Sawyer Schweitzer (Verbal) and Meredith Hayford (Strategy) teamed up to take a look at a fresh health care brand that’s shaking things up. 

Everything about Parsley Health, from its brand to its business model, challenges what we’ve come to expect from health care organizations. Blending traditional medicine with the latest wellness trends, Parsley is targeting a new generation of consumers with concierge-style access to holistic health care.

Parsley Health is still young, and the direct primary care model is just beginning to emerge, so we can’t say for sure how everything will turn out. But one thing is certain—it’s refreshing to see something different in the health care space, and as marketers, we can all learn from a disruptor that’s committed to shaking up the system.

And if its recent $10 million funding round—including a personal investment by Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Mark Hyman—is any indication, Parsley Health is off to an impressive start.

Drawing on social insights, we gleaned five health care branding takeaways from Parsley Health. What do you think?

1. Give health care a human voice

Most health care brands know they need to sound less corporate and more human, but few have embraced what that means: crafting a unique personality and getting rid of the jargon, for good. For Parsley Health, it’s all about the voice of founder Dr. Robin Berzin. Her smart, modern, approachable personality can be heard and felt across the brand, from web copy and CTAs to informative live-videos shared on social. And this voice clearly resonates—according to social listening platform Netbase, the past year’s online conversation around Parsley Health has earned the brand a net sentiment of 90 percent, which is extremely high compared to traditional health care organizations.


2. Follow your consumers, not your competitors

If you’re echoing the same type of content and messaging as the hospital next door, you’re not doing it right. Here’s one example: for most health organizations, “wellness” = a yearly check-up. For consumers, it’s the latest thinking on self-care strategies, SoulCycle and superfoods. Parsley Health knows its audience, and has tailored its brand and content to speak to the health and wellness topics that matter to them. Honest discussion around mental health, trendy diets, and effective exercise put Parsley in the middle of conversations that are already happening among consumers.


3. Focus on experiences that actually matter

Parsley Health’s approach to care includes 75-minute appointments where doctors get to know your life story in order to “understand the root causes of your symptoms, instead of just Band-Aiding them.” That’s personalized medicine the way patients actually think about it. (To explore their mindset and learn how to deliver emotionally resonant, satisfying experiences, check out Humanizing Brand Experience.) Obviously, implementing this kind of approach would require a massive overhaul for most health care organizations—but it proves that it’s not impossible to think differently about the health care experience. Wellness-focused influencers are already on board with this approach, posting about their positive experiences with Parsley appointments.


4. Invest in the way today’s consumers engage with brand

It’s time for health care brands to get out of their bubbles and connect with people in the spaces where they already are. That means finally getting serious about social channels where 81 percent of the U.S. population is present. Parsley Health runs an impeccably branded Instagram account, complete with an active following, two-way conversation and content that people truly care about—as well as aesthetically pleasing photography that reflects the inspiring imagery people look for in the platform. Social isn’t treated as an afterthought, it’s elevated as a key part of Parsley’s communication strategy.


5. Team up with unique partners that extend your brand

Cobranding can be a powerful tool for extending your reach and reinforcing what’s important to your brand. And partnerships don’t have to be limited to traditional health care organizations. For example, Parsley Health teams up with Headspace to offer a year of free, app-based meditation to every patient. Headspace’s modern and accessible approach to wellness is a perfect match for the Parsley brand, and helps it continue to connect with its patients beyond the exam room. Other recent partners include influential wellness-focused blogs and publications.


Learn more about how to build a health care brand that connects with consumers.

Access Humanizing Brand Experience

Sawyer Schweitzer
May 10, 2018 By Sawyer Schweitzer