Out with the new and in with the old. For the first time in our survey’s brief history, more than half of the respondents (53%) are working on brands that are either in mid-lifecycle (3-5 years) or preparing to go generic (Figure 9). We can’t tell if brand managers’ fears of a dry pipeline are starting to become evident or we just happened to get responses from more brand managers working on older brands. This year there was an 11% drop in the amount of respondents with new brands (six months to two years), which is the lowest it’s been since 2009. However, by 2010 that number shot up to 33%, which was the highest ever. Another promising development is that there are more brands in the pre-launch stage (17%) this year than the previous two, so it appears there is hope for new blood yet.
On average, each brand is facing six direct competitors (which is up from 4.1 last year, but back to even with 2010). Despite the increase in competition, two-thirds of respondents still feel good about how their brands stack up. They are even more positive about each of their brands’ individual attributes (Figure 10). Clinical profile was once again rated as a brand’s greatest strength, and yet this is the only category that experienced more than a minuscule drop. Last year, 86% felt their brand’s clinical profile was competitive (a rating of a five or higher on a one to seven scale), while that number dropped to 81% in 2012. Meanwhile, the strength of the sales force (64% in 2011 vs. 63% in 2012) and the power of their non-personal promotion (49% vs. 48%) practically stayed the same, and those were the only other categories that saw any drop. Confidence in resources/budget went up 3%, faith in the company’s regulatory environment rose 8%, medical education increased 5%, and even though DTC is still the weak link, it jumped 10%.