Testing Brand Stories Improves Strategic Decisions & Outcomes

We love picking our client’s brains when it comes to understanding what we as an outside service provider can be doing to help ease the pain and stress that plagues much of today’s industry. The responsibility of managing an Rx brand in today’s environment is something that many are both enthusiastic and cautious about.

You know that you cannot view this as an opportunity to maintain the status quo; It is a time to make your mark by improving and expanding brand adoption, usage and sales. If I can leave you with just one bit of advice during this time, it would be that traditional research methods will garner traditional research results. Often these methods fall short of expectations when the data does not come back exactly as you and your stakeholders had anticipated. The results will only be as good as the forethought you put in for stimuli and study design.

The way to accomplish your goal is to think outside the box and push the process further. That is, evaluate and optimize your brand’s positioning based on your target audience response (prescribing) to how they perceive the brand in context of what they have available, rather than position against a TPP (Target Product Profile).

These tips will help ensure that you are setting yourself up for success the next time you conduct positioning validation research:

Prepare the Right Stimuli

Even though the core action of positioning (placing our perception exactly where we want it in the minds of prospects) is practically in the name, as an industry we often forget to give ourselves leverage beyond our TPP. Showing a premise, promise and proof, paired with a few data points is simply not enough to foster meaningful responses. The result of this approach essentially mimics what would be seen in volumetric modeling.

We recommend crafting brand stories that capture the core essence of each positioning idea, and also build in the vital components from insights all the way through emotional payoff. The key here is to paint respondents a vivid, descriptive picture through carefully constructed language and story telling. The TPP should represent one layer of a multi-factorial analysis to determine your winning positioning opportunity.

Qualitative Research is Only a Step in the Process. Use It Wisely.

Too often marketers will conduct a qualitative study and feel that the results are adequate for decision- making purposes. Don’t fall into that trap, qualitative interviews will not provide the answers you need to determine which of your positioning options will perform best for your brand, let alone the impact it will have on your competitors.

Qual. is where you pin down the language of the brand story we mentioned above. Beyond seeing if the content resonates, look to identify the words and phrases that both add and detract from what was intended.

We want the words to paint a clear, vivid picture. Let your customers inform the finishing touches. Utilize qualitative research to optimize quality and quantitative research to drive decision.

Demand More from Quantitative Validation

Do not settle for a shortlist of recommendations. Quantitative research should paint a picture that is equally clear and vivid for you and your colleagues to make inferred decisions that are in the best interest of your brand.

Set out to recreate real-world prescribing scenarios that account for how the market is anticipated to evolve. Read between the lines to connect the dots and see what your competition is missing. Quantitative research should not only identify the top positioning scenario, but it should also clearly lay out what is needed to support the positioning and all of the pros and cons. Understanding the key support for each positioning idea helps refine the “story” to better take advantage of white space opportunities. At the end of the day, all of this allows for better decision-making and confidence in the strategic program going forward.

There is so much than can be learned from a proper quantitative validation study that much of the industry leaves on the table. Natural behavioral groupings, patient characteristic elasticity and pairwise statistical groupings, are just a few of the aspects we use to guide the teams we work with.

These aren’t all new or revolutionary statistical tools; however, they are rarely used or applied correctly within the context of brand positioning or strategic opportunities.

When to Implement

Ideally, pre-positioning should be considered in Phase IIB or Phase III with the research portion implemented once you receive Phase III data. Positioning optimization can be conducted at any stage of the product life cycle when the competitive set, marketing environment or both changes. Importantly, our statistical analyses provide a depth of information regarding the elasticity of your brand strategy plus a variety of key marketing metrics important to the success of your brand or franchise.

This approach has been developed specifically for strategic pharmaceutical brand positioning. Case studies reveal that using this approach will improve commercial brand and franchise trajectory and performance within and across markets with exceptional top line results.

If you need insights to transform the trajectory of your brand, this process is a game-changer. To learn more call or email OptiBrand Rx at 973 509-4680 or info@optibrandrx.com.