“Troubleshooting” a Key Challenge of the Global Branding Process for New Bio-Pharma Products: Alignment Across Geographies


In the bio-pharmaceutical industry, it is no secret that different regions of the world have diverse regulatory and cultural environments.

What is less apparent is that given these regional regulatory and cultural differences, pharmaceutical companies can have an effective global branding program that works across geographies and affiliates.

Just as the global branding process itself does not stand on one element, there is no one trait or activity that creates an effective process; rather it is the sum of the parts and how well they are aligned and implemented across functions and geographies that make a global branding process successful.

That is an overarching finding of a new Best Practices, LLC global branding benchmarking research study that is based on interviews and survey data from 18 brand leaders with leading biopharmaceutical companies. The subsequent report, “Best Practices in Global Branding for New Products: Creating an Effective Global Brand for New Products and Ensuring Alignment across Geographies and Affiliates,” is rich with both qualitative and quantitative data that spell out how effective organizations align and implement their global branding programs.

In the study, 50% of the participants rated their global branding process as “Effective.” Another 39% gave a “Neutral” rating, while 11% felt their process was “Ineffective.” Best Practices, LLC aggregated companies rated as “Effective” and created an Effective Company Segment to highlight the common attributes of this leading group of companies.


Global Branding Program Effectiveness

Global Branding Program Effectiveness


For the companies that rated their program as “Effective”:

  • 63% have formal review and input cycle for affiliates vs. 50% of all companies
  • 44% have formal global positioning & message development process vs. 28% of all companies

Given the differences between regions – not to mention the large role played by the U.S. as a source of revenues for most Top 50 pharma companies – an effective branding process has to account for regional differences. According to the new study, most “Effective” companies think that the best way to accomplish this is through a formal review and input cycle for regional affiliates.

Some study participants went a step further and argued that the U.S. should drive the global branding process regardless of the country in which the company is based.

“This is a European-based company, but they [the U.S. group] like to have a level of control,” said one Director-level research participant.  “In the U.S. market where the timelines are very compressed – and really if this represents a critical first step in a successful global launch – I think it’s important to let the local markets that are large take the lead on a lot of the global branding initiatives.  So, it’s definitely a process of relinquishing some control from a corporate headquarter standpoint, but I think it’s very important if you want to have a very successful launch in the U.S. and then potentially rest of the world.”

To view a free summary of our latest benchmarking research on global branding in bio-pharmaceuticals, please visit: http://www.best-in-class.com/re3002.htm .

For more information about Best Practices, LLC, please visit our website: www.best-in-class.com

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