Align Rx Brand Teams, Globally

In previous Brand Tips we’ve discussed the importance of creating brand positioning which is simple, singular, focused and relevant then validating that strategy through qualitative and quantitative research.  Now, your challenge is aligning all subsidiaries, marketing partners and all sales teams so your brand story is consistently presented in every market across the globe.  Typically, that is easier said than done, but definitely possible and certainly worth the effort.  After all, what’s the point of crafting and validating the best Rx brand positioning strategy if you can’t effectively implement it?

For the initial Rx brand positioning (or optimization) process to be truly effective buy-in must be earned throughout the organization from start to finish, locally then globally. First, the process and reasoning behind it must be understood and supported by senior marketing management at the corporate level then by marketing management of major subsidiaries and finally by marketing partners (agencies).  Without their upfront understanding and appreciation for how the deliverables from this process will boost revenues this initiative is likely to fail.  The reason can be as simple as ‘we haven’t done it this way before.’

Consider a parallel example: One thing even the untrained eye will see when observing top caliber sprinters-all parts are moving forward in a singular direction and momentum toward the goal.  There is no waddling; no wasted lateral motion.  Nothing deviates from the desire to win the race.  This should be your goal as you utilize your brand positioning initiative to align all marketing affiliates and sales teams.  Nobody ad-libbing, or off-message.  Only a singular, winning focus.

To paraphrase Rene Dubois’ famed quote Think locally; Act globally, to build a rock-solid brand successful pharmaceutical marketers must Act locally; Repeat globally.  Get buy-in locally; repeat globally.  In my experience aligning global teams can be like herding cats.  Every marketer knows his or her local market and culture better than you.  Don’t believe me? Just ask them!  Because of that, the alignment you get is often not the alignment you envisioned.  And not necessarily with singular focus as in the example above.  That is, unless you enlist and nurture their involvement in the brand positioning development process.  Help them visualize the benefits.  Make them believers. 

Herein lies the opportunity for you — as global team leader — to get true buy-in from global teams and the leverage to work with them to get the best sales results.  Provide the tools for your local marketing / sales teams to optimize brand positioning in their respective markets based on local nuances while maintaining the spirit of the global strategy.  Offer to validate the global Rx brand positioning through strategic research as it pertains to their markets.  Local teams then implement the data-driven brand story for their market derived from results of that research conducted locally.  Cookie-cutter this offer across the globe.  Even invite them to share the cost.  Now your teams every major market will be able to implement the key messages tailored for each medical target audience for each Rx indication in their own markets, respectively.

Rinse and repeat in every key market and you will have orchestrated a rock-solid global strategic implementation of your simple, singular, focused and relevant Rx brand positioning. 

Built like a brick wall.  No more herding cats.  Your global team is a roaring lion.