Do you know who you are?


I got a good reminder, during Invacare Media Day this week, that “image is everything.”

(Don’t even pretend you don’t remember the Andre Agassi/Canon commercial that brought that quote into the world!)

As part of media day, Lou Slangen told us how much Invacare and its image have changed over the years. Let’s just say, in 1979 this was how the company described what it did: “Making products for invalids.” Today: “Making life’s experiences possible.”

These conjure up completely different images, not only about Invacare but also about its customers. I mean, who wants to be called an invalid?

Here’s another example from Slangen. Instead of Invacare saying it has 1 million hospital beds in homes across the United States, it says, “We’re trusted to tuck in more than 1 million people nightly.”

What does the former conjure up that the latter doesn’t? How about a well-established company that you can have faith in? And a product that provides comfort?

Over the past few years, Invacare has been making changes like these to not only its marketing materials but also other areas of its business, even its corporate headquarters. The company doesn’t have a lobby; it has an atrium. It doesn’t have a showroom; it has “Invacare World.”

These may sounds like small changes, but that’s the beauty of it. Invacare didn’t hire an agency to help it reshape its image and neither do you. It was during a brainstorming session among associates that the company came up with the slogan “Making life’s experiences possible.”

“We didn’t need to hire a fancy New York City agency to tell us who we think we should be,” Slangen said. “We know who we are.”

Do you?