Branding agency experts share what to know when it comes to legal, regulatory, and creative approaches in the complex drug-naming process, with its potential to shape a campaign’s success.
The long process of brand naming usually starts in Phase II or III clinical trials and begins with a kickoff meeting between the client’s project team and the agency’s team to discuss their asset and to scope out strategies and opportunities for the name—a completely original word in most cases. All agencies agree that it’s of the utmost importance to have the client with them on the entire journey. That way they understand how name creation aligns with their preferences based on the information of the asset they provided; what’s important to target audiences both on the HCP and patient/caregiver side; the background provided on the competitive landscape; and how their asset will fit into that landscape. The client is looking to discover that unique selling proposition and find where an opportunity lies in the market.
“We like to say, the earlier you start, in theory, the more shots you have on goal,” says Scott Piergrossi, president, creative of Brand Institute. “If you have a name that you like commercially, but there are concerns from a regulatory standpoint, such as potential similarity with another drug name, you can submit that name and get feedback. Sometimes the name will get approved, sometimes it won’t, so we’re always well prepared with backups.”
The pharmaceutical name is just the beginning, it’s the springboard for the next creative team or agency to build strategy around the product and come up with compelling marketing campaigns to bring that brand to life in a very competitive market.