Direct to Consumer: Moving House - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Direct to Consumer: Moving House
The "House of Brands" model is a house of cards. Industry should change, or risk losing trust forever.


Pharmaceutical Executive


As for the industry consolidation defense of the House of Brands approach, this decision was always ill-conceived. As experienced brand managers in every category know, strong corporate brand investments raise the value of both the acquirer and the acquired; these brand investments are never wasted.

Put a Face to the Name Companies should increase investment in the corporate brand significantly (even at the expense of shifting budget from product brand promotion) and move to the Branded House model, so that consumers truly understand pharma's mission: to improve the quality of people's lives. That means connecting product brands directly and obviously to the corporate brand. And not just as a logo afterthought, but the full Branded House model. That means marketing Pfizer Viagra (sildenafil) and Lilly Cialis (tadalafil).

There are numerous benefits to the Branded House approach:
FDA can't touch corporate brand building.
Each effort builds trust between consumers and pharma companies.
The halo effect of corporate brand building will improve the effectiveness of our increasingly regulated product brand building.
This approach generates a bigger bang for the buck for brand building efforts.
It enables more differentiation by combining organizational and product differentiators in a powerfully combined message.


Brand Architecture Models
Without corporate brand building, a key communications element in building trust between our industry and consumers is missing. After all, in the same way that product brands can build trust in our products, pharma companies can build trust in our industry by increasing their focus on the message that we are a partner in patients' health, and not simply the peddlers of products. But without investing in corporate brands through our products and our industry, our bid to regain consumer trust will not work.

Merck's recent investment in promoting their patient-assistance program is a good start at building corporate brand value. But everyone in Big Pharma should be promoting these programs more effectively. And by doing so, each company's brand can then benefit from the goodwill created by educating consumers about these valuable programs.

The issues of the day demand a new DTC approach. Pharma companies can execute that change by moving from the House of Brands—which is a house of cards—to a Branded House.

Ken Dec is chief marketing officer at PreVision. He can be reached at


Kymberly Lee
People Jim Burke and Craig Douglass joined Medical Broadcast Company. Burke will be the new senior vice president, group management supervisor and Douglass will be the new senior vice president, group creative director.
Kymberly Lee was named vice president of client development at Blue Diesel. Ogilvy Healthworld named Angela Rossetti the new president of the company's New York advertising agency. Stephen Sacchetti joined CommonHealth's Noesis as a senior vice president, account group supervisor. DVC HealthCare announced Michele Cummins as the new vice president, account supervisor.

Awards Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Deutsch, GlaxoSmithKline and Grey Worldwide, and GlaxoSmithKline and McCann Erickson won EFFIES in the health aids and prescription products category. UnitedHealthcare and GSD&M Advertising and BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and Arnold Worldwide won EFFIES in the medical services category.


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