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3 essential elements for creating a winning brand strategy

Insights from Christopher Rivera and Nicholas Guthrie
04 Jul 2023
In a recent webinar hosted by Indegene, industry experts Christopher Rivera, Global Brand Director at Alcon, and Nicholas Guthrie, Forecasting Adviser at Boehringer Ingelheim, shared invaluable insights on brand strategy and market intelligence best practices. This blog aims to capture the key highlights from their session.
Brand strategy is often a complex puzzle for life sciences leaders. Even the most well-intentioned strategies can fall short without a deep understanding of customer and market data. Without adequate visibility into customer sentiment, unmet needs, and untapped market opportunities, product sales projections can be clouded, strategies can be ineffective, and all this ultimately leaves brands lagging behind in the commercial race.
The challenge of gathering the insights mentioned above lies solely in the task of sifting through hundreds, if not thousands, of siloed, diverse, and sometimes restricted data sources. These sources may be related to epidemiological studies, social media data, prescription data, physician interactions, patient reviews on e-commerce websites, etc. It can be a daunting process simply due to the sheer volume and variety of data sources available across multiple channels today.
In some instances, though, companies also struggle with limited or scarce data, especially in niche segments and therapy areas like rare diseases. Therefore, the two ends of the spectrum - too much and too little data - can both be stumbling blocks for companies seeking market and brand insights.
During the webinar, Christopher and Nicholas emphasized three crucial elements that life sciences organizations must focus on to unlock the full potential of data and extract meaningful insights that strengthen brand strategies. Here's a quick summary!
1. Employ the right data collection techniques
There is undoubtedly a wealth of data available today that unlocks critical insights into the brand, market, customers, and their needs. These insights hold significant importance as every brand-related action taken is linked to prescriber and patient experiences. To obtain these valuable insights, it is necessary to ask the right questions and map them to relevant data sources only. Through this process, life science teams can cut through the data clutter and unlock valuable knowledge, enabling them to make informed decisions that drive the brand forward.
To achieve this, Christopher recommended leveraging traditional analytics techniques to canvass the marketplace, conduct baseline analysis, and perform brand launch impact analysis to better understand the current brand position and identify growth drivers. Gathering feedback from key customers through formal and informal engagements is also vital to capture their diverse viewpoints and gather comprehensive data.
Nicholas emphasized the significance of strategic forecasting. He explained that companies should actively seek insights that can illuminate potential leverage points within the brand plan. These insights play a crucial role in forecasting where the brand or market value originates and help prioritize the actions required to bring about the most impactful change.
2. Leverage COE models for generating data-at-scale
In situations where data is inaccessible or limited, both Christopher and Nicholas propose that Center of Excellence (COE)-driven market research or data collection models can serve as valuable solutions that enable the quick delivery of high-quality data analysis.
Nicholas highlights that COEs allow teams to gain in-depth insights into a wide range of therapy areas and indications, helping them navigate through the noise, identify immediate opportunities, and adjust their focus accordingly. Additionally, he highlights that unlike internal teams, COE models possess the scalability required to provide comprehensive knowledge and insights across multiple diverse therapy areas, rather than just a selected few.
Echoing this viewpoint, Christopher emphasizes the crucial role of COEs as an essential extension of brand and market intelligence teams. Collaborating with COEs enables teams to gain insights from successful strategies implemented in diverse markets. It is akin to possessing a playbook that facilitates comprehension of triumphs, lessons learned, opportunities, and experiences across different markets, enabling thorough analysis and reassessment of one’s own market.
3. Tools and tech can be great enablers, but tread carefully
Christopher and Nicholas recognized the potential of technologies such as ChatGPT and Natural Language Processing for extracting valuable data insights through research. However, they cautioned against extensively using them solely because there is still much to learn about these tools when placed in the context of market research. Companies have been exploring methods like sentiment analysis to extract insights from social media platforms like Twitter.
However, more information regarding their efficiency, effectiveness, data privacy, and values is yet to be discovered. They recommend companies to continue exploring the different use cases being implemented today by industry peers and to base their actions and technology implementation on those lessons and experiences.


Christopher Rivera
Christopher Rivera
Nicholas Guthrie
Nicholas Guthrie