Diversity Matters—Kaiser Permanente’s ‘One Size Fits All’ Approach Resonates with a Wide Range of Audiences
// By Lisa D. Ellis //
One size fits all. That’s the concept Kaiser Permanente is embracing these days when it comes to shaping marketing messages that will resonate with its diverse target audience. While the idea is obviously appealing—after all, one universal marketing campaign is always easier than many nuanced ones—finding just the one “right” message that will speak to everyone is a very tall order. It’s even more ambitious when you realize that collectively, Kaiser Permanente’s 10.1 million members speak more than 80 languages and represent more than 140 races and cultures, many with their own unique set of unique beliefs, behaviors, and needs.
Finding Common Ground
Discovering one hard-hitting approach that will reach multiple diverse groups has the potential to be so difficult to nail down. Yet Kaiser Permanente’s marketing department seems to have mastered the art, creating a new series of ads each year through its extensive Thrive campaign, which is an award-winning campaign now in its 12th year that includes TV, radio, online, print, and outdoor platforms. Thrive shares its messages in both English and also Spanish in its select markets.
While the focus of the Thrive campaign ads change each year, the underlying theme, taking care of the health of everyone, has such deep emotional appeal that they seem to effectively overcome economic, social, and cultural barriers and get to the heart of the things everyone cares about, regardless of their background and circumstances.
Building On a Unique History
To fully understand Kaiser Permanente’s marketing strategy and the strength of the Thrive campaign branding, you need to look to its long history of serving a broad audience, both as an employer and also a health care provider, says Christine Paige, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Digital Services for Kaiser Permanente.