Summary: While most pharmaceutical companies focus on product / brand promotions, it is inevitable that they should shift their focus towards disease branding, which will help in establishing a category. Once category has been established, it becomes easier to create awareness on the brand. This will help the brand to achieve leadership position.

It is interesting to note, the healthcare industry works in reverse manner, reason being restrictions on advertising, laid down for healthcare industry by ICMR. Although, earlier Indian consumers never got influenced by pharmaceutical product advertisements or models in doctor’s apron promoting advts.

With the advent of mass media in information technology age, the consumer has become well-informed to make purchasing decisions. The consumer is now king because they take their own decisions and conduct research about the product. In such scenario promoting products has become very tricky; in addition launch of more products and brand in the same category creates very competitive environment for the products / brands to survive.

In such situation, the question arises to decide on the right medium to promote / publicize healthcare products?

These products are often managed by product managers more experienced in marketing armed with MBAs; they only relate marketing to return on investment. But it is important to promote the disease category, brand the disease and inform the patient community about those diseases. Some of the important diseases which enjoy have high levels of awareness are listed below:

  • Breast Cancer
  • AIDS
  • Bird Flu
  • Headache
  • Sore eyes (Conjunctivitis)
  • Heart Attack
  • Dog bite (Rabies)
  • Diabetes Day
  • Blood cancer (Leukemia)

Consumers are aware about the above diseases and its effects. They are empowered with knowledge to understand the symptoms, asking for help, diagnosis and treatment. This has been possible due to awareness campaigns by mass media. It has been observed patients often debate with doctors on possible treatments for these diseases.

The media informs consumers / patients and doctor answers queries, it is a two way process, which creates a lasting impact in the minds of consumers. Branding diseases also helps to create awareness resulting in more aware patients and leading to better diagnosis. Early diagnosis helps to provide early treatment, saving the patients lives.

The day won’t be far when patients start performing diagnosis on them and consult with the doctor online for help.

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