Building a brand image is a top priority with every organization. The way a brand is portrayed, its features are highlighted and the hype that is created around it, determines the success of the brand.
A brand passes through five major stages before it gains recognition.
Stage 1- Brand Appraisal
Brand appraisal deals with the abundance of healthcare opportunities available for the target segment of a particular brand. This stage needs for the following 5 tasks to be performed in order for a clear picture to be put forward regarding the potential of the brand.
1. Market Analysis: Market analysis involves a deep understanding of the international medical market scenario. One must take into account the size of the target segment, the opportunities for growth, the geographical location, cultural differences and the challenges a distribution channel may provide.
2. Analysis of competition: In analyzing competition, one needs to be aware of the key market players operating in the international market. One needs to monitor those playing a supplementary or complementary role.
3. Analysis of consumer segment: This involves a study of a consumer’s purchase decisions and the regional influences that might influence decision making. For example, a US customer and an Indian customer may have different viewpoints with respect to a specific product.
4. Competency Analysis: Requires assessment of the skills and knowledge base of an organization with respect to its medical technology, R & D (Research and Development), its production capacity, sales and distribution services.
5. Analysis of the socio-economic conditions: It involves the operational analysis of the environment and tracks changes in societal behavior, change in global trends and its implications.
Stage 2- Brand Definition
Brand definition involves developing a detailed description of what is being offered. How it will be positioned in the market? How will it garner consumer’s attention? How will the brand be portrayed?
Brand Definition comprises of the following 4 activities:
1. Brand Reasons: Why should a consumer select your product? Could it be that the brand previously used was expensive, had less quantity, etc.
2. Positioning of the Brand: Identifications of gaps in the present market and finding a suitable location to launch your brand. Use of creative advertisements would help promote your brand’s image.
3. Mapping a brand: What attributes does your brand represent? The features highlighting your brand and the issues connected to its launch and growth needs to be scrutinized and contemplated thoroughly.
4. Brand Image: This involves measuring the product scores against specific attributes, surveying socio-economic profiles and geographical advantages, the benefits that the brand can derive and the future image that the brand is trying to establish.
Stage 3- Brand Articulation
Brand articulation explores various factors by which a brand presents itself to its target consumers, how its offer is presented and how it connects. This stage is further sub-divided into three steps:
1. Building Brand Identity: A requirement is felt for helping build the brand with the means of innovative logos, brand success stories and its breakthrough features.
2. Brand Communication: Involves the use of promotional elements that may be employed in communicating your product to target consumers. A brand brief would need to be created that addresses questions such as who is the target consumer, keeping in mind the demography and psychographics of the region. One needs to assess the consumer’s current beliefs and attitude regarding a specific product category or brand. What is it that makes your product different from the others? How should the communication be done? What would be its tone? Would it be sophisticated, simple, friendly or aggressive?
3. Brand Service: Deals with how a product must surpass its physical presence and connect with a consumer. It requires complete coordination with all vertical and horizontal partners, example hospitals, transportation systems, facilitators, etc.
Stage 4- Brand Measurement
Brand measurement does not aim at just creating and launching a particular brand. It tracks the real market conditions and ensures that it succeeds. The following metrics need to be measured consistently on a monthly, quarterly, half yearly and monthly basis- Market-share, pricing in the healthcare sector, sales and consumer loyalty.
Stage Five- Brand Execution
This involves the use of end-to-end solutions which is an integral part of a brand launch. Brand Execution is probably the most challenging part of the product marketing process. It is the place where risk is most visible. However, there is increase in confidence levels when a brand is well defined, styled with detail and a creative brief is build around it. Based on the objectives and creative inputs for your brand, specific brand assets and campaigns may or may not be needed. By performing a thorough market analysis, one can effectively avoid unnecessary marketing programs that do not fit a brand’s requirement.