Now is a critical — and perhaps once in a generation — moment for healthcare brand strategy and healthcare narrative work.
The COVID-19 pandemic thrust the biotech, pharmaceutical and life science industries into the spotlight. People want to know about the companies working to develop reliable diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines as well as solutions to other rising health problems.
This applies to both veteran and emerging life science companies. It’s especially true for those in need of capital or strategic business partners to help bring a product to market, fund a clinical trial, amplify recruitment, or continue needed research.
The stakes have never been higher for a healthcare brand strategy that focuses on marketing for the current moment and its threats and opportunities. A sound messaging and communications platform that fits a company into the dialogue of current pandemic and health concerns, addresses risks and threats, and brings the narrative to life for multi-stakeholder audiences is key.
Healthcare Narrative: An Outside-In Approach
Especially during a global pandemic, it is important for a drug or diagnostic maker to understand if their messaging needs to evolve to better position itself amid the current landscape. Before looking inward, it helps to look outward at:
- Market: What new risks, threats and opportunities exist? How has market demand, needs and landscape changed?
- Competitors: How the media references them, what types of words they use, trends capitalized on, overall tone, where they succeed in telling their story and where there are opportunities to differentiate and step in.
- Audiences: What national issues and behavioral shifts are influencing each? What crossover exists with what your company is trying to achieve and why?
Once you fully comprehend opportunities and white space, it’s time to revisit your own messaging to ensure brand and purpose are clearly defined — and captivating enough for current times.
- Internal: Following external analysis, an internal exercise can help uncover how those within organization communicate the value of your solution and where there may be opportunities to enhance strategic messaging. Examples of starter questions include: What problem is my Company solving? What does my Company Do? Why are we doing it? What is my Company the first or only to do?
The result should be a concise, compelling overarching statement summarizing what you do.
Product Messaging: Accessible and Relatable to Your Target Audiences
Next, focus on the promise of what you’re selling, the benefits of the product/tool and the users. Define value propositions in a simple way that everyone can understand. Include messages that illicit both emotional and logical response. Avoid superlatives such as “leading” or “world-class” that add no value to messaging. Rather, rooted messages in specificity and proof.
The story, messages and the way you deliver them should also change depending on who the audience is. For example, an investor wants to hear about commercialization strategy and financial plans, while a user/researcher wants to hear how your product or tool will enable them to make discoveries quicker and cheaper. This level of detail makes narrative work complex. However it’s worthwhile, especially as we move beyond B2B and B2C communications, toward business-to-person.
In the end, if the healthcare brand strategy and healthcare narrative is updated to appeal to the changed market landscape and consumer preferences the intended audience(s) will fully comprehend it.