As the medical aid designed for professionals, Profmed has spent a lot of time of late thinking about what the professional of the future looks like. Its podcast series ‘The Future Professional’ has exposed members to fascinating individuals who are all game-changers in their fields, and who keep up with and even overtake the pace of change that living and working in the time of the Fourth Industrial Revolution entails.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic arrived – the biggest disruptor of economies and lifestyles in living memory. Like a true Profmed professional, CEO Craig Comrie quips: “That’s a great time to start something new. Everyone is doing things differently, and often smarter, whether that’s working or studying, and that provides the space for us to change too.”
It has never been more important to have the characteristics of the Future Professional: to be nimble, adaptable, responsive to change, relevant, and courageous. As Profmed’s new tagline, “The Variant Is You” suggests, this is a self-driven, gritty individual.
In the Profmed rebrand roadshow, futurist Musa Kalenga showed a graph that displayed the growth of human wellness in all the world’s continents overtime. Although Africa is the lowest rated in this measurement, it, like all other continents are increasing their wellness levels on a very slight gradient. The problem is, he showed technological advancement that provides a much more exponential curve.
“Herein lies the challenge,” says Kalenga. “From there comes the challenge that we have to take up as next generation creators and builders. How can we send people to the moon, but we can’t feed everyone on earth. We build these amazing technologies but lose sight of humanity. We need to start building things that actually have an impact on human beings.”
As members of humanity, it is clear that change comes from within and starts with all of us, which sits at the core of Profmed’s new brand philosophy.
Profmed CEO Craig Comrie, says, “Since joining Profmed almost two years ago, it was clear to me that the world has changed. The traditional careers that professionals once had have evolved into more dynamic roles. The work professionals do now covers a broad spectrum. The emerging professional is a person who finds new, innovative ways to resolve problems differently. She doesn’t just do this efficiently, she also has more personality, more enthusiasm for making a difference, and she’s more willing to navigate the uncertain world we find ourselves in.”
Comrie believes these character traits are symptomatic of South African conditioning and provide our professionals with the skills and desire to have a deep and resounding positive impact on their country and the world at large. He says, “There is a level of freedom and unequalled opportunities for Professionals to change the world and make a difference. These are our members and they are the biggest resource for success in South Africa.”
The female singular pronoun is used because, in Profmed’s new advertisement campaign, the protagonist is a black female professional. Craig Comrie explains: “When we look at graduates from university, black women are the majority, and so too, our membership profile has shifted from predominantly pale and male to female and black members. It is time that the glass ceiling was broken for good, and our ad campaign illustrates this.”
Profmed’s professional is a self-driven person, but who situates themselves in a world with which they interact, feel empathy for, and want to contribute positively to. Enter the “three stripes” of the E in the new Profmed logo. Look familiar?
If you recognised the symbol that’s often on the top right-hand corner of your mobile phone when visiting a website, you’re spot-on. The so-called “hamburger” symbol does what it says on the box: it suggests there’s much more to come when you investigate.
Three stripes conflate elegantly with Profmed’s three-pillar identity: the individual, their knowledge, and their values. Also, another trinity: the individual, their family, and their community. Humanity, expertise, and loyalty.
“For me, it also symbolises the journey of each individual,” says Craig Comrie. “The past, or where we’ve been, what we know or have experienced. The present – and appreciating the present – which is full of success, happiness, and new challenges. The bright future, which we can look forward to and participate in co-creating to make sure it’s a better one.”
Craig Comrie says that new professionals are not afraid of operating outside traditional fields of expertise and using their skills and experience to create professional occupations. “Profmed can now describe itself as understanding not only the doctor, dentist, lawyer or engineer but the graphic design artist, geneticist, software developer, artificial intelligence enthusiast, or a professional sportsperson.”
Moreover, Profmed’s rebrand reflects that. “The change is real for Profmed as we respond to the new world and provide more tangible care for our members because we understand who they are. The change in branding is really to reflect this,” says the scheme’s leader. “It is a careful balance because there are values we have also retained, and continue to drive forward because we have built an exceptional brand that professionals trust and identify with.”
As for the benefits on offer for 2021, Profmed introduces its Savvy benefit option next year. Craig Comrie says, “Profmed is providing more benefits focussed on healthy living, enabling our members to access greater preventative care. We have also changed how we engage members, using a full range of digital channels and using engaging podcasts, vodcasts, or whichever platform a member prefers on which to engage with Profmed.”