As the Level of Evidence Company, we get exposed to a variety of techniques utilized by market research vendors to gather evidence in support of a brand’s communication framework. There are a wealth of differing philosophies and approaches for validating the optimal messages that most effectively communicate a product story.
Recently, I’ve seen a number of our clients practicing what I’m calling “spaghetti messaging” – throwing a ton of messages at physicians or patients in an effort to see what sticks. The issue is really not about whether to use this methodology or not…it’s really about when to use it.
If your brand is established and has been on the market awhile, then asking physicians to evaluate dozens of messages in an effort to determine the most compelling articulation and hierarchy can be a worthwhile exercise. But, if you are bringing a new brand to market—especially one that is unlike others currently available—I would suggest that this is not the methodology you should be utilizing.
- Physicians are only able to think in the context of their current market and prescribing environment. Put a bunch of messages in front of them about your new, novel product and they are going to tell you what resonates with them based on what is possible in their current environment—not what could be possible with your brand once it’s on the market.
- If your product is truly differentiated and maybe even revolutionary, you are going to need to tell physicians what to think—not have them tell you what they want to hear.
When it comes to establishing the communication platform for a launch brand or when refreshing an on-market brand with new data, we advocate testing brand stories, not discrete statements.
Noodle it over (pun intended) and then decide on the best approach for your brand situation.