|By Stan Bernard|
Trying to win by differentiating your product.
In the majority of US Presidential elections, very few voters know the numerous details or specifics of a candidate’s policies; they typically vote based on how they generally feel about the candidate and the campaign agenda. Consequently, the most successful campaign parties use a two-step campaign approach. First, they seek to convince the electorate and constituents to focus on their carefully-selected campaign platform issues, particularly the perception of how their candidate would handle these issues. Then they campaign to create the optimal perception of how their party candidate would be best at handling these issues while serving in this leadership role. Essentially, by taking the lead on the campaign agenda, they force rivals to play their game.
Launch teams that create a clear, concise campaign communication platform for their drug candidate usually perform dramatically better than those focusing on countless product details and messages the current environment, pharmaceutical launch teams that force competitors to play their game—according to their own issues, rules, criteria, and timetable— usually win the game. Unfortunately, the vast majority of brand launch teams are still fixated on product differentiation.
For example, over the last few years rival novel oral anticoagulant brand teams have focused first on differentiating their agents based on traditional efficacy and safety parameters. In stark contrast, Janssen Pharmaceuticals has forced rivals to play an “indication game.” Their launch team campaigned first on the critical importance of demonstrating multiple indications of oral anticoagulants across diverse healthcare settings. Janssen then successfully positioned its new drug candidate Xarelto (which it licensed in the US from Bayer) as “the first and only novel oral anticoagulant with six indications approved by the FDA .” As a result of this two-step election-style campaign, Xarelto became the No. 1 prescribed novel oral anticoagulant in the US.
The Seven Deadly Sins of Product Launches (I): Sin #1 Seeking to win the launch year.