The Client outpouring regarding last week’s blog post – Conjunction(s) Are the Death Knell of Pharmaceutical Brand Positioning was swift and immediate. No less than a half a dozen Clients called me inquiring, not so subtlety I may add, whether the genesis for the blog post was their brand. My answer? It was and it wasn’t.
As listed in the masthead of the EVIDENCE bLOG, “similarities of the events and insights provided here to your current brand situation are purely intentional.” Think of it as the anti-Law and Order disclaimer. Over the course of fielding these calls, I came up with four likely, although not mutually exclusive, culprits for unfocused positioning efforts.
- Misguidedly Seeking Differentiation – obviously if you string enough attributes and/or benefits together with conjunctions, you’ll arrive at something for which your brand is the “first and only.” Although, it may provide comfort from the fact that it’s exclusively yours, it also may not resonate with your audience.
- Divorcing Positioning Development from Messaging – positioning is where you want to go and messaging is the path to help you get there. Testing only where you want to go, not only leads to testing flights of fancy and unsupported inspirational statements, but also leads to shoehorning un-validated messages into the positioning statement.
- Letting the Customer Be the Marketer – letting your customers design and develop your brand story is tantamount to admitting that your product isn’t innovative. It also indicates that you believe the potential promise of your brand falls within current, conventional thinking, as customers, specifically physicians, are bound by their current thinking and perceptions.
- Avoiding the Proverbial Gunshot – a “don’t shoot the messenger” mentality is often at play with positioning development. Most biotechnology and pharmaceutical marketers are reticent to communicate to their organization and to customers that their product isn’t for everyone. The reality is revealed later, after launch, when the market has voted through lack of prescriptions.
I usually end with, “let me know your thoughts”, but our blog audience isn’t that shy.
You don’t post. You just pick up the phone. And, you know where to find me.