stood out:

1. Consumers are smarter than ever before. Listen to them.

The days of one-way communication are over. Social media and the availability of information on the internet has changed the way consumers seek information. Your target is always posting on social media with their thoughts and concerns, and they want to be heard. So, listen. Authenticity is akin to transparency in the eyes of today’s tech-savvy, sophisticated consumer. According to Susan Manber, EVP, Brand Strategy & Insight, Digitas Health LifeBrands, Millennials “demand corporate transparency now more than ever.”

2. Millennials and Baby-Boomers are different, yet strangely similar.

How can two groups of people, who appear in stark contrast to each other, ever be considered in the same marketing tactic? It seems illogical. In some ways, it is. But, according to J. David Mahder, VP Marketing and Communications at EmblemHealth, one of the largest, fastest-growing, and quite active social media groups are…Boomers. In addition to their social media efficiency, Boomers and Millennials are perhaps the two most health conscious groups. Millennials grew up counting calories and learned the significance of a proper diet early in life. Boomers, later in their life stage, monitor their diet and frequently active to care for and prolong their health.

3. Demographics are not an end all, be all. You may want to consider analyzing your target from a behavioral or psychological point of view.

Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels and Resorts, mentioned  that consumers should be viewed in life stages—not an age group or a region. Ben Mand, SVP Brand Marketing and Innovation pointed out when you sell baby food, you need to consider a parents’ frame of mind at 1 month and then again at 9 months. When you take the consumers frame of mind into consideration and apply it to a life stage you have a better chance at capturing what they need to hear, feel, think and ultimately get them to DO.

Healthy may be the new green. But, innovative thinking is anything but black and white.

The panel was held on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Times Center in New York City. To watch a replay of the panel, click here. Panelists included:

  • Ben Mand, Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing & Innovation, Plum Organics
  • Matt Sherman, Senior Director of Brand Marketing, Chobani
  • J. David Mahder, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, EmblemHealth
  • Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts & Le Meridien
  • MODERATOR: Susan Manber, EVP, Brandy Strategy