Wellpoint's decision last week to revert to its Anthem brand reflects the growing importance of consumers in the healthcare marketplace, according to the Indianapolis-based insurance carrier and other healthcare industry executives.
"This is really the perfect time for us to rebrand," Doug W. Bennett Jr., public relations manager at Anthem, said in an interview last week. "Our research and experience show that consumers consider brand as they make their healthcare purchasing decisions, just like they do in other purchasing decisions."
WellPoint Health Networks Inc. and Anthem Inc. merged in 2004.
Bennett says the Anthem brand's strong name recognition with consumers played a critical role in the decision to drop the Wellpoint moniker. "In this environment, we think it's important that we present ourselves to the public by the name that they already know and trust, which is Anthem, the name by which the majority of our products are sold," he said.
"Linking our corporate name to our product name allows us to speak to consumers, investors and even associates with a single voice."
Dan Prince, president of Nashville-based Catalyst Healthcare Research, says branding is one of the bedrock elements for health plans seeking to boost engagement with consumers.