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PharmaVOICE A product lives on a shelf. A brand lives in the mind of the consumer . The challenge, according to industry experts, is making an emotional connection between the two. A brand goes beyond the rational; a brand is the promise the product offers the customer or stakeholder, whether that customer is a physician, a healthcare provider, a consumer, or a company’s employees. According to Ken DeLor, president of the DeLor Group, one of the biggest chal lenges of successful branding in the phar maceutical industry is breaking away from the concept that branding is trade advertis ing. He says branding is building an icon, building a symbol or identity, building everything that touches a brand for the longterm value for a pharmaceutical prod uct and the manufacturer. Ultimately, he says, branding is about communicating visually and strategically, not only for one product, but connecting one product to the other products in a therapeutic class of drugs that the company has in its portfolio. According to all of the industry experts interviewed for this month’s Forum, the communication of that brand’s promise must be consistent, and this is where most communications breakdown. “The biggest problem in branding is the lack of consistency, and this manifests itself in a number of different ways,” says Vince Parry, president of Y. “The No. 1 obstacle standing in the way of successful branding isn’t necessarily what the competition is doing, or how much money is being spent, but the lack of internal consensus.” These experts say it is vital to carry the brand message consistently through all media to all customers because a brand gets manifested in many different ways, not just in print. A brand can be manifested by how someone in a company’s call center answers a telephone inquiry, by how the salesforce interacts with physicians, even by how managedcare strategies are developed. “A pharmaceutical company fosters an impression of a brand in the way it does business on behalf of that product with other organizations,” Mr. Parry says. “Branding is consistently fostering a uni fied idea across the board in everybody’s mind, but this is not necessarily done just by releasing the same materials with the same images.” Successful branding is building trust with the customer. This trust is built because the product delivers the same con sistent performance, and consistency means living up to that promise. “Where we often fall short in our indus try is in the blueprint as we move forward in creative development,” says Dave Chap man, president, Thomas Ferguson Associ ates. “What is the brands’ promise to the consumer? We struggle to get those words correct.” For Stephen Wray, president and CEO of Bates Healthworld, the promise of a brand has to combine the scientific values of a product with the values that are held by the physician customer or consumer. In essence, a brand’s promise, its emo tional connection to all customers and stakeholders, is its value proposition — the brand’s functional, emotional, and self expressive benefits. Taren Grom Editor PUBLISHER Lisa Banket EDITOR Taren Grom CREATIVE DIRECTOR Marah Walsh DIRECTOR OF SALES Darlene Kwiatkowski CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Virginia Kirk Denise Myshko Elisabeth Pena Kim Ribbink Alex Robinson Lynda Sears Copyright 2002 by PharmaLinx LLC, Titusville, NJ Printed in the U.S.A. Volume Two, Number Eight PharmaVOICE is published eight times per year by PharmaLinx LLC, P.O.Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560. Postmaster: Send address changes to PharmaVoice, P.O. Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560. PharmaVOICECoverage and Distribution: Domestic subscriptions are available at $106 for one year (8 issues). Foreign subscriptions: 8 issues US$220. Contact PharmaVOICE at P.O. Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560. Call us at 609.730.0196 or FAX your order to 609.730.0197. Contributions: PharmaVOICE is not responsible for unsolicited contributions of any type. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, PharmaVOICE retains all rights on material published in PharmaVOICE for a period of six months after publication and reprint rights after that period expires. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Change of address: Please allow six weeks for achange of address. Send your new address along with your sub scription label to PharmaVOICE, P.O. Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560. Call us at 609.730.0196 or FAX your change to 609.730.0197. Email: email@example.com. IMPORTANT NOTICE: The post office will not forward copies of this magazine. PharmaVOICE is not respon sible for replacing undelivered copies due to lack of or late notification of address change. Advertising in PharmaVOICE: To advertise in Pharma VOICE please contact our Advertising Department at P.O.Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560, or telephone us at 609.730.0196. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.pharmalinx.com THE FORUM FOR THE INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE Volume 2 . Number 8 Send your letters to feedback@pharma linx.com. Please include your name, title, company, and business phone number. Let ters chosen for publication may be edited for length and clarity. All submissions become the property of PharmaLinx LLC. Letters In healthcare,we tend to think that the brand is owned by the marketing team, when really the brand is ownedby the customer. A