One of the biggest insurers in the US had the foresight to disrupt its own business model before the politicians did it for them. Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield had been a business-to-business company for a century. Now it needed to understand its consumers if it wanted to thrive for another century.
CEO Mark Ganz called in Sense Worldwide to help senior executives understand the lives of people who couldn’t be described in an actuarial table or Powerpoint deck. If you’re getting to know your customer from a PowerPoint deck, you’re doing it wrong.
Regence renamed itself Cambia Health Solutions and offers ‘quality of life services’. This includes an award-winning wellness app and a chain of gyms. While many healthcare companies were quailing before the proposed healthcare reforms, Cambia embraced a future in which it offered a better quality of life to its growing customer base. A new corporate structure has enabled Cambria to rise above the dysfunction of the US health system and emerge a champion of America’s Quality of Life.
Cambia Health Solutions is now made up of 20+ companies and boasts an annual gross revenue of $9.5 billion.
On top of healthy growth, the company’s shift in perspective has won it countless accolades for its positive approach to business. It has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere, a Best Employers For Women, and Most Admired Companies in Health Care. This is a testament to the senior executives’ commitment to repositioning the business. A consumer-centric approach is just what the doctor ordered.
Contextual research, backed by the findings in our interviews with members of The Sense Network.
Americans have one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world, but a lower quality of life. And they’re increasingly angry about it. There was a space for a company to address that issue. We embarked on an emotional journey to put a face to the problem of the US healthcare system.
We worked closely with a ‘health tourist’ who flew to Singapore for an operation. Spoke to somebody who was getting informal diagnoses from a moonlighting health professional and then ordering prescription meds from Mexico. We hung out with a Hells Angel with many incurable conditions who rode his Harley through the Utah desert as a form of pain relief. It was a humbling, emotional journey, and it brought the Regence executives to some powerful epiphanies about their careers.
Regence executives had hypothesized that they could expand into financial ‘life services’ like retirement plans and mortgages. But consumers strongly rejected these kinds of extensions. When talking to Americans about health, conversations almost always turned into a broader discussion about quality of life. This is where Sense Worldwide consultants abandoned the pre-planned lines of inquiry. We picked up on the kind of big, latent need that changes a whole industry.
This is genius!
Chief Marketing Officer, Cambia
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