Seize the Innovative Moments—Branding Today

Today, we are seeing breakthroughs—decades in the making—that offer life-altering possibilities. The question is, would you risk that breakthrough never making it to market and never living up to potential by trying to go too far outside of the box when it comes to branding?

The importance of foundational brand strategy practices is a proven crucial aspect in pharmaceutical and healthcare branding. A great brand allows these innovative products to quickly and effectively reach those for which it can have a significant impact.

The foundation for a good brand is built on covering all of the bases. Not only does it meet the required elements for regulatory approval, but it also connects in some way to the product for which it is branding. This is not a one-step process, as it includes buy-in from a number of different areas, including market research, brand strategy and a quality verbal and visual branding team.

Innovative moments are new and unprecedented, consisting of landmark products, assets or technologies deserving equally strong brands. Messaging and positioning can speak to and reference the innovative characteristics of the brand, but to ensure approval those aspects must fit regulatory guidelines.

Keep Your Brand Current

How long these products have spent on the market—in front of their target audience—is another factor. Again, decades are spent developing these innovations, which are then projected to be on the market for just as long, if not longer. Just as the product will need to stay current throughout its time on the market, so too will the branding. Why? A brand strategy that becomes dated and out of place shortly into the product’s lifecycle negatively impacts that product’s success.

Because the regulatory process includes approval for brand elements, the developing organization wants to avoid having to resubmit a new brand for the same product, which wastes time and money and risks the new brand’s passage through the regulatory screening process. Regulations around product marketing and branding will likely tighten as the regulatory agencies around the world look to standardize the impact branding elements have on how consumers receive product information.

Branding is consistently evolving and growing, much like the industries for which it brands, but it does so while still holding on to what makes it work. The qualities that made up a successful brand 10 years ago remain the same today.

What makes pharmaceutical branding unique is its balance between advancement and regulation. The amount of product information available and how this information is disseminated change its target audience-product interaction, which requires a reshaping in product presentation. But at the same time, this increases the need for strong regulations to prevent drug safety issues. The need for a pharmacist to fully understand the drug being prescribed is ever ongoing, so the research work done during the branding process is vital.

Innovation is one of the greatest things about the pharmaceutical industry. The ability to discover and introduce breakthroughs into the lives of those who need it drives what we do. It’s then the job of those in charge of the branding to ensure that they do their part to get these products to market by sticking to what works and what has been successful.

  • Brannon Cashion

    Brannon Cashion is President of Addison Whitney, a part of inVentiv Health. With more than two decades of marketing experience, Brannon Cashion has led Addison Whitney’s offerings in brand strategy and development, brand name and logo creation, corporate identity consulting and market research, and oversees Addison Whitney’s offices in Charlotte, NC, Munich, Germany, New York, NY, Seattle, WA, London and Tokyo, Japan.


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