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Abbott: ‘It all starts with consumer empathy’


At Abbott Nutrition, “it all starts with consumer empathy,” the company’s director of insights, innovation and brand strategy, Surya Menon, told attendees at the Retail Health Summit. By helping the company understand a patient’s head space when making a purchase, this starting point is aimed at ensuring they can meet consumer needs at the best time.

(Click here to download the full Retail Health Summit special report.)

“Once you start with consumer empathy, ... it simplifies the omnichannel experience,” Menon said. “Instead of calling it an omnichannel experience, we call it the patient journey — understanding the points of influence and points of information, and figuring out what role each channel plays as a confluence of influence or information.”

To highlight the potential for understanding a customer’s experience in store, he used as an example a customer who has just been diagnosed with diabetes, explaining that a person might be initially scared following their diagnosis and unable to filter through the myriad online resources to help them. They then turn to the store as a resource, and if the store can provide that resource, they can capture a new, longtime customer.

“In the store is the moment of truth,” Menon said. “If there’s someone there that can hold their hand and direct them to a point-of-care or solution across the diabetic space, that’s a huge opportunity that an online retailer cannot replicate. ... Think about that moment — if you can own that moment as a store as only a store can do, you have a customer for life.”

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