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Covid-19 has increased awareness on pharma companies: Expert

Gireesh Babu, New Delhi
Monday, September 20, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The way Covid-19 has impacted the lives across the globe, it has also changed the nature of pharma branding as now people want to know about the companies which manufacture their drugs, says a healthcare branding expert.

The global pandemic has increased the awareness of pharma companies. Fewer people would know the companies behind the medicines they take. The parent companies have always remained in the shadows. Brands are not alone anymore, said Dr Sujata Mahadik, president, Rediffusion Healthcare, which focuses on branding activities for healthcare firms.

Now, people want to know about the companies and that recognition may also influence the brands they choose. Corporate branding will be essential for a stronger voice and a better newer engagement among the audience.

“‘One-size-fits-all’ mantra may not work anymore. Pharma brands will need to understand what customer wants and engage better. They are moving to hyper-personalization, targeted, individualized messaging to the audience. Also, adapting to the optichannel strategy will enable personalized customer experience and sharp crisper platform-centric messages,” she said.

The rise of digital healthcare platforms has allowed pharma companies/brands to align and virtually engage with physicians for their brands and services. Brand building will revolve around targeting and engaging customers in the best possible ways and improving patient care.

The pharma industry has been more conservative towards the adoption of new technologies, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced them to accelerate the digital transformation. There was a need to quickly adapt from traditional ways to newer digital marketing and communication tools. Leading companies are embracing different ways to reach their customers and build their brand. Organisations are building a new customer-centric strategy to create entirely new environments for sales representatives to engage with healthcare professionals and other decisions makers.

Brands are now rethinking and focusing on providing value propositions. Brands need to focus on the value they bring to support the needs of the patient and improve the patients’ day-to-day life. Branding will emphasize on adding value beyond the product and commitment to both healthcare professionals and patients.

However, direct to consumer marketing and advertising is more challenging than ever with regulatory restrictions on what and how a message can be communicated. Companies are building brands by focusing on the value the brand provides to the patients/consumers. Patients too demand direct, value-based engagement. Disease awareness campaigns have been adopted by many companies to build brand recognition and equity through various platforms, keeping in mind the complex regulatory framework.

Small companies are promoting and reaching out to doctors but in their own subtle way. They may not be as visible or engage digitally with physicians due to limited budget resources as compared to large companies. Few small companies do have big blockbuster popular brands that are self-growing. Cost effective and cost-efficient promotional strategies will help in sustaining and improving their market shares in the category, she added.


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