CBX Expert: Biopharma Patients Respond to Better Brand Experiences

Amid rapid growth of biologics and self-administered therapeutics, biopharma firms stand to benefit by offering higher-order packaging and product experiences, writes CBX's Brian McDonagh.

MINNEAPOLIS, May 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The success of biopharmaceutical businesses increasingly hinges on their ability to excel at something that is more typically associated with consumer product goods--namely, creating meaningful brand experiences for consumers, writes Brian McDonagh, a Minneapolis-based strategy director at CBX, in the April issue of BioProcess International magazine.

But brands, McDonagh writes, are about much more than merely logos and taglines. "I'm talking about meaningfully unique experiences that directly affect clinical and patient needs--specifically, to address the growing demand for self-administered injectable therapeutics," he notes in the magazine's Elucidation column.

For a host of biopharma firms--everything from biosimilar developers seeking to differentiate themselves, to market leaders forging ahead after the loss of patent protection--creating brand experiences can be an effective way to capture market share, says McDonagh, who has worked with such companies as Kimberly-Clark, Merck, Medtronic and PepsiCo. "When a drug is subject to clinical parity among its competitors," he explains, "its value comes from factors that increase the likelihood of each patient recipient's administrating that therapy the right way, at the right time, every time."

In the column ("Your Brand is the Patient's Experience"), McDonagh notes that consumer experience and patient adherence are growing concerns in the sector, where a third of all new drug approvals are biologics. With an aging population, a major push toward out-of-clinic solutions, and consumers' rising expectations that no disease should limit their lifestyles, "the result is a need for end-user, design-driven solutions that allow people to do the things they need to do without compromising safety or efficacy," McDonagh writes.

Formerly regarded as user-experience "extras," product qualities such as ease of use, ergonomics and intuitiveness are coming to the fore, he notes. In particular, he points to the ergonomics, navigability, identification, and usability of Pfizer's Z-pak and Merck's Zepatier blister packs, as well as the "relevance and resonance" of GSK's Advair inhaler and Merck's Belsomra stress-free blister. "The opportunity for injectable biologics could be even more game-changing than those familiar successes because of the participatory nature of their self-administration," McDonagh writes.

Over and above creating products that are easy to self-administer, biopharma companies should seek to maximize the patient experience, he writes. In addition to outlining universal design principles that could be brought to bear during such efforts, McDonagh underscores the need to eliminate unnecessary complexity, stay consistent with user expectations and intuitions, and arrange information consistent with its importance. "Then, as you aim for more patient-centric and brand-differentiating experiences, you can aspire to solutions that speak to people's whole selves with design that emotes, motivates, and empowers," he writes.

In the conclusion to the piece, the CBX strategy director notes that those who are forced to live with chronic diseases will respond to better therapy experiences that improve their lives. "If your design makes the experience less unpleasant in some way than it would be otherwise, patients will pay you back with adherence and loyalty," he writes. "Your investors will be gratified when no competitor can easily copy the value you have created."

To read the article, go to: http://www.bioprocessintl.com/category/april-2018/

About CBX
Founded in 2003, CBX is a brand agency with expertise in design, strategy, verbal identity and retail environments. Its client roster includes General Mills, Kimberly Clark, Bayer, Sam's Club, Clorox, Mission Foods, and The J.M. Smucker Company among many others. The firm's offices are in New York, Minneapolis and San Francisco. For more information, visit www.cbx.com

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