Play to the Emotions

Jun 01, 2011

Charlene Prounis Managing Partner/Co-President | Flashpoint Medica
To develop a competitive advantage when Marketing First in Class that can outlive your future competitor, here are some strategies:

Conduct competitive assessment and war games to establish the brand's key differentiator for the long term While the first in class may have a great efficacy and safety profile, it's likely the future agents will as well. Dig deep to find what else could be used as a differentiator. Explore efficacy claims. Effectiveness to a broad range of patients is what Norvasc did to own the hypertensive market for so long. Explore claims of consistency/reliability, onset, or tolerability.

Establish a product's differentiating feature as relevant. Once identified, conduct research into physicians' issues or needs to find what will drive relevance. This, in turn, will drive loyalty and trust, which, in turn will lead to a strong emotional bond with the customer. The emotional tie is what keeps customers coming back, even after new competitors enter the market.

Change the way efficacy is perceived. In some categories, numbers rule, like in the cholesterol category, viral load in the HIV category, FEV-1 for asthma, or hbAlc in diabetes. If you're going to be a first-in-class agent, estimate what your competitors' numbers will be and perhaps change the measurement to an outcomes-based number, or the quality of the change, which impacts the outcomes. Educational efforts will be required to help support this shift.

Create the market and own the category. No one did this better than Viagra, which launched the first ED agent. It created a category that hadn't existed before by educating on the condition and associating Viagra with high levels of effectiveness and patient satisfaction.

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