Can You Brand Trust? - Pharmaceutical Executive


Can You Brand Trust?
Lack of trust is preventing pharma from doing what it does better than any other entity on the globe: research and develop new cures and treatments, says Billy Tauzin, president of PhRMA. What to do about it? Twelve top brandmeisters weigh in.

Guide to Branding

These are significant misperceptions to overcome. However, if we are to restore trust in pharmaceutical industry, company, and product "brands," we must overcome them.

Our work is cut out for us.

Harry Sweeney is chairman, CEO of Dorland Global Corporation, a Huntsworth Health Company. He can be reached at


By Peter H. Nalen

BUILDING a brand is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle: Each piece fits into the overall larger picture. Consider then these integral and essential points:

Peter H. Nalen
CONSISTENCY INSPIRES TRUST It also strengthens the brand. Align the brand's online message with offline programs. Beyond the look and feel of the brand, the entire online experience should be consistent with the brand's position, strategy, and personality.

GET SITE VISITORS TO IDENTITY If the brand delivers relief to an elderly population, make sure the Web site is easy for that population to use—employ larger fonts, simple navigation, and easy-to-use tools. If the brand competes against a larger brand, but has a unique benefit for a distinct subset of patients, quickly connect those patients with the information they seek on the Web site by enabling them to "self identify" via an interactive quiz, testimonials, or profiles of brand users.

MAKE SURE THE USER EXPERIENCE IS A GOOD ONE Research shows a majority of people who do not find what they want within two clicks leave a site (and probably don't return). Employ best-in-class intuitive navigation that is intuitive for each of the targets. Segment the home page so visitors can quickly get to the area of the site that is designed for them. Depending on the audience, include interactive tools and/or games. Where appropriate, show rather than tell with video or flash. People are actively seeking information, not passively perusing a publication. Give them what they are asking for.

HAVE A UBIQUITOUS WEB PRESENCE People approach the Internet like an information buffet—by surveying what's available and taking what they like from several places. Therefore, have your brand accurately and consistently represented in a variety of relevant online locations, including commercial sites, like WebMD, and nonprofit association sites. Make sure the brand and its associated content are appropriately positioned. The brand information needs to be relevant for each site on which it resides; make sure it fits in.

TAKE CARE OF THE BOTTOM LINE Measurement milestones must be established before programs are developed and launched. Once established, ensure all programs are developed and measured by an online marketing specialist who is experienced with sophisticated online analytics software, such as those provided by Omniture, and that the person is an expert in understanding what the software can and cannot do.

Make sure analytic tools are built into all elements of the online marketing program—from Web sites to each of the traffic-generating vehicles used, such as banners, e-mails, paid search ads, etc. Marketers should ensure that the metrics, charts, and graphs are reported back in a way that is compelling and provides insight. Very often, the rationale for "next steps" for the online program is not communicated, preventing the evolution of the online effort.

Peter H. Nalen is president and CEO of Compass Healthcare Communications. He can be reached at


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Source: Guide to Branding,
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