Commentary

Building Is Believing

  • by April 23, 2013

We often hear, “Seeing is believing,” underscoring a basic truth: that belief is something that must be earned. But belief doesn’t happen overnight. Whether we're talking about belief in a person, a religion, an institution, or a brand, belief takes time to accrue. Belief must be built. And once it's established, belief is a force that drives behavior at the deepest level.

Building belief in your health

When it comes to their own health, many people just aren’t big believers. It may sound surprising, but the truth is that many people lack a real conviction in self-care (preventative care) or even in a treatment for a particular illness. Many of us tend to go through the motions to address health concerns as they arise, and we hope that whatever we’re doing works, but without the conviction that comes with true belief. This is a paradox of today—people may be much more educated about health issues but, as patients, don’t do what it takes to get better. Imagine if we could convince these same patients to believe in their treatment and go the distance with their treatment regimen. It could have a huge impact.

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Turning belief into action

In our business, building belief begins with truly understanding our customer in order to create communications that have empathy and relevance. These communications build conversation, build confidence, and may even build conviction in your product. Belief only happens when you enable the customer to make a connection between their needs and desires and your solutions -- an “aha” moment that indicates you have connected in an authentic, truthful way. Then belief takes root and amazing things start to happen.

The social world, a great influencer in driving collective belief 

Belief is individual, but it’s also collective. The social world provides a platform in which an individual’s belief can drive collective belief within communities. One patient’s experience affects the next; patients like to hear what other patients are going through. This sharing of experience gives patients a sense of connectedness and an understanding that they aren’t alone in their health journey.

Peer-to-peer communication is highly effective in helping patients better understand each stage of their illness. Experienced patients who have “walked in the shoes” can preempt and minimize some of the potential struggles that new patients might experience. This sharing of experience can play a big role in building belief. One person sharing via all of the social channels—Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, and their personal blogs and community forums—helps build collective wisdom. The more these experiences are shared, the more belief builds.

Social platforms can help ignite and turbo charge collective belief. And without collective belief, patients are more likely to go in random directions, experimenting with their health as opposed to borrowing from another patient’s learning and experience. Belief likes company.

Believe it or not

However it’s built—individually, collectively, or (as is usually the case) a combination of the two—the important thing to understand is that belief is what our customers are innately seeking and it’s what they deserve. A brand’s promise, if it’s going to impact behavior, must speak in an authentic, truthful way about what is in a person’s mind and in her or his heart. By connecting to these insights we can build belief.

6 comments about "Building Is Believing".
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  1. Kevin Burke from WholesomeOne, April 23, 2013 at 9:54 a.m.

    POWERFUL words. Rarely expressed so well.

  2. Kim Garretson from Ovative/Group, April 23, 2013 at 9:58 a.m.

    Great post, and lack of conviction is surprising at first, but makes sense as I think about it. I've looked at the alarming figures of employees who don't take the vacation time offered by employers for various reasons. While they may not know the significant data around the mental and physical health benefits of vacations, their internal 'voices' should be telling them to vacate, yet they don't. I think many employers should step up in innovation to get their employees out of the office.

  3. David Duplay from healtheo360, April 24, 2013 at 10:51 a.m.

    Very insightful post. You are hitting the center of the target on the community we are building at healtheo360. In fact, we just launched a clinical study on the benefits of Virtual Social Therapy™ with patients with chronic conditions. We are looking forward to sharing the findings.

  4. Elizabeth Elfenbein from Cherish Health, April 27, 2013 at 9:07 p.m.

    David- that is very interesting. Would love to hear about your findings. Can be reached at eelfenbein@thebloc.com

  5. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 8, 2013 at 7:49 p.m.

    You are right. There is fighting the old time religion of fighting through the pain, machoism, sickness = weakness; pick up trucks without dental care.

  6. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 8, 2013 at 7:53 p.m.

    Perhaps marketing in casinos would be a good place to communicate health warnings. (fat chance of winniNG)

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