If you have shopped for a cell phone lately you probably experienced some information overload along the way. Smart phone or basic phone? Apple or Android? Touch screen or key pad? Unlimited data or the basic plan? You get the idea. If you had a good sales person, they probably started by asking you the most important question:

“What do you plan to use your phone for?”

My eighty-year-old mother is very proud of her “disposable” cell phone. It’s a simple phone with nice large keys that are easy to see and press, a nice loud ringer she can hear over the slot machines in the casino, and caller-ID to tell her whether it’s dad or one of her eight kids – no bells or whistles, just a straightforward phone. The phone simply provides her peace of mind and confidence that we are a phone call away if there is an emergency.

Conversely, my eighteen-year-old son’s iPhone has become an extension of his being. He relies on the clock to wake up, the GPS to navigate him, has access to over 10,000 songs as well as the internet to watch live TV, tracks his fantasy teams on ESPN, and uses Snapchat, texting and Instagram to communicate. He has informed me that nobody under 20 years old uses email, Facebook or the phone part anymore – those exist just in case grandma or I need to find him.

Imagine if they traded phones for a day . . .

Mom would be helpless and son would be bored. Each had strategically chosen a phone that met their needs and worked well for them. How could you possibly purchase the right device if you didn’t first think about and consider what you were planning to use it for?

Now think about your corporate wellness plan. The word wellness is even broader than the word phone! There are infinite strategies, choices, programs, challenges, communication methods, incentive designs, screening approaches, assessment tools, interventions, and ways to realize or define results. What are you trying to accomplish?

How do you define wellness?

As Bravo begins its sixth year of significant growth and award-winning results, I’m still amazed by the frequent request for a “simple, inexpensive, turnkey wellness program.” Although those may be more affordable, our custom solutions to employers, with personalized goals for participants, are well worth the cost. There will always be a place for the “simple, inexpensive, turnkey, one-size-fits-all” wellness program, just like there will always be a market for the “disposable” cell phone. What won’t exist however, is a basic program that fulfills the expectations of the sophisticated user.

At least once a month I’m asked why we don’t hire our own screening phlebotomists, acquire a coaching company, or build online health challenges on our portal. “You’d make more money,” they say, and we probably could, but I know that we would be far too driven to try and make our solution look like the solution when we know the needs and the expectations will vary from workplace to workplace and person to person.

There is a purpose behind our flexible approach to wellness.