Monday, June 18, 2007

Spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, especially if it’s Domino® sugar.

In the ever-challenging bid to help patients take their life-saving prescription medications, drug makers are turning to fruity flavors. While making these drugs palatable has some problematic issues, why not add branding to the draw of the flavor and market the drugs in conjunction with famous flavor brands such as Sunkist, Jamba Juice, and even Godiva, Hershey’s, or Starbucks?

In the May14, 2007 issue of Brandweek, author Jim Edwards discusses the company Flavor X, which “produces 42 flavorings that in-store pharmacists can add to liquid medicines if patients can’t stomach the taste of their prescriptions.” The idea of adding flavoring to ensure medicines are taken is a good one, but why not take it a step further?

It comes down to Brand Associations and Likeability, as applied using our Forward. Fast.® model. Orange is a good flavor, but Sunkist Orange as a more effective association. Bubble gum flavor is attractive to kids, but Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum has a greater Likeability. Even if the flavors are the same, adding the brand association to the flavor itself brings something to the table and adds to the Quality Offering.

So maybe I am giving away a million-dollar idea, here, but it seems to me that associating flavors with brands would make drugs even more palatable than using flavors alone.

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato flavored aspirin, anyone?

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