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Home > Feature Articles > Health and Well Being Strategies

What Health Consumers Want

Marketing green solutions to health consumers requires knowing the economic and behavior differences. This research points the way.

Find green business solutions
green home furnishings use recycled materials and minimal VOCs It's about time that the health practice sector catches up with the health benefits of going green...and sustainable systems. And there are indications that the personal benefits of going green are finally being noticed by health care practitioners. Green hospitals, green doctors offices, green chemistry...all these inroads will make a difference. But it still matters who is sitting in that chair!

But the biggest impact will come from consumers looking for greener, more sustainable health choices.

An article published by Harvard Business about "What Health Consumers Want" points out some of the revealing indicators that will drive this movement to green health behavior.

In a survey about consumers' medical needs, Caroline Calkins and John Sviokla of Diamond Consultants found four broad groups of consumers with distinctly different health/wealth profiles:

  • Healthy Worriers are receptive to new health products and services and are willing to change behavior to improve health. However, they lack confidence about their ability to pay for the rising cost of care. Reach them through their employers and make services convenient and simple. They are overwhelmed by choices.

  • Healthy, Wealthy and Wise are the most fit, health conscious, and financially confident. They will purchase complex products such as high-deductible health insurance, confident they can use them effectively. They want more choices. They prefer relationships, self-directed analysis tools, and quality service.

  • Unfit and Happy are overconfident about their health and their ability to pay for future care. They tend not to trust doctors and providers and although relatively affluent, are least receptive to new products and services. Provide tools and incentives to enable them to help themselves.

  • Hapless Heavyweights resist help yet feel incapable of improving their situations on their own. They need the most external motivation including support groups and financial penalties.

"Segmenting consumers this way, we believe, will generate innovative thinking on the part of companies within and on the edges of the health industry‚ÄĒorganizations ranging from medical practices to life insurers," summarize the authors of the study. Providers, insurers, and employers can use the segmentation to better communicate with and engage members of the various groups.

Harvard Business Online



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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