A matter of belief: how RTBs can make a difference in efficient healthcare branding

Sigrid Schmid and Patricia Blau
GIM (Gesellschaft für Innovative Marktforschung), Germany

PROLOGUE: APPROACHING DIFFERENTIATION FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE

Differentiating the own product from competitors is a classic demand for marketing. In the past, healthcare marketing had the privilege of being able to build on sound functional differences between products based on unique modes of action and benefits. Over the past years, this privilege has been undermined by the rise of generics and the increasing pressure of budget constraints in the public healthcare sectors.

Especially within the OTC market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to gain an ownable territory. In addition to the branded products, a constantly growing number of unbranded products has gained recognition with the consumers. Consumers have become more educated and critical: no doubt, a majority is able to understand that the main active ingredient doesn't differ between the original brands and generics. Bear in mind that knowledge of this kind makes consumers often feel comfortable with choosing the cheaper option instead of the previously more trustworthy branded solution, therefore making the rise of unbranded products a serious challenge for “old” brands.