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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pfizer

Pfizer: Corporate Branding
“Life is our life’s work”
Pharma companies are traditionally sales driven with little scope for marketing activities. This is especially true for prescription drugs where the final consumers of drugs have no choice regarding which drug they have to use. It is all based on recommendations of doctors. But with patents expiring, generics posing stiff competition and sales efforts saturating, pharma companies are looking at branding in a new light. Another reason is that if a drug is branded well, its sales would be protected at patent expiry. Hence the interest in branding and marketing activities from pharma companies.
New concepts like DTC or Direct to Consumer advertising are being used by pharma companies. DTC means directly reaching out to the end users of medicines, i.e. the patients, and making them aware of disease conditions, treatments ect. The problem with DTC is that advertising to patients about prescription drugs is banned in most countries. So, how do pharma companies go about reaching out to patients, when the advertising of the very drugs they want to sell, is prohibited?
The answer to this is given by Pfizer. Pfizer through its DTC advertisements never talks about a particular drug. Instead, as is seen by the ad above, it builds up the Pfizer brand by projecting it as a:
a) Innovation oriented company working to drive innovation for the greater good of humanity.
b) Stating its mission as to be the most valuable company for its stakeholders including the patients and communities where they work.
Also, Pfizer tries to associate itself with particular disease conditions. The storyboard of one of its TV commercials, shown below, associates Pfizer with depression prevention, in a humorous way and in the local language. In doing so it underscores Pfizer line that “Life is our Life’s work”. The point to be noted is that, there is no mention of a particular medicine brand. The association of depression prevention is with the corporate brand of Pfizer.