Consistency underlies all these themes. In particular, pharma marketers must ensure that they:
- provide customers with a positive experience every time
- instill a sense of reliability
- stay true to the brand promise
- remain vigilant in reinforcing the brand identity by being proactive
- promote a sense of caring by way of emotional elements to make the brand memorable and to solidify trust.
No short-term, trust-gaining solution exists. However, put the industry in context: A few brands with unanticipated adverse
events, in a marketplace with tens of thousands of effective products, ought not overshadow an industry's potential to dramatically
James L. Dettore is chairman and chief executive officer of Brand Institute and Scott Piergrossi is director, creative development
of Brand Institute. They can be reached, respectively, at
TRIED AND TRUE METHODS
By Al Topin
CUSTOMERS today are more skeptical and more educated than their predecessors. Enabled and empowered by the Web, they conduct their own
research and use the Internet to seek the opinions of others. Nonetheless, the basic principles of building brands that worked
a century ago still work today.
So, what are these time-honored ways to build lasting and meaningful brands? And what does this mean to our business as pharmaceutical
The relationship between the brand and the customer is two-fold. It starts with a promise (whether it's to a physician, his
staff, patients, an employee, or others) to:
- deliver an efficacious product
- back it with credible science
- support it with service
- remain consistent—in quality and communications
- do what's right if there is a problem.
If a company can deliver on this brand promise, customers will respond with trust in the product and the company. Even more
importantly, by delivering on a promise, we earn our customers' trust.
Trust, then, is at the very core of a good brand and is the second part of the brand-building-relationship equation.
Trust is about building solid, positive relationships all along the way. It's about building credibility and consistently
delivering quality—whether it's a sales representative talking with a physician, or a CEO meeting with analysts and shareholders.
A patient takes a drug because he or she has faith and trust in his or her physician. The physician prescribes it because
he or she has faith and trust in the drug and the company. It's trust that makes the brand much more than a logo.
The concept of branding trust can be done only by companies that have earned it and maintained it over time. To brand a newly
launched drug or start-up as "The One to Trust" would be difficult. And what little equity that might be built in a short
period of time can be dashed quickly if business objectives, brand promise, and customer experience are inconsistent.