Building a Corporate Identity


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Most pharmaceutical companies concentrate their branding efforts on building identities for their marketed products and, in some cases, on a therapeutic category as way to improve disease awareness. But as the number of products coming from less fruitful pipelines become fewer, negative media reports continue to beset the industry, and the weak economy takes its toll, companies will need to present a more unified corporate identity, according to industry experts. A corporate brand, or master brand, can resonate with all of the stakeholders in a company — from employees and prospective employees, to customers, to the financial community, and the media. A strong corporate identify can help a company ride out bad times and give the entity even greater credibility in good times. A strong corporate brand can even contribute significantly to a company’s market capitalization, according to data (see page 18 for more information).
But before launching into a corporate branding campaign, executives need to understand what the company stands for, what they hope to convey, and how their staff and customers view the corporation. Above all, the company must create an identity that it can live up to, so that the corporate brand can help leverage marketed pharmaceutical brands, and the brand, in turn, can leverage the company.

Branding Value

Jeffrey Aronin. President and founder, Ovation Pharmaceuticals, Deerfield, Ill.; Ovation is a specialty pharmaceutical company that acquires under-promoted branded pharmaceutical products and promising late-stage development products. For more information, visit
Martha Bowman. Executive VP, marketing, DeLor, Louisville, Ky.; Delor is a brand identity consulting company that uses the power of brand identity to build strong brands for pharmaceutical corporations, therapeutic franchises, and products. For more information, visit
Maria Casini. VP, creative director, Accel Healthcare Communications LLC, New York; Accel Healthcare is a full-service healthcare advertising agency. For more information, visit
Carolyn Castel. Executive director, corporate communications, Serono Inc., Rockland, Mass.; Serono is a global biotechnology company with products available in three therapeutic areas: reproductive health, neurology, and growth and metabolism. For more information, visit
James L. Dettore. President and CEO, Brand Institute Inc., Miami; Brand Institute is a full-service brand identity consultancy dedicated to the strategic and innovative development of nomenclature and identity solutions in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical-device industries. For more information, visit
Jay Doniger. VP, group creative head — advertising, Donahoe Purohit Miller, Chicago; DPM is a full-service healthcare advertising agency providing clients with comprehensive marketing and communications strategic planning, market research and analysis, and integrated medical education capabilities. For more information, visit
Thomas Ebeling. CEO, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland; Novartis, with U.S. headquarters in New York, is a leading pharmaceutical company with core businesses in pharmaceuticals, consumer health, generics, eye care, and animal health. For more information, visit
James R. Gregory. CEO, CoreBrand, Stamford, Conn.; CoreBrand helps companies understand, craft, measure, and leverage the essence of their corporate brands. For more information, visit
Tom Grinnan. VP, business development, MeadWestvaco Healthcare Packaging Group (HP),
Stamford, Conn.; MeadWestvaco is a global producer of packaging, coated and specialty papers, consumer and office products, and specialty chemicals. For more information, visit
Gregory B. Holmes, Ph.D. Executive VP, clinical operations, SFBC International, Miami; SFBC conducts and manages clinical-trial services in most therapeutic areas, for major pharmaceutical companies, CROs, and biotechnology companies. For more information, visit
Michael W. Kempner. President and CEO, The MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J.; MWW Group is a public relations and marketing communications firm. For more information, visit
Sari Macrie. Senior VP, corporate communications, Cardinal Health Inc., Dublin, Ohio; Cardinal Health companies develop, manufacture, package, and market products for patient care; develop drug-delivery technologies; distribute pharmaceuticals, medical surgery and laboratory supplies; and offer consulting and other services that improve quality and efficiency in healthcare. For more information, visit
Guy Mastrion. Executive VP and managing director, creative, Palio Communications, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Palio is a full-service, strategically driven advertising and communications company. For more information, visit
Kathleen M. Milligan. VP, marketing and sales, Endeavor Pharmaceuticals Inc., Wilmington, N.C.; Endeavor Pharmaceuticals is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on improving women’s health by developing and marketing advanced hormone therapies with competitive advantages over existing therapies. For more information, visit
Kurt Mussina. VP, international business development, Inveresk, Cary, N.C.; Inveresk provides drug-development services to
companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, including preclinical safety and pharmacology evaluation services, laboratory sciences services, and clinical-development services. For more information, visit
Michael Norton. Chief strategy officer, Euro RSCG Life Worldwide, and president, Euro RSCG Life Brand Machine, New York; Euro RSCG Life Worldwide is a health communications company. For more information, visit
Vern Oakley. Founder and creative director, Tribe Pictures, Chatham, N.J.; Tribe Pictures delivers complex business messages clearly, effectively, and creatively, using the power of moving pictures. For more information, visit
Ken Ribotsky. President, Ribotsky Worldwide Inc., Somerset, N.J.; Ribotsky is a full-service healthcare communications agency providing marketing strategies as well as advertising, promotion programs, medical education, and public relations. For more information visit
Rico Viray. Partner, The Cementworks LLC, New York; Cementworks is a full-service healthcare advertising agency. For more
information, visit
Maxim H. Waldbaum. Partner and chair of the intellectual property group, Salans, New York; Salans is a multinational law firm. For more information visit