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When data are not enough...

Even in today's DIGITAL WORLD, we rely on fundamentals to help us get up the adoption ladder and ensure that we can make EVERY INTERACTION COUNTThe reliance on data is an old debate in healthcare, but more relevant than ever.  Increasing clinical similarity between products creates perceptions of parity with target doctors. This can result in a reluctance to look beyond the first to market (brand &/or company) if no additional benefit is perceived. 

Here, there's a need for brands to help prescribers interpret and process information, gain confidence and provide a positive rationale for their decisions.Fact: A brand (vs product and data) approach can help create competitive advantage where otherwise parity existsBrand building helps create distinction among products that satisfy a customer’s need. The Brand is essentially a promise to consistently deliver a specific set of benefits and values. As such, it becomes associated with an enduring, own able series of rational and emotional meanings that help to:
  • fast -track prescribers to appreciate the product difference
  • symbolise a prescriber's status (eg. projecting the brand as a trailblazer)
  • reduce the perceived risks of prescribing the ‘wrong’ treatment
  • facilitate repeat prescribing by enabling re-identification
  • enable introduction of new brands by creating ownable space
  • support premium pricing
  • increase the impact of promotional efforts
  • achieve product loyalty
 GOING BEYOND DATAMedical promotion remains focused on 'the call' and the detail aids that empower sales forces to get messages across to targeted physicians. While doing so, the industry has been accused of falling into the product attribute trap  - the belief that their customers are influenced only by what a product does.

Assumption: Customers in high tech industries base their purchase decisions on a selection of product attributes only Brand identity modelling confirms the set of associations that the brand team aspires to create and maintain. These associations are organised around an internal and an external perspective:Internally, the Brand Essence is a single thought that captures the soul of the brand. Its key function is to energise people inside the organisation. Externally, brand identity is communicated as a Brand Idea that represents the brand’s value proposition - the single thing that customers will value most. Fundamental to all of this is to base things on ownable insights - a level of understanding of customer/patient need that is superior to the competition.

LEVERAGING A BRAND'S IDENTITY
Pre-launch phase
Here, physicians have to process information from external sources without an ability to test a product in their clinical practice. Interestingly, they value communication from the producer (pharma) and independent sources equally. Colleagues can also influence (if they are seen as more knowledgeable). 

Pre-launch Role: Brand Identity can help to inform how we prepare the ‘space’ to help create the right expectation ahead of personal trial.Experimentation phase.  As soon as the product is available, physicians can develop their own opinion through clinical experience. Information from others continues to impact but has less influence.
  • Benefit confusion: As companies continue to promote their products they often stress additional benefits that make the product unique. Focus on additional benefits can make physicians unsure about what the product should be used for.
  • Patient confusion: To increase potential, marketeers often aim to maximise the number of patients targeted. They tend to focus the on segments with  the biggest business potential.  However, bad experience with unsuitable patients can be terminal for a brand.
  • Over-promise: Creating expectations higher than expected treatment outcomes, creates customer’s distrust in the product. Whereas relevant expectations that match with the clinical experience gained lead to repeat prescribing and transition from  experimentation to familiarity. 
Experimentation Role: Brand Identity crystallises what the brand stands for by clearly and relevantly positioning the brand to avoid the potential traps (as mistakes made here seem to be hard to repair later).

Familiarity phase
The impact of clinical experience as the major driver of a physician's opinion and prescribing behaviour grows over time. Sustained positive experience leads to trust.  Promotion that’s consistent throughout reinforces these beliefs.

Familiarity Role: Brand Identity that’s consistent, focused, aspirational can reinforce an individual’s trust enhancing the likelihood that they may become an advocate for others. 

SO WHAT?
When the data alone are not enough, the only crime would be not to use the strengths that you have at your disposal to positively differentiate the brand in the eyes of those you seek to influence.Nirvana lies in the need to uncover insights that you appreciate (but your customers don’t) and leverage them through the development of a strong BRAND IDENTITY.Under such conditions, a BRAND IDENTITY revisit can enhance the ability of prescribers, buyers and users to interpret and process information, to gain confidence and provide positive rationale for their decisions to help create competitive advantage. 

For more information contact us via: craig@fronteralondon.com

21st November 2016

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Frontera Group

+44 (0) 7817 410079

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St. John’s House
54 St. John’s Square
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