Branding for Pharmaceutical Giant

Pharmaceutical giants experience great civil society pressures globally due to their products’ sky-rocketed price. Yes, innovation in this industry is expensive and risk must be rewards, thus people agree that novel drugs benefited people might be worth the price. But in some cases the price of novel drugs still keep rising even though they have been released for a decade, and no economic theory could explain that. The results are direct, these pharma giants’ reputation continues to suffer especially in the States, where the price drug are among the highest in the world.

In response to the external pressures, pharma giants are expanding or adjusting their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies, to act responsibilities in a changing globalized world.

Novartis Official Website

Among all the healthcare companies, my best favorite is Novartis who branded itself beautifully. Take a look at their official website, it’s clear and elegant, presented discoveries and stories instead of headlines or news release with complex terms such as FDA, molecular entity, pipeline, etc.

Novartis people do know how to tell stories and master on visualize concepts. Let’s take a look at Novartis’ corporate mission video: Long Live Life(2 mins)

Novartis International AG is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland, ranking number one in sales among the world-wide industry in 2013.

To better help viewers understand the concept that a “normal life” that Novartis fighting so hard for is extraordinary precious, Novartis’ marketer continued to present high-quality video clips to establish emotional bond with all stakeholders. As the one below:

In the less-developed countries, take China and India as representative examples, the business environments for big pharma are no less challenging. In China, as mandatory by state regulation, prescription drugs are banned to advertises on mass media. Under strict regulations, pharma have to watch themselves very carefully on the information sent out or indicated to public or patients. To avoid risks, many of the pharma giants give up to take any steps forward on social media, for example Weibo, one of the most influential Chinese social media platform. The communication channels to public are mainly rely on traditional media.

And something worth to mention is that, big foreign pharma have ever won any lawsuits about novel drug VS generic drug in China, let alone India. The Indian pharmaceutical companies provide cheap generic drugs not only to domestic market but countries across the world.

Facing the huge market potential and tough business environment at same time, pharma have no better choice but emphasis on their Research&Development and CSR efforts. Novartis, again, became one of the best among its peers, presented lots of classic stories on how they supported and cooperated with local medical professors serving patients in the impoverished areas. All the efforts are telling one story: Novartis is the Hand to Back Them Up and Bring Hope for Life. No Others.

Novartis have shot a series of videos included real experiences in western Chinese villages, and at Indian countryside etc. I have studied a lot good cases before and some plots of the best practices are still haunting in my mind. But it’s sad I can’t find them on website anymore (I will keep looking for it and keeping update), thus I chose another one here about Novartis’ work against Malaria in Africa:

All in all, Novartis marketers are excellent story-tellers either in company missions or in specific products. Storytelling is a strong and mighty ability which might not decisive in overall business competition but definitely could win back brand reputation and credits. Visual and music are always good choices to present your beliefs.