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Winning Strategies For Re-Launching A Drug To Transform A Lackluster Performer

Armen Hareyan's picture

Best-in-class companies expect at least a 20 percent increase in annual sales with a re-launch.

A pharmaceutical company takes a big hit when its new drug flops at launch. But an organization must consider a re-launch when an initial launch fails.

The study found companies must focus on transforming market perception when putting together a product re-launch. Organizations use an assortment of tactics, but 95 percent of all benchmarked companies said topping the list is changing core promotional messages. Other important factors to re-invigorating brand character include developing a position around an unmet medical need and focusing on product benefits instead of its features, according to the study.

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"Every successful product re-launch is built around a core message that supports a re-defined brand character," said Gary Shaw, vice president of Health Care Research at Best Practices, LLC. "A new message is critical to revising a product's position in the marketplace."

To download a summary of "Product Relaunch Excellence: Transforming Lackluster Pharmaceutical Products into Market Success Stories," go to www3.best-in-class.com. The report will help executives gain insights via field-proven tactics from 19 brand managers across 14 pharmaceutical and biotech companies. The report is available online, along with a free excerpt.

While doctors and patients are critical to the success of a re-launched product, companies also must look inward to the sales force if the new messaging and positioning around a drug is to work.

"You have to give the sales force something be excited about after suffering through a few rough years," one interviewed marketing executive said. "You need to involve them during the planning process rather than at the end. You can't assume they will be inspired with just a little rah-rah at a sales meeting."

Best-in-class companies enhance a product's position in the sales force and marketplace by fine-tuning product placement in the sales force and increasing incentive compensation. More than 70% of companies rated these dual tactics as highly or somewhat effective, according to the study.