What Type of Brand Are You? - Pharmaceutical Executive

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What Type of Brand Are You?
Stop the aimless soul searching. The path to brand success lies in understanding how best to position your drug.


Pharmaceutical Executive




Gatorade can be considered a Creation Brand because it meets a need in customers' minds that it helped to establish. Just think: Before Gatorade, had you ever heard of replenishing your electrolytes?

Evolution Brands



Evolution Brands can successfully communicate that they represent significant enhancements over traditional and previously available therapies. Lipitor, for example, recalibrated the existing measure of success by providing significantly better cholesterol lowering across the board.

Opportunistic Brands [BRAND CATEGORY 3]



A full appreciation of a brand's characteristics and how they match up with competitors allows brand teams to better exploit opportunities. That happened with Virginia Slims, which used targeting and segmentation to turn a me-too cigarette into a successful "for women only" brand.

Opportunistic Brand

This brand has similar attributes to existing brands and goes after unique segments.

Another team may point out that Karalyn is not going to be the only player in either the gout or RA markets. Existing therapies and neck-and-neck new product introductions will present some competition, and in some ways, an advantage over Karalyn. Seen this way, Karalyn may fall into the category of an Opportunistic Brand.

Other brands in this category include Effexor, Darvocet, and Virginia Slims. Those marketers have attained success by defining a unique opportunity: They've aimed carefully against the competition, sacrificed what they could not own, and segmented in different media venues and/or with specific customer segments.

Effexor—a non-SSRI antidepressant in a market dominated by SSRI science—initially carved out a patient pool that was poorly controlled on SSRIs, and established those patients as its base. Darvocet, a potent controlled pain reliever with a low addiction potential, took advantage of the oral morphine controversy to position itself as a safer intermediary step between addictive substances and OTC pain relief. Virginia Slims, a me-too cigarette in a very crowded market, sacrificed targeting the male audience to own a greater share of the female smoking market.

If Karalyn sees itself as an Opportunistic Brand, then it should:

DEFINE A VIABLE NICHE Target patients who are poorly controlled on current therapies, or set out to target only rheumatologists, for example, as "the experts' choice."

BE A SOURCE OF DEPENDABILITY Build advocacy with core believers and over-service your base. Opportunistic Brands secure a strong position in the market by owning a large part of a smaller opportunity.

TIE EQUITY TO A PRACTICAL OR EMOTIONAL BENEFIT Since your brand isn't innately exciting, your strategy must be grounded in resolving a customer issue or delivering a timely solution.

EXPLORE CONTINGENCIES Be prepared with a plan B and C. If, say, a competitor is removed from the market due to safety reasons, an Opportunistic Brand has already played out this scenario and is ready to fill the gap.


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Source: Pharmaceutical Executive,
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