- Published on 03 October 2022
1,000 team members, 360 hearing centers, 28 existing brands - this is the scope of the bold new WS Audiology rebranding, launched today with a flourish and aiming to steamroll the retail market.
The new entity is HearUSA. It has announced (October 3) its plans to reimagine US hearing experience centres over the next several years and "reframe client assumptions about every aspect of hearing aids". The venture's key tools include a new HearUSA website offering the ability to book appointments online, and a Hear Better Today programme that will give clients hearing aids the same day they are evaluated "so they don’t have to wait to experience the life changing benefits that hearing aids deliver".
“The launch of the new HearUSA creates a single unified network of hearing care centres, staffed by Hearing Care Professionals, that are united to solve the global hearing care challenge starting with one million more lives changed over the next five years in the United States,” said President of HearUSA, James Gilchrist.
“Globally, nearly 1.6 billion people have hearing loss, 430 million of whom have disabling hearing loss. Yet only 20% of these people have, to date, been empowered to act,” outlined Gilchrist, as he announced a new WS vision - Sound of the New Age - to embrace the sale of devices across hearing care retail brands under the HearUSA name, including Florida Medical Hearing Centers, Audiological Consultants of Atlanta, Sound Advice Hearing Aid Centers, The Kaplan Hearing Center, Hearing Rehab Centers, and Tustin Hearing, among others.“HearUSA is going to change this reality by serving as the hearing care retailer best able to champion the voice of the consumer, normalise the conversation around hearing loss, and introduce consumers to the positive transformation of hearing enhancement,” Gilchrist went on.
New HearUSA HCP Advisory Board
In strengthening company-wide communication and customer-HCP support programmes, this unified organisational structure will seek to bring hearing care professionals closer to HearUSA through the formation of an institutional-sounding HCP Advisory Board. Its aim, states WS is "to provide feedback and professional practice expertise to the HearUSA support center and corporate team on matters related to client care and the overall success of the business to deliver on the promise to provide Simply Excellent Hearing Care (WC caps) to their clients."
The HearUSA HCP advisory board will comprise a representative group of HearUSA HCPs that meet monthly to develop programmes and initiatives.
The WS Audiology journey
Observers of the merger of Sivantos and Widex in 2019 have waited through the pandemic years for a structural move involving the brands, especially Widex and Signia, that have so far been marketed to maintain a distinction between the two. While these brands - and others, such as Rexton, Audio Service, and Vibe - can be expected to maintain their differentiation factors, the HearUSA rebranding and vision will channel them all through a retail network of 360 owned hearing centres, outlets for a worldwide group, WS Audiology, that employs 12,000 people, and is privately owned by the Tøpholm and Westermann families, as well as funds under the management of EQT.
© WS Audiology
A simple rebranding with a fanfare?
The HearUSA launch comes during a period of tendency to global expansion and development of retail hearing networks, some of which seem to be developing organically, most of which have been announced as additions without the fanfare of sectorial transfiguration.
HearUSA is launched by WS with the voice appropriate for a "mission to make hearing care simpler and more accessible than ever before." Might pitching big be the best way to set, as Gilchrist augurs, a "new standard", and to "transform everything connected to the way we speak about and experience healthy hearing"?
Source: WS Audiology