Pharmaceutical industry is a well-established industry thanks to the many ailments that humans face. Apart from regular over-the- counter medicines, the pharma companies take up intensive research programmes to come up with medicines and vaccines for various human diseases and illnesses. There are big brands that have been around for decades and relatively new entrants experimenting with new technology and new developments in the field of science. Astro strategist Hirav Shah has a 7-step strategy to brand and rebrand pharmaceutical companies
The world turned topsy turvy when corona hit human beings. Year 2020 saw how the healthcare sector stood up to the new virus that seemed to have no cure in sight. By 2021, with intense research by pharmaceutical companies, the world heaved a sigh of relief, thanks to the vaccines that have come into the market.
India, south India, is a pharma hub and given the hope that the world placed on India worked wonders and the first batch of vaccines was dispatched by January 2021. Leading the pack were companies like Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, to name the top runners. Abroad, AstraZeneca, Pfizer spruced up the efforts to bring out their batch of vaccines. Various countries are still grappling with figuring out a safe and reliable vaccine for corona or COVID-19.
The year has brought to the fore the importance of the pharmaceutical sector in meeting the needs of global citizens, bogged down by the pressure of an hitherto unknown virus hitting the world.
Pharma industry is a fast evolving and highly followed sector as people across the world are looking for the healthcare sector to deliver medicines and services that will drastically reduce human pain and suffering. In the past couple of decades, humans have been hit by a variety of viruses and it is these pharma companies that have worked day and night to come up with vaccines and medicines that would fight the virus and negate its effects.
Even otherwise, the pharma industry is a highly competitive and result-oriented industry as results keep them at the top rung of the market. India being a huge pharmaceutical market, it was estimated to grow to $55 billion in 2020 with a potential to reach $70 billion in an aggressive growth scenario. On the other hand, the global pharmaceutical manufacturing market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% from 2020 to 2027 to reach $1,902.57 billion by 2027.
Unlike some industries, the pharma industry does not do your face branding. But it has to be underlined that branding is of primary importance in the pharma industry. At times, their products are splashed all over various media channels and social media, reinforcing the umbrella brand name. But pharma giants prefer retaining their brand identity in industry circles and medical fraternity. Of course, the business supplements are full of news regarding the pharma sector and there are constant updates about latest brands introduced by them and their efficacy.
How branding works in pharma industry
Product differentiation: In a world full of competitors, it is vital for pharmaceutical companies to retain their distinct brand name, signs, symbols, colours, logo, design of combinations of them. A pharma company will bring out many products in its lifetime. Care has to be taken that each and every product or brand is so positioned in the market that they stand out amidst stiff competition. The logo and company vision has to be consistent across all brands brought out by the parent company.
Perception = value: It is important for consumers to believe that there is ‘something’ different about products or services on offer. The marketing team of a pharma company has to take every care to make sure that the consumer does not consider all brands in one category as the same. So, customers’ perception is of utmost importance and creating that perception is the job of a good marketing and branding team.
Long marketing, planning horizons: The branding of pharmaceutical companies is no small-term activity. Pharma giants remain in the game for decades and they have to brand and rebrand themselves from time to time to match customer expectations. While keeping the basic vision and mission in place, pharma brands have to keep reinventing themselves to draw new customers.
n Numerous consumers need highly targeted messages: The customers of pharma industry are many and varied. They also come with different levels of information regarding their ailment and develop certain expectations from a brand or brands. It is crucial for the pharma industry to create different messages to reach different type of audiences.
Evolving selling environment: Like all products and services, the pharma industry has to sell its products and services diligently. They have to be constantly on a lookout to find new channels to reach out to potential consumers. Thanks to social media and e-marketing, multiple messages can be sent out at a regular basis. Having said this, e-channel is still in its infancy stage in the pharma sector.
Role of marketing at various stages: Intense research is done by branding teams in tandem with product development teams in creating an image of the product that includes implementing launch campaign, finalising field sales plans, monitor performance of the new product or brand, adjust strategy and tactics, sequence promotion and manage product life cycle.
n Brand management: This includes an entire cycle of activities from medical services to customer marketing to marketing communications, marketing research, professional sales, business development and ultimately pricing analysis.
Long-term branding: Pharma industry takes long haul branding quite seriously as it means big moolah. Just FYI, prescription only medical sector contributes around 90% of global pharmaceutical revenues.
n Transcending geographical barriers: Good branding helps pharma companies sell across countries and influence behaviour and attitudes of people in different geographical areas. This in turn means huge moolah for the companies.
Building brand values: Consumers look at three types of values. Firstly, functional value: they look at what the brand does to them, is it side-effect free, etc. Secondly, expressive value: what the brand says about consumers, are they concerned about patients, etc. Thirdly, central value: what the brand and the consumer share at functional level. Is there low risk in prescribing, etc.
Building brand strategies: This involves defining brand positioning, brand personality, brand values, unique value of the brand that supports those values and how the brand appears to the audience.
a) Brand positioning involves one, two, three words or phrases or sentences that the company wants to imprint on the minds of stakeholders. It has to be so powerful that it must draw people to the company’s evolving brand.
b) Positioning is the heart of marketing strategy. It is important to identify the place of a certain brand and that of competitors in the consumers’ mind. This ups the company’s potential benefit. It’s important to put forth unique selling points and clarify why consumers should buy & use.
c) Brand personality builds on the emotions created by the brand in the minds of consumers. The same is expressed in advertising or visual identity.
d) Brand value is what the company is known for and what it stands for.
A pharmaceutical brand could be local or targeted at a world audience. Or it could be a brand looking to reinvest itself, following the initial years. Astro strategist Hirav Shah has a well-thought out plan of action for your branding and rebranding:
For good business growth and future prospects, astro strategist Hirav Shah says it is important to have the necessary ‘luck’ in the personal chart of an individual. However, apart from that, there are a variety of factors that push forth ‘luck’ in business. The name of the business, its logo, the partner’s luck, etc, all determine the success of a business, he shares.
Hirav Shah insists that whatever hard work one puts in or whatever talents one uses to put in smart work by strategizing and implementing those strategies in terms of advertising, marketing, sales, HR, production or service… things have to move smoothly and seamlessly.
According to astro strategist Hirav Shah, that is called the ‘luck’ of the company. So, if the structure of the company or organisation is proper, it helps in utilizing your potential and growth in a productive and positive manner.
How does food taste without salt?
How does one feel wearing ill-fitting shoes?
How can a film work without a good script?
Similarly, in business, if the structure of the organization is great (ie, business name, great partners, correct registered and administrative address, logo, web-print-digital presence, brand name, etc), by seeking the help of an astro strategist, a business can make and execute decisions within a perfectly timed framework to maximise success.
Here are the 7 factors that astro strategist Hirav Shah considers before giving a road map for branding and rebranding
1. Name of the organisation: Never ever think, what’s in a name? When it comes to branding, it’s ‘all’ in the name. Astro strategist Hirav Shah will help you name your organisation or brand or product in sync with numerological and astrological calculations. Look at brands like Pfizer, Ranbaxy, Dr Reddy’s, Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India, etc – they bring out marketing inputs that directly target stakeholders almost on a regular basis. They reach out to customers through various platforms, but the message is unique and consistent.
2. Correct partners: Checking the compatibility, strengths and weaknesses of all partners and administrators is crucial as one weak campaign can mean loss of valuable customers for travel sites, which operate amidst high competition and highly segmented markets.
3. Percentage of shares of all partners: Hirav Shah ensures that each partner share is correctly balanced, so there are no disputes or disagreements in the long run.
4. Registered address and administrative address: They should be astrologically compatible with the name of the organization and key people in the company.
5. Logo of the organisation: We have already seen how important the logo of a pharmaceutical company is in the case of various brands like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, etc. Hirav Shah helps you create and finalize the right logo that reflects your values and attracts the right kind of energy.
6. Web, print and digital presence: In today’s world, where one needs to be seen and heard on various media platforms, Hirav Shah ensures that your digital, print and marketing collaterals are aligned and in harmony with your brand’s purpose and vision.
7. Brand: Last, but surely not the least, astro strategist Hirav Shah makes sure that your brand assets are auspicious for the company and have a positive impact on team morale.