Before it’s acquisition by Pfizer, Wyeth Laboratories was the brand owner of a substantial business equity in female healthcare. It owned and managed Prempack C the brand leader in hormone replacement therapy and had a long-term presence in the contraceptive markets. Prior to joining the business, both markets had been relatively stable growing respectively year-on-year. In particular HRT had increasingly been achieving GP acceptance and had yet to encounter the level of risk factor perception which now exists and plays such a role in influencing prescribing decisions. As Group Brand Manager my role with a small department of Brand Managers was to protect the growth in both categories and use the company’s heritage in female health to grow its advocate base across Europe and win share-of-voice with global opinion leaders within the European markets.
Two specific opportunities arose, providing the scope to make a significant contribution and develop more assertive strategies in both markets:
Firstly a number of articles had appeared that linked HRT with improved quality of life perception relating to relationship quality and a more youthful appearance. This caught the imagination of the consumer press and had to be managed sensitively and responsibly. We managed to ensure a balanced and professional stance that allowed prescribers, patients and stakeholders to handle the increased demand appropriately meanwhile continuing to refine the brands equities to ensure it captured the appropriate demand.
Secondly we had the opportunity of launching a new combination oral contraceptive that offered substantial new lifestyle benefits to its users. This could have been a lost opportunity as at the time contraceptive brand communication was staid, prescriptive and showed little awareness of the lifestyle needs of the patients. Consequently cut-through was minimal in all channels. Our research however showed that female prescribers in particular were open to a more empowering lifestyle positioning and were receptive to a breaking of category conventions. We used these insights to engage prescribers to view Minulet as the brand for today’s young in-control patient cohort. The strategy and ensuing execution was able to disrupt the category managing to punch above its weight in awareness and benefiting from better than expected new prescriber rate growth. Our strategy was awarded a Pharma Marketing brand effectiveness award.