Brand value is created by building trust on the evidence of the brand's effectiveness in addressing a health condition. The
perception that a brand delivers quality, benefits customers, and generally provides a positive experience strengthens trust
in the product and its ability to address a health condition. How to go about building this trust is a function of several
factors such as:
- nature of the disease or disorder, i.e., chronic vs. acute;
- customer's knowledge of disease or disorder;
- existing perceptions of disease and its treatment outcomes;
- impact of disease on patients, their family, and society as a whole;
- involvement of healthcare stakeholders with the disease.
No one process fits all in creating brand value. No one action can convince customers that a brand's benefits are more credible,
distinctive, and compelling than what is available. Every brand needs to be evaluated on its own circumstances. Consider these
two diverse campaigns, both implemented by McCann Healthcare in China within the last three to four years. One involved Hepatitis
B awareness (chronic disease management with long-term anti-viral treatment). The other was for Prevenar (Pneumococcal Disease
vaccine brand building in private market):
Hepatitis B Awareness Campaign in China
For the GSK Hepatitis portfolio, the challenge was to build awareness of the gravity of the disease among key stakeholders
and establish the necessity of long-term treatment for this disease.
Despite the existance of 1.3 million Hep B patients in China, no one thought that the disease was serious. And physicians
believed that long-term treatment with anti-virals wasn't good for patients. Due to the lack of knowledge about the disease's
threats, patients and the patients' families were the ultimate sufferers.
For patients, the brand value was created at two levels. First by "disease education" to focus important stakeholders' attention
on the urgent need for facilitating long-term treatment of Hep B patients.
Second, by empowering patients to seek and comply with their own long-term treatment of the disease. After an active campaign
spanning nearly six years, the epidemiology data showed a decline in the number of patients with Hep B, from 1.3 million to
So, the value here was not in terms of treatment pricing, etc., but in GSK's commitment to making Hep B a national issue and
ensuring that patients continued long-term treatment regimes.
Prevenar: A Brand Launch Campaign
Here the challenge was for Wyeth (now Pfizer) to launch an expensive vaccine that targeted children under two years old for
Pneumococcal Disease (PD). Wyeth's vaccine at US$ 470 a dose was four times more costly than the second-most costly privately
With China's one child policy and 25 percent of healthy children identified as carriers of pneumococcus, the need for the
PD vaccine was high.
However, none of the stakeholders responsible for child health—the CDC, doctors, and parents—were even aware of the disease
and its serious nature.
Prevenar brand value was created not only through disease education, but also by providing a platform for parents and doctors
seeking information, conversation and continuous dialogue on the disease and its prevention. This was the first time a pharmaceutical
company was able to align itself with the DCD, Ministry Of Health, KOLs, NGOs in child health, and mothers, using digital
forums to essentially raise the importance of discussing and taking action on PD. The IMS Hospital Audit of 2009 has cited
the Prevenar launch as the most successful pharmaceutical launch in China in the last five years.