Propelling A Brand to #1 & Staying on Top


Although there are vast differences between various brands’ journeys to success, there are also some commonalities. Understanding these best practices can help leaders to propel their pharmaceutical brand to #1 and stay on top.

So how does a brand become a leader in a therapeutic class? Executives from top pharmaceutical companies weighed in in a Best Practices’ benchmarking study.

When asked what mix of the following elements kept their brands on top, companies mentioned a fairly even mix of clinical differentiation, marketing differentiation and sales force effectiveness. There is a slight trend towards clinical differentiation as being the most important factor.

  1. Clinical Differentiation (42%)
  2. Marketing Differentiation (36%)
  3. Sales Force Effectiveness (22%)

Reaching #1 can be time-consuming and challenging. Most of the respondents mentioned that it can take between three to five years to achieve this status. The main point to remember is that if you want to be a leader you must move quickly. If you don’t overtake the leader within the first few years, the chances of doing so greatly diminish.

Once a pharmaceutical brand reaches number 1, leaders must then find ways to keep that brand there. Some areas that benchmark participants stressed were important to focus on to keep a brand at #1 included:

  1. Competitive Intelligence: Many companies mentioned that Competitive Intelligence (CI) activities can help to maintain the momentum. Leading organizations also utilize offensive & defensive Competitive Intelligence strategies to keep ahead of their competitors.
  2. Lifecycle Management: Remember: Lifecycle Management does not begin at the eve of patent expiration! Many leading brands dedicate headcount and considerable resources to lifecycle management. Ensuing a consistent brand image throughout an expansive strategy is vitally important to holding a leadership position.

Understanding what it takes to become a leader in a therapeutic class, as well as what it takes to hold that leadership position can be challenging. By examining the best practices of brand leaders who are about to lose patent protection can help propel a brand to #1.

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