It’s always nice to get press, but Innovation Excellence’s article yesterday about Health Street was particularly enjoyable. The “World’s Most Popular Innovation Website” featured our mobile DNA testing truck as an example of an innovation that can drive your core business.
Braden Kelley, the author, identified something that none of the other articles about Health Street has yet to pick up: DNA testing is not really a lucrative business. It gets a lot of attention, it’s dramatic, it’s personal, it touches a nerve with people, it makes people laugh, cry, and contemplate their own lives and families. But what it doesn’t do is make a whole lot of money. Health Street performs DNA testing primarily because we like helping people. Trust me on this: if we didn’t enjoy it, it wouldn’t be worth doing from a business standpoint.
What Kelley so insightfully points out is that companies can use a small part of their overall business, albeit an exciting part, to drive their core (and often more boring) portions of their business. I am not sure we did this on purpose, and I am not sure that the attention we’ve received about the Who’s Your Daddy truck has quantifiably driven our drug testing business. But it did do one thing: it told the world, Health Street is here. Health Street is real. Health Street is credible, believable, intelligent, and customer-focused. Health Street is in your community. Health Street is not some big giant laboratory corporation that doesn’t give a whit about you. We’re regular people who care about regular people and we will be there with you through the often diffcult process of coming to terms with a DNA test or Drug test results, as much or as little as you want us to. In short, the Who’s Your Daddy truck allowed us to define who we are, to define our brand, to define our competitive differential (to use the business term).
The Who’s Your Daddy truck took an otherwise invisible company and put us out on the street, talking directly to consumers, answering personal questions one on one, telling our story to everyday people, and letting them know what kind of company we are.