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Smart Thinking blog

Insights and expert advice on the key issues facing today’s pharma marketer

Building brand strength – Part 3

This time, how clarity, presence and understanding can make or break your brand

In the run up to our reveal of the Iconic Brands League table, we continue our discussion of brand strength exemplars from your Iconic brand nominations. Brand strength breaks apart the DNA of a brand through the performance examination across 10 factors. 

In Part 2 we talked about three more of the hot buttons in brand development: relevance, differentiation and consistency. Let's now look at a few more of the brand strength components and how they relate to some of your champion brands in the Iconic Brands survey.

Understanding: Not only must customers recognise the brand, but there must also be an in-depth understanding of its distinctive qualities and characteristics, as well as those of the brand owner. 

Many of you nominated Lyrica, and we believe that this brand is a great representation of strong understanding. Lyrica has become one of the leading treatments for fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, and pain after shingles. It is also indicated to treat partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy who take one or more drugs for seizures.  

Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lyrica, made it clear since the drug's launch in 2005 that Lyrica's brand essence is 'to calm.'  By educating physicians and consumers that neuropathic pain and epilepsy were frenetic and excitable enemies, Lyrica's message was much more than pain relief, but a calming force that could be counted on.  With this clear brand foundation, Lyrica was able to extend its core idea into several new indications with a consistent thread and a compelling promise.

Presence: This measures the degree to which a brand feels omnipresent and how positively consumers, customers and opinion formers discuss it in both traditional and social media.

We have seen an overwhelming number of nominations for Viagra in the Iconic Brands survey… and rightly so. Viagra's strong presence in the marketplace is tremendously impactful. It was fueled by the brand's ability to break down boundaries around erectile dysfunction. The brand introduced new language that made it easier to talk about erectile dysfunction, and diminished negative connotations around the condition.

The drug became part of popular culture. 'Viagra-Mania', a term coined in 1998 when Viagra launched, truly embodied the kind of impact the drug had on our culture. Renowned personalities such as former US presidential candidate Bob Dole appeared in advertisements promoting the drug.

As a result of its strong brand and presence, Viagra became one of the largest blockbuster drugs in the world, generating billions of dollars in profit for Pfizer, the company that introduced it, and redefining the category of erectile dysfunction.

And so to the last of the three brand strength factors we will look at in this article. The next factor is the first of four internal components. Having a well thought out brand that makes an impact is just as important for an organisation's internal audience as it is for its external audience. In order for an organization to have a culture of brand advocates, its DNA must encompass the next critical component. 

Clarity: The brand's values, positioning and proposition must be clearly articulated and shared across the organisation, along with a clear view of its target audiences, customer insights and drivers. It is vital that those within the organisation know and understand all of these elements, because everything that follows hinges on them.

Novozymes, a world leader in bio innovation, wanted to break free from the classic sustainability image. Novozymes developed their brand, first launched in September 2007, transforming the way the company expressed itself, inspiring a vibrant, new, corporate culture and driving new approaches to business.  

Through strong, internal brand engagement initiatives, including consistent execution across the business, Novozymes ensured there was clarity among employees as to what the new brand stood for. The company was even named by the Ethisphere Institute in the World's Most Ethical Companies in 2008 and 2009 and ranked by Corporate Knights magazine in 2009 among the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations.

In our next article we will look at the three remaining internal components of brand strength and how your iconic brand nominations measure up. Find out what your colleagues nominated for in the Iconic Brands survey.

Article by
Karen Choueiri

associate director, analytics team, InterbrandHealth

28th January 2013

From: Marketing

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