Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Brand Imaging of Chronic Illness

Well I think I have come up with a plan to address my Facebook Conundrum (see previous post), I need to recreate the brand image of Chronic Illness. Now I am no marketing whiz, but it seems to me, that this is very similar to psychology, and that I do know. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)to be more accurate. Never heard of it? Well here it is, as described by Wikipedia,

" In cognitive oriented therapies, the objective is typically to identify and monitor thoughts, assumptions, beliefs and behaviors that are related and accompanied to debilitating negative emotions and to identify those which are dysfunctional, inaccurate, or simply unhelpful. This is done in an effort to replace or transcend them with more realistic and useful ones."

Simply stated the words Chronic Illness elicits negative connotations and emotions, so...lets give chronic illness a little CBT therapy.

Now this really isn't a revolutionary idea, in fact many individuals with physical limitations have embraced this notion. For instance when I was a kid people who couldn't hear, were deaf, now they are 'hearing impaired'. Blind? Nope 'visually impaired'. Mentally retarded, not a chance! Now it is 'Intellectually disabled'. Handicapped? No just 'differently abled'! Can't ya just hear the cheerleaders shaking their pom-poms in the background? Feel those positive emotions swell in your chest? Even illnesses like epilepsy, autism, and cerebral palsy fall under the catch phrase of 'developmental disabilities'.

Isn't this really just brand imaging? The diseases and impairments haven't changed, but the connotation and emotions that are elicited have. Just a name change and voila!

So in this spirit of CBT, marketing and improving my own self image, I have decided that from this day forward my family is no longer suffering from a chronic illness. They are merely 'Frequently Wellness Challenged'.

Also in the spirit of Marketing I will need to test my new brand image with some consumers, (that would be you, my readers). Your comments are welcome and appreciated. I look forward to hearing from both of you.

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