The Most Undervalued Part of Strategy

Brand Insights - Thought Leadership | Paid Program

What makes one brand grab customers’ attention and engage them more than others? Many answers come to mind immediately: positioning, product features such as efficacy and safety, or perhaps the first viable answer for an unmet medical need. All of these are significant assets. But if you could control another variable—one that’s been proven to work over time—why wouldn’t you? Despite the slam-dunk logic, too often healthcare marketers dismiss such a strategy by believing that customers are impervious to its power. What if it’s untrue? And more importantly, why would you take a chance that it isn’t?

Design: the science behind the magic

Design means visual communication. This requires a deep understanding of people: what makes them tick? How do they process content? Design applies the laws of visual perception and behavioral science to evoke responses, to draw in the eye, and to make ideas easy to understand.

Visuals steal the show.

Fifty percent of our brain is dedicated to sight. To cut the clutter, our brain searches for contrasts: big and tiny, dark and bright, sharp and smooth. If you look like everyone else, who will see what’s unique?

Visuals are instant.

Our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Before a blink, people see the design—the color, the logo, the imagery.

Visuals stick.

Images get tattooed into long-term memory. Think Nike’s swoosh.

Visuals talk.

Color is louder than words. You see it first. Color differentiates. The warm golden hues of the sun advance while the cool blues of the sky withdraw. Color influences perception. It points to deeper realities present in nature. For example, brands that use green evoke new beginnings, health, and vitality. Think lush plant life.

The MOA of getting noticed

There are many tools to brand the page or screen.

Consider your logo. The logo embodies your identity. It’s a vessel that holds the values and features of your brand. Do all the logos in your space have weird splotchy shapes? Consider a simple icon or symbol that stands out from the crowd.

Consider your fonts. They convey the brand voice. Are you formal? Are you approachable? Different fonts express different traits. Does your competitor use light weight serif letters? Be different and explore thick and bold, or hand-written if it matches your brand’s one-of-a-kind personality.

Consider your brand hallmarks: the secondary visual elements beyond the logo. They trigger gut reactions. They can cross languages and cultures. Angular shapes communicate action. Square and symmetrical forms convey stability and trust. Round, soft edges suggest approachability. Do your competitors use textures and brush strokes? Use clean and flat visuals. Don’t underrate the subliminal power of hallmarks.

Case in point: The key to staying tru

Keytruda is a prescription medicine used to treat many types of cancer. Competitor brands jostle for attention. Aside from Keytruda’s impressive product features—efficacy, data, patient support, etc.—its visual style gets strong notice.

Look at the photography. Keytruda embraces stark black and white portraits, combined with green color accents to create dynamic contrast and arrest attention.

Look at the logo. A key stands in for the “Y” and echoes the name. It’s the green key brand.

Look at the fonts. Bold letters in black and green exude strength and life—this brand has the backbone to stand up to cancer.

Look at the holding shapes. A thick green box draws your eye to the call to action in an otherwise crowded page.

According to IQVIA, Keytruda holds a 54% market share 1 , despite fierce competition. Do design and branding play a significant role? Why run the risk of saying no?

Reference:

  1. IQVIA white paper, pg3, number 4, 2022