Wednesday, May 10, 2017


The logo defined

A logo (or logotype) is a design or symbol used by an organization to identify its products, programs, corporate identity and so on.  The graphical mark called logo helps identify a company, product, brand, or organization.  A logo may be a wordmark or shape or combination…it is used to help impress target audiences, create a memory hook, build trust, strengthen brand registration and recall, provoke purchase-pull, and adds to the intangible assets of a company.  A logo is part of the overall branding process and the brand itself.

A logo is responsible for recognition and trust building, when appropriately used in marketing communication.  TV channels have standardized logos to help viewers locate and stay on with the broadcast content.  Logos of TV channels build up a reputation for standing up to certain values and offerings.  Egs.,: the logo of MTV stands for English music and is youth-centric nature.  CNN stands for accurate and stylish newscast.  Recognition through logos makes a customer or prospect comfortable with the offered product or service.

Logo marketing for differentiation

Logos can go a long way in creating differentiation, trust and market-pull.  The best logo example is the green dot for vegetarian food packs and red dot for non-vegetarian food packs.  This has helped customers make their choice.  Similarly, ISI is a special mark indicating the acceptable and approved quality of a product.  The logo concept builds identity, trust, and reputation, and has helped in consumption of products.

The marketing of products with logos that stand for a certain assurance of quality or function helps in strengthening customer choice towards the marketed brand.  A logo is a graphical representation of a brand promise.  The successful marketing of a product is boosted by a recognized and trust-inspiring logo.

A new market segment and a new logo based system of marketing

Pharma companies have to make the inevitable choice to offer lower priced branded generics (these can be through umbrella branding or individual product branding), given the push for such products by Governmental policy makers.  There is sufficient evidence that an ecosystem for ‘lower priced branded generics or unbranded generics’ is being encouraged by the Govt. of India.  Hence, it is essential to wise up to this new market trend.  To enable brands, in this new market segment, gain recognition and trust at patient level, uniform brand colours, fonts and brand presentation needs to be done.  Along with this, the development of a logo will go a long way to sustain repeat purchases by customers and attract prospects towards the promoted branded or unbranded generic range of a company.

If the government is serious on building a “low cost generic (branded or unbranded) market” it can also launch a logo similar to ISI and encourage pharmaceutical suppliers to use this logo on their products to enhance patient/customer trust


The logo concept does to this new generic pharma market segment, what the MTV logo does to their TV channel.  NEW MARKET CHANNEL … NEW LOGO!!


One interesting logo concept used by Bangalore based Group Pharmaceuticals:

The above is a logo for assurance of quality and reinforces brand identity of the dental range from this company. 

The following are interesting newspaper article foto posts on the raging generic medicines issue, a logo concept will certainly help differentiate low cost branded or unbranded generic medicine offerings by various companies (including Jan Aushadhi) for ensuring quality, trust, purchase-pull, and building reputation.

The first one is from Deccan Herald, page no. 11, second and third ones are from Business Standard, 4.5.17, page no. 12

Thanks for reading this logo concept in pharma channel; please scroll down to read more articles and click on older posts for reading other posts.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The whey forward! Emotional triggers!!

Interesting article on whey from this link: click here!

Emotional triggers hold the key for sales.  For example, consider a milk-mix beverage like Horlicks: when a person uses/buys the brand, he or she is emotionally triggered positively by the aroma, warm memories of the brand, taste, health benefits (such as strong bones or energy or boost to immunity), and other confidence generating features of the brand, and so on… It is the marketer’s challenge to create such emotional triggers in the marketed brand so that prospects are converted to customers, and customers stay with the brand.

How to keep triggering the emotions to ensure successful purchase of the brand?

Companies and brands need to ride with the trends to ensure they keep prospects & customers emotionally interested in the offerings.  Positive emotions need to be generated by the brand – this keeps the brands fresh in minds of the target audience.  Thus, more prospects get converted and the customer bandwagon keeps on increasing.

Keeping with the contemporary trends by tweaking the brand messaging, packaging, creating line extensions etc, means the brand remains ceaselessly relevant to the customer.  Trends should match the core benefit of the brand.  All brand positioning and promotional activities are meant to strengthen the trust on the marketer’s brand(s).

Trust: cornerstone of pharma brand success

Pharma brands of the off-patent generics are successful in India, as they have won the trust of doctors (influencers) and patients.  Trust and feel-good factor make the pen habits.  Continuous product promotion to feed the trust and feel-good factor on the brand, reinforces pen habits of doctors.

Today, a welter of conversations on pharma brands is sabotaging the success of pharma brands.  It is the most CREATIVE OPPORTUNITY for pharma marketers to come out with campaigns to reinforce doctor’s pen habits and patient confidence.

Each brand is built on a foundation of trust (reliability) and brand benefits.  Contributors to this brand salience are -

a)      Quality – that the product meets certain predetermined standards (eg., uniform content tablet to tablet, amount of active ingredient in each unit dosage form, quality and type of excipeints in the formulation etc)
b)     Consistency – is another brand expectation.  Patrons, patients and doctors always choose time-tested moieties and brands to deliver therapeutic benefits
c)     Value for money – this is the point that needs to be emphasized upon.  It is time for pharma brands to talk on the brand attributes and service inputs, and justify the price for the brand.  Justification of price comes through convincing communication to doctors and patients.  For eg., when a patient buys brand A of paracetamol, the pack or strip or labeling or pack insert should reinforce the value of brand A: this can be done through reinforcing messages like: EACH SECOND SOMEONE SOMEWHERE - A PATIENT IS BUYING A TABLET OF BRAND A…trust Brand A. 

Today it is the time for brand reinforcing messages at level of patients also.  For which, technology needs to be used.
There are several challenges to trust building on the pharma horizon, the chief three being:

a)      US FDA Form 483 observations on manufacturing operations
b)      Policy shift regarding branded generics (non-patented drugs)
c)      GST implementation

Let us focus on the 'whammo (b)', with high cost branded generics now being bandied as a bad idea for patient economics - so what is the way forward for the multitude of pharma companies ?

1)      Trust building communiques (perhaps in packaging and pack inserts itself for patients and other collaterals for doctors) regarding the technological advantages, clinical case studies and trials on the brand, and brand surety - is certain to protect brands
2)      Launch of products that do not have much me-too competition and at the same time having growth potential (to gain scale) is another approach
3)      Another is 'going along with trends'…

One such novel idea is looking at whats’ trending in the marketplace: THE VMHS opportunity  

A McKinsey report of Dec 2013 says, (even at that time 4 years back) the global VMHS (Vitamins, Minerals, Nutritional and herbal supplements) market was valued at 82 billion USD.  EU, Japan and America are big nutraceutical markets.  Electronic developments like the internet have caused the collapse of information float, creating the empowered patient and customer, who uses word-of-mouth and internet based knowledge for choosing health promoting products.  There is an overall emphasis on preventative health (this is an important point for promoters of DENTAL CARE PRODUCTS).  This is the opportunity that business models can bank on and recreate a positive pathway for business success.

There are many nutraceutical concepts: polyphenol based formulations, health beverages, vitamin-mineral formulations, green tea concept (EGCG polyphenol)… and one can also see a WHEY FORWARD!

Dairy industry: milk and milk derived products are traditionally popular in India.  Lord Krishna was “maakhan chor” (he liked butter), and, in contemporary times, paneer (cottage cheese) is popular too for daily use.  India is the largest producer of milk in the world.  India accountsfor 9.5% of world’s production of milk!  In 2015 – 2016 financial year, India produced 155.50 tonnes of milk.

Milk offers an interesting culturally popular basis for nutraceuticals in India: whey, lactose, milk mineral concentrate, and milk proteins are part of the dairy industry products.

Milk is a good source of protein containing 9 essential amino acids - 82% of milk protein is casein and remaining is serum whey protein (18%).  

Casein is a collection of phosphorous containing casein subtype proteins (eg., alpha – s1 etc), casein proteins are suspended in milk.  Phosphoprotein casein is richly present in cheese.  Hydrolyzed casein is used to some extent in nutritional powders, however, it has a taste problem

The serum whey proteins do not contain phosphorous, this family of proteins contains subtypes like lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, alpha lact albumin etc.

Whey is largely produced as a liquid offshoot of cheese production (upto 95%), and whey is also obtained when casein is produced (upto 5%).  Whey is the liquid left over, after milk has been curdled and strained.  Whey is incorporated into products of various categories: infant nutrition, sports nutrition, clinical and medical nutrition.

The dominant type of whey production is in form of Whey Powder (WP) (about 70% of world production is WP, excluding lactose powder and permeate powder), and a fast growing type is Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) – the latter has a protein concentration of 50 to 89%.  The globally well accepted form of WPC is WPC 80 (ie., 80% protein).

While WPC 80 is a popular form of whey protein - WPI (Whey Protein Isolate), also has high acceptance in milk based formulations.

Lactose powder or milk sugar is a disaccharide – contains two sugar molecules (glucose + galactose).  This milk derived product is used in infant formulae, animal feeds, for standardization of milk, pharmaceutical uses (diluent and for compressibility of tablets), confectionary and chocolate…Lactose (2 to 8% of milk) is extracted from whey.

Milk mineral concentrate (MMC or milk calcium) is also derived from pasteurized whey.  This form contains milk calcium and other minerals in optimal amounts:  magnesium, phosphate, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin D. 

Milk permeate powder is derived from skimmed pasteurized cow’s milk and protein is extracted from this.  Similarly there is whey permeate powder. 

So milk is not just about healthy taste, it is very much about offering well absorbed milk proteins for growth, development and immunity 


A)    Elderly, for helping avoid muscle loss
B)    Children, for health and growth
C)    Dieters, since milk proteins are a source of lean nutrition and increase satiety (also decrease cravings, hence useful in diabetics too)
D)    Sports personnel, for muscle building and recovery from work-outs.

Best of all, it is the unbeatable cultural acceptance of milk and milk-derived ingredients across India that makes this concept attractive.

While there may be a shift from high cost branded generics to low cost branded and low cost unbranded generics - in the pharma market, a concomitant development will be a growing nutraceutical market in India.  Indian pharma companies will surely weather this storm (in a tea cup?) and continue the winning streak through generics (formulations) and nutraceuticals in the global market.

However, a word of caution: it is wise if policy makers tread with care when changing policies.  And any policy change should be delivered with care…and the policy should not become a bull in a China shop.

Emotional triggers are very vital for any purchase or prescribing decision.  Emotional triggers need to be thoughtfully delivered.  Milk and milk derived ingredients are culturally acceptable; hence, there is an emotional trigger in-built in this category.  Similarly, herbs have good cultural acceptance and positive emotional appeal.  Thus products designed with in-built emotional triggers is the whey forward!!

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