People think brands should help them live healthier lives

A new Havas report also points out a number of areas where pharma companies can work on improving trust.

Brands have a role in helping consumers adopt healthier lifestyles, according to a new Havas Prosumer Report, although many companies have a long way to go when it comes to improving trust.

The study was compiled based on a survey of 9,447 consumers in 27 markets, including Canada. Like previous Havas Prosumer Reports, the sample contains a portion of respondents (21% in this particular study) it classifies as “prosumers”: trendsetters who embrace innovation, tend to be early adopters and are a source of information and recommendations among their friends and family.

The majority of consumers today, the report says, view health as important, and one that needs to be worked on to achieve the kind of lifestyle they want, both short- and long-term. According to 69% of prosumers and 58% of the mainstream population, the kind of lifestyle habits they have today will determine whether they develop a disease like cancer or Alzheimer’s later in life. Many people also feel a pressure to maintain an image of a healthy lifestyle, with 67% of prosumers saying they are more likely to post about healthy things they do than unhealthy things.

There’s also a global concern about healthcare systems being too complex for the common person to navigate and not doing enough to meet their needs. This is where brands come in: 80% of prosumers and 64% of the mainstream population believe brands have a responsibility to help people adopt healthier habits.

The report also found that there is a lot of space for pharmaceutical companies and brands to increase trust with consumers. While just over one third of respondents say they don’t trust healthcare companies to “do the right thing” for them, only half trust companies to provide safe medications, with roughly two-thirds believing healthcare brands are more interested in profit than helping consumers get well.

Further, 87% of prosumers and 78% of mainstream consumers say pharma companies should do more to help people reduce the need for medications, with 61% of prosumers and 55% of the mainstream saying companies should be held responsible for the rise in things like opioids. A staggering 92% of prosumers and 85% of mainstream consumers believe companies should be more transparent about the actual risks and benefits of their medications.