BROKER UNITY AMONG KEY CONSTITUENTS Make your audience feel optimistic and reassure them by making the community of customers partners in how you enhance their
ACTIVATE THE COMMUNITY ON YOUR BEHALF Solicit endorsement and advocacy from third parties and disease-treatment groups—it builds a collective momentum for your
HOST THE PARTY Never lose sight of the fact that your brand's success depends upon the success of all involved—generosity, subsidy, and humility
will maintain customer loyalty. Avoid staging events or initiatives alone; invite your partners to participate in various
aspects of research and outreach.
Today, the industry is witnessing an increase in the number of platform drugs—also called Franchise Brands. Here, pharma marketers
can take a lesson from Virgin, which has extended the "halo" of its brand from one product to another.
Some drugs' efficacy can be enhanced by making it part of a drug cocktail. Marketers of Turbo Brands should position them
in such a way that shows how they enhance the overall success of another product. NutraSweet is just one example of a successful Turbo Brand.
There's no right or wrong answer to this branding exercise. Rather, the value of it is to build consensus so the team agrees
how best to proceed. Key factors that help to guide these decisions are proximity of competitors entering the market; the
company's size, resources, and culture; and other brands in the portfolio or pipeline.
For example, let's say a small company with limited resources is launching Karalyn. The brand team may want to avoid the costly—but
often lucrative—investment of building an unknown disease category as a Creation Brand, and opt to be an Evolution Brand for
arthritis. In this case, the team's rationale would be to focus resources on brand, not category, building. Or, say Karalyn
has a close competitor from Big Pharma that is neck-and-neck in pursuing the RA indication. Karalyn must weight its true advantage
against the competition: Is it a significant improvement over both existing and new competitors to warrant an Evolutionary
Brand approach? Or is it similar enough to justify creating an Opportunistic Brand and select a specific sub-segment or media
venue to attempt to outflank the rival giant?
It's important to recognize that this prospective archetyping system is a tool that helps provide near-term action in the
context of long-term aspirations. It is not only possible, but also likely, that brands that begin in one diagnostic category
may end up moving to another. For example, Karalyn may focus on being a Creation Brand, and then years later—after competition
enters the market—opt to behave like an Opportunistic Brand.
When is the right time to re-evaluate the brand category? Unlike the American Idol model, there is no single prescribed answer. However, marketers should revisit an archetyping workshop in response to significant
changes in the market, such as a current market failure or removal, a new competitor or indication, or even cultural shifts
in society. The benefit of such a system creates a definitive and defensible action plan for a brand, yet anticipates that
the plan must change. Thus, understanding the archetypes of brands, and how they relate with one another, emphasizes the importance
of agile brand marketing over adherence to a rigid benchmarking model.
Vince Parry is president of Y Brand and chief branding officer for inVentiv Communications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org