Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pharma Life Cycle Management

I recently replied to a question from Giovanni Girgenti, a product manager at Abbott in Rome Italy. He manages Klacid and recently launched Tiorfix and Sinifev.

Giovanni wanted to discuss the latest developments affecting pharmaceutical Life Cycle Management strategies.

He is responsible for next generation products, product enhancements to meet market needs, and new products through the local product release cycle. He works closely with the business development team and continuously monitors market needs and customer acceptance through sales force contact, customer visits, attending key congresses and meetings, and conducting market research for both primary and secondary care. Plus, he is analyzing competitive products and incorporate competitive strategies into promotional and product development plan feedback to stay ahead of the competition.

In my comments, I offered the following:

In my experience, there are indeed best practices for life cycle management – in order to build a more sustainable market position and greater market penetration through stronger demand.

First, consider the main reasons for managing the life cycle:
- rediscover the potential of underpromoted brands
- reinvigorate and grow products
- rethink in-licensed products
- retool for new indications/uses
- reorganize product marketing post-merger
- reconsider approach to new channels

Many practices are the same as launch, but obviously you can’t erase previous exposure. The rocket can’t simply be put back on the launch pad. One must reanalyze what worked and what must be improved.

One method we use is the “Forward.Fast.®” branding model. You look at six main areas of the brand to determine the rebranding improvements:

1. Likeability – what elements of the product and branding are attracting customers?
2. Logo – is the name, symbol, font, design appealing – and can it be sustained in an extended life cycle?
3. Quality Offering – are the main attributes of the brand simple and easy to understand?
4. Associations – what is the brand connected with, and if it’s right, could it be strengthened?
5. Attitude – consider the tone of the package design, campaign copy, delivery system.
6. Quality Experience – this is the newest and strongest area that many marketers are learning needs attention; does the experience of buying, using, and servicing the product match your brand – and can it be elevated?

Finally, remember to look at more than just the “product” in life cycle planning. Consider all the other Marketing Ps:
- Place (distribution)
- Price (contracts, incentives)
- Promotion (unique channels)
- Packaging (novel, convenient)
- Put-ups (sizes, kits, bundles)
- Personal support (services offerings)
- Professional development (education, training, certification)

I’ve just published a new business book entitled " FORWARD.FAST.: THE 6-STEP MODEL TO ACCELERATE YOUR HEALTH SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BRAND." You can read about it, and even download a free preview chapter, at

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