Teams marketing first-in-class brands, like Brand 1, are more content to let their drugs promote themselves through innovative
science, which proves attractive to physicians and patients. Though challenged to mold new markets, these brands spend far
less, on average, than follow-on treatments. It's easy to become a leader when you have no competitors.
Follow-on products, like Brand 2, on the other hand, face uphill battles against entrenched competitors. Physicians and patients
comfortable with existing treatments resist new drugs that sometimes offer few discernible improvements.
To make matters worse, payer organizations and formulary committees require clinical and economic reasons to shift to new
brands. But if a company knows where to zero in on activity—as Brand 2 did—a mad dash to gain market share can work.
No two brands are alike, and it's easy to paint with too broad a brush. In the end, understanding a product's unique outlook,
which may include opening a new market or challenging entrenched leaders, helps teams determine where their limited marketing
dollars will do the most good.
Drugs are not one-size-fits-all—don't market them that way.
Eric Bolesh is research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org