Trends that have impacted the larger consumer products industry for years are becoming especially significant in the consumer healthcare space as we look forward to 2020. The rise of direct to consumer startups, growing expectations around personalization, and blurred lines with Big Tech are just a few trends forcing consumer healthcare companies to rethink how they go to market, reach consumers, and grow their business.
Recent years have shown an explosion of direct-to-consumer brands and the consumer healthcare category is no different with new entrants in several areas, such as:
23andMe for heritage testing
Everlywell for food sensitivities
With every new DTC brand entering the market, not only are the consumer’s expectations being disrupted but the path-to-purchase is being altered as well. Traditional consumer healthcare companies need to enhance and improve consumer activation to stay ahead of the game.
Some key characteristics of these DTC businesses:
Product and execution are driven by consumer needs and the consumer is put at the forefront
These companies are born digital, with enhanced online consumer experiences and a substantial focus on eCommerce
These companies are able to react fast to market dynamics without heavy processes
While DTC healthcare brands have provided many benefits to the consumer, there is some concern around the regulation of DTC marketing in healthcare. As FDA regulations around drug marketing were written before online CHC companies such as Hims or Kick Health existed, these businesses are resting in a legal gray area. With the boom of DTC healthcare companies, it is yet to be determined what the regulatory future for these companies will look like. Nevertheless, the consumer’s expectations for the future has changed and companies need to be prepared to meet them.