Consumer Key Learnings for the pharmaceutical sector

May 16th 2024

pharmaceutical sector

By Bertrand Massanes – managing partner of Little Buddha Branding.

Within a sector highly regulated by the state, in terms of communication, design and prices, all “ethical” products, those that require a medical prescription, face sales restrictions, which in a way limit their availability (they are not products free trade). However, over-the-counter products, “Over The Counter” (OTC) or “consumer health”, whatever you want to call them, can be purchased without the need for a medical prescription. Despite not having the same freedom as a consumer product, they undoubtedly follow a purchasing logic in which advertising, notoriety, case design and visibility at the point of sale have a clear resemblance to the operation in distribution areas. modern.

In pharmacies, where there is a wide variety of brands and products on display (although they are not comparable to a supermarket), the presence of a pharmacist is crucial in most purchases. Acts as endorser and purchase advisor. OTC products represent an excellent opportunity to expand the offering, target both the pharmacist and the consumer, and increase profit margins.

What can mass consumption contribute to the pharmaceutical sector?

Large-scale marketing strategies are applied, with some nuances, to brands of over-the-counter (OTC) products: market studies, tests are carried out, branding, packaging and, to a certain extent, communication are worked on. (within the limits set by the regulation).

For example, when we incorporate “Key Visuals” to Aquilea packaging, we are helping the consumer (and the pharmacist, although to a lesser extent) to understand the treated area and perceive the effectiveness of the product (persuasion). Likewise, we have accompanied Perrigo in the last two redesigns, in 2014 and 2020, to communicate greater effectiveness in its Apisérum range.

How to combine the expertise of the profiles?

Scientific expertise is the core business of a laboratory and, a priori, it is not the natural role of an agency. However, an agency can contribute significantly to identifying opportunities for innovation and product development. This involves carrying out creativity workshops and supporting the scientific team to validate the relevance of the proposal for consumers.

Subsequently, the agency can articulate a proposal to launch an offer to the market that is understandable, attractive and conveys the appropriate message.
In many cases, the mistake is made of wanting to explain too much, and scientists, who understand the products completely, do not always know how to explain them in a simple and persuasive way so that consumers understand it and want to purchase them. In this sense, the agency can play a crucial role in translating scientific language into an accessible and attractive message for the public.

What is the future of the pharmaceutical sector?

The sector presents many opportunities for growth, and many brands can still increase their impact, persuasion and perception of quality. At this moment, we are updating all the products of a laboratory, at the same time we renew the brands of international laboratories in various markets on several continents. This involves providing strategic and graphic coherence to its value proposition, as well as reviewing the architecture of its product range, ensuring a robust and compelling offering for customers around the world. 

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