HealthSource Capitalizes on Changing Consumer Trends

Americans are looking for ways to manage pain so they can stay active. This was the takeaway from a series of consumer focus groups and a market research study conducted by Grand View Research.

HealthSource, America’s leading franchise group of holistic health clinics offering massage, orthotics, progressive rehab, nutritional supplements and spinal manipulation, used the insight to form a new brand strategy and launch a national brand campaign. The message to consumers: Do What You Love.  This message is a major departure from typical rehabilitation service providers that focus on the consumer’s pain instead of passions.

Based on the number of new visits to HealthSource clinics after the launch of the campaign, the message is on point. In July, the network of clinics experienced a 39 percent increase in new customers, the largest jump since HealthSource was founded in 2006. Revenue was up 8 percent, and the quarter is tracking for double-digit growth.

The integrated brand campaign developed by HealthSource features cyclists, tennis players, runners, walkers and others in their daily exercise routines. Advertising elements include radio and television spots, digital pre-roll, digital display ads, out-of-home billboards, direct mail, print and exterior window graphics.  Co-op funding is covering the cost of broadcast advertising, while all other elements are being paid by a national media buy.  

Kieran McCauley, vice president of marketing at HealthSource, believes the campaign message strikes an emotional connection with consumers.

“We’ve essentially flipped the focus to active living from pain management,” said McCauley. “People don’t need to be reminded that they have pain, they need to remember what makes them happy, and this campaign shows them how to get into a routine to address and prevent pain – using stretching, massage, progressive rehab, nutritional supplements and spinal manipulation.”

Plans are in place to evolve the campaign to highlight different passions every quarter throughout 2018 and 2019. HealthSource is also refreshing clinic exteriors with graphics of gymnasts, golfers, runners and other athletes doing what they love.

Another aspect of the campaign is showcasing natural and holistic ways of treating pain. This is important to many Americans who are increasingly more skeptical of traditional medical approaches as a result of the opioid crisis. Millennials in particular are leery of taking prescriptions, and prefer holistic and homeopathic treatments versus surgery and medications to address chronic pain. 

In 2017, Grand View Research, a U.S. based market research and consulting company, conducted a study on consumer preferences and adoption rates for a variety of alternative treatments to address chronic pain. The consumer insight was combined with sales data of the Alternative & Complementary Medicine Market. Using this two-tiered approach, the researchers determined that more and more consumers are switching to natural treatments.

The study found that Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM), which include chiropractic, massage, progressive rehabilitation, acupuncture, yoga, magnetic intervention and nutritional supplements are collectively growing 17 percent annually. And by 2025, they are expected to reach $60.9 billion. These alternative health treatments are tracked by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), which follows scientific research and consumer adoption on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.

“Millennials as a group are less likely to go to a medical doctor to address back or neck pain,” said McCauley. “Their focus is on life balance – ensuring that they eat right, exercise right, and reserve the right amount of time in the day to decompress. Instead of surgery or taking pain medicine, they are opting for stretching, massage, yoga and chiropractic adjustments.”

This matches up with a National Public Radio survey that found 64% of millennials chose to address back pain through natural or alternative treatments.

Entrepreneurs and businesses trying to meet the consumers demand for holistic health solutions are realizing success in the service sector. Health clinics are the fastest growing businesses in this segment, and include such services as massage, medical spa treatment, rehabilitation, chiropractic, acupuncture, orthotics, yoga and wellness programs, as well as weight and fitness centers.

These types of businesses are expanding in all regions of the country. While much of this business segment is fragmented and defined by many small players, national brands and franchises are achieving strong market share growth. HealthSource is a leader in the holistic category with nearly 300 clinics in the United States. The concept requires a low initial investment and generates high margins.

Jason Pride, one of HealthSource’s newest franchisees, is opening his clinic this month just outside of St. Louis in Ballwin, MO. As a CPA, he studied the numbers and decided to invest in the holistic health trend.

 "Being able to help people reach their health goals and do what they love is extremely rewarding, and the growth potential is very solid,” said Pride. “Holistic healthcare, like every industry, continues to evolve. Today, consumers want a clinic that can provide a wide range of services with a health professional who can serve as a trusted and reliable wellness coach. Having multiple wellness options and services all in one location just fits with their busy lifestyles.”

Learn more about the forecasted growth of holistic healthcare and HealthSource at hsfranchising.com.