|By Stan Bernard|
Failure to pressure-test the pre-launch plan.
One essential way to prepare for counter-launches and overall product launch success is to conduct a series of competitive simulations or business war games 2.0. The new competitive simulations go way beyond traditional war games to incorporate multiple issues, competitors, landscapes, stakeholders, and market factors. Brand teams role-play their competitors and themselves to identify not only competitive insights but—more importantly—a few prioritized strategies and executable action steps to help launch products win in the market.
The best pharma competitors start conducting these simulations in late Phase II trials or early Phase III and continue to conduct them every three to six months in key markets to ensure that the entire, extended launch team is fully prepared for both the launch and competitive counterlaunches.
These companies usually take a “Multi-Level Competition” approach by considering ways not only to win at the brand level but also at their or their competitors’ franchise, portfolio, and corporate level. They may also use simulations for global, regional, or local markets; specific situations, such as the release of new clinical data or a major professional conference; or with certain departments/functions or stakeholder groups, such as medical affairs or payers.
The Seven Deadly Sins of Product Launches (V): Sin #5 Not anticipating competitive counter-launches.