Capturing the Real Value from a Pharma Business Spinout - Pharmaceutical Executive


Capturing the Real Value from a Pharma Business Spinout

Pharmaceutical Executive

Doing it right—A case study example, Zoetis

Zoetis, the new company created when Pfizer spun out its Animal Health business in 2014, provides a case study example of the power of a corporate brand. Its 2013 IPO was the largest since Facebook and third largest of that year, generating strong demand in the market and raising more than $2.2 billion, with an initial market cap of $13 billion. In 2014, the company's branding and communications work was broadly recognized.

How has the new Zoetis used its corporate brand to drive success?

Telling the bigger story: The Zoetis story is not solely about what the new company sells. As a new brand, Zoetis tells a much bigger story—about what the company believes and the role it plays in society. It pushes beyond products and services and describes the critical role of Zoetis in ensuring the health of animals and why this matters —from keeping animals healthy to provide comfort and companionship as well as helping to efficiently create safe, high quality protein to feed the world's growing population

This story is crafted to meet the needs of different audiences, from the livestock farmer and veterinarian who want to partner with a leading animal health company to grow their business, to the Wall Street trader who needs to better understand the attractiveness of the animal health market with a vertical that is outpacing human health.

Delivering a branded experience: While a story is important, it's virtually impossible to lean on messaging alone to build a brand. Experience is critical to support the story and it is this that is often of the greatest concern to current customers and employees. In the case of Zoetis, the company's on-the-ground presence through its network of field representatives and technical specialists is central to its brand's differentiation from the competition. As a new company, it was critical to continue to invest in and support this broad-based network to allow Zoetis to react quickly to local-market needs and be well positioned to help customers increase their business productivity. Since the spinout, not only has Zoetis continued to tell the story of the reach of their team; it has also invested in building out this network. Through this network, Zoetis is able to market its products and to provide value-added services that make its field force feel less like a vendor and more like consultants that help to drive the productivity of their customers' businesses.

Appealing to the team's passion: Employees are the face of the new brand and need to believe in its purpose. Employees must be the ones empowered to bring that purpose to life. In the case of Zoetis, the company's leadership team partnered in the development of a common purpose that focuses on "building partnerships for results that matter" along with a set of six core beliefs that were central in the internal launch of the new company. Together, the idea of "delivering results that matter"—caring for the health of animals to create companionship for humans and ensuring a safe food supply for the world—along with the core beliefs help to motivate employees by demonstrating the link between results and their individual daily actions.

Investing enough: While there may be a tendency to invest heavily at the launch of the new brand and then to scale back, this is a pitfall that should be avoided. Since the launch of Zoetis, the company has continued to invest in the corporate brand, expanding the corporate communications team to better promote the brand externally and initiating partnerships. The latter includes a high-profile sponsorship with the Smithsonian, a nationwide traveling exhibit called "Animal Connections: Our Journey Together." The brand investment goes beyond mere advertising—spanning every touch point, from how the new brand comes to life in workspaces around the world to the detail aids field reps use with customers to traditional publications and activities such as the annual review and annual meeting—all of which are under watchful eye of the brand team.

Keeping the corporate brand at the forefront: As the pharmaceutical industry continues to push for greater specialization and as new brands are created to unlock value, the importance of the corporate brand should not be overlooked. The corporate brand is a powerful asset that can be used to drive loyalty across customers, investors, and employees and win points with potential customers, investors, and recruits. Building a strong corporate brand requires companies to deliver an engaging story, to support the story with a branded experience, to engage employees, and support the brand as a strategic investment in future growth.

Allen Gove is a senior partner at Lippincott PLC. He can be reached at


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