Medtronic: Making life a bit easier – across all touchpoints

In this year’s Fortune 500 issue, this question was asked: Is Medtronic the Apple of medical technology?

Medtronic’s CEO, Bill Hawkins, response was: “I’d say Apple is the Medtronic of computing.”

As a type 1 diabetic and the owner of a Medtronic MiniMed insulin pump, I found myself nodding my head in approval.

After years of daily insulin injections, my once rigid blood glucose control had begun to slip and I switched, somewhat reluctantly, to the Medtronic MiniMed insulin pump in October 2008.

I found that Medtronic had not only managed to produce a device that helped me to regain the control I had somewhat lost, but the company had also made it exceptionally easy to order supplies online. And I found Medtronic’s customer service to be truly exemplary. They were, in fact, almost “Apple-like.”

Case in point: One day last year, my insulin pump began to chirp loudly, indicating that something was amiss. It turned out the battery was dead. When I tried to unscrew the cap to replace it, I was unable to do so. The cap was stuck firmly in place.

Feeling a bit on edge and slightly panicked, I called Medtronic. I’d grown very accustomed to apathetic customer service representatives, so I was truly shocked when the Medtronic representative seemed to genuinely connect with me and understand exactly how upsetting the experience must be.

He had me try numerous tricks and when it became clear that the battery cap would simply not budge, he assured me that a new insulin pump would be waiting for me at work the very next morning.

I switched back to injections that evening, but going “off routine” is very jarring for someone like me and I didn’t sleep well as a result. I was afraid that adjusting my treatment regimen would bring on a hypoglycemic attack.

I woke up tired and anxious. Then, I heard a text message come through: It was from Medtronic, letting me know that my brand new insulin pump had already been delivered to my office.

It was as if the employees of Medtronic knew that a simple text message would give me a much needed sense of resolution—one that would enable me to calmly get from breakfast through my commute and arrive at work confident that I would be hooked up and back to my routine in no time.

And I was. There, on my office chair, as promised, was a box containing my brand new insulin pump. No questions asked.

I won’t deny that I absolutely adore my MacBook Pro, my iPhone and my iPod—and the phenomenal service/ brand experience that comes along with those Apple products.

But I do hold the Medtronic brand in exceptionally high regard.

What is fascinating to me about Medtronic is that it produces innovative and transformative technology of the noblest kind. Not only do its products literally keep me alive, but its services and people also make living with a chronic illness a bit easier to bear.

*Disclaimer: Medtronic is a current client of InterbrandHealth.


Director, Global Marketing & Communications