Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pharmaceutical and biologic companies leverage advocacy groups

These thoughts were shared by Layne Shapiro, one of our brand engagement managers, as she prepares to attend the AAAAI conference in New Orleans this weekend.

Millions of sufferers of autoimmune and other rare diseases have stories of diagnosis difficulty and often actively search to learn more about their condition and treatment options online.  With the massive amount of information available on the Web, patients are seeking out information on their own.  Advocacy groups and sites like WebMD publish information that consumers soak up.  As a result, pharmaceutical marketers are proactively reaching out to help patients understand their condition. 

We engage with advocacy groups including the Immune Deficiency Foundation, Hereditary Angiodema Association, and the Magic Foundation.  These groups can be helpful in understanding the language used by patients and physicians, making sure that the brand message is in line with what the advocacy group, and recruiting patients to participate in market research groups.

When developing a brand story to set biologic brands apart, it is our job to discover a brand’s unique story beneath all the safety and efficacy data, and determine the target Customer and indication among the numerous audiences. The key to a successful brand story is to share what makes this brand different, not necessarily better, more effective, or cheaper.  The benefit-driven strategies seem to be the only kind that work to truly differentiate a biologic product that exists in a market place crowded with other brands that have common features.

Looking ahead to the upcoming AAAAI Annual Meeting, where pharmaceutical and biologic companies will gather with allergy and immunology experts to exchange ideas on new therapies and treatments, I am excited to see the innovation. Each pharmaceutical and biologic company tries to distinguish their solution as the best, however no one can make that claim and every brand has its own story. 

Watch for my next blog which will be on the brand stories seen at this year’s AAAAI.

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