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9.8 Step 10: Vetted Growth Strategy

Ultimately, the ideas behind growth strategy evolve and improve through the iterative evaluation in Steps 6 through 9 of the 10-step process. The first screen is customer value. The second screen includes capabilities, resources, and assets. The third screen addresses market dynamics. In the end, the goal is to develop growth strategy that will hit the most important customer values in the most efficient way. The OptiMod team developed and executed their growth strategy for the brand in three specific ways. The following is paraphrased from Annie’s report:

Reposition “EFFICACY” from Area B to Area A. A notable theme throughout this analysis is that there are key benefits to be leveraged for OptiMod of which the customer is not fully aware. From the outside view, efficacy is a point of parity between the two products (Area B) but it actually is an attribute that could be leveraged for OptiMod (Area A) because of the favorable head-to-head study results.

Optimize Area A. Dosing is an important attribute to specialist doctors in this category and is a point of difference for OptiMod. Communicate the dosing feature as a point of difference between Vivatrol and OptiMod when a rheumatologist views efficacy as being the same. Create shelf talkers to communicate the key dosing messages for OptiMod at the point of selection. Enhance prominence of dosing message on sales material.

Moving from Area C to B. Doctors are under the misconception that Vivatrol has managed care advantages over OptiMod. Sales force should educate doctors on managed care position of OptiMod in local areas. Create geography-specific shelf talkers that highlight formulary coverage of OptiMod vs. competition.

In addition, doctors are more familiar with PharmaRival than MedFactor. Develop awareness campaign & corporate branding initiatives that highlight MedFactor’s current commitment to rheumatology and future pipeline. Ensure key opinion leaders in the field are aware of points of difference about MedFactor as opposed to product differentiation only. Continue to partner with professional associations to improve the awareness of the MedFactor name.More information cannot be provided without divulging proprietary information.

MedFactor put five different corporate branding initiatives into place in order to improve awareness of the company name with customers. In addition, the company has also addressed the problem of its managed care positioning. MedFactor put two new sales tools in place that feature local formulary grids. This enabled its sales representatives to review the information with customers—and show them how it is relevant to their local business.

The actions undertaken by the MedFactor team were very successful. The new branding initiatives contributed to a 20% growth in prescription volume for OptiMod in fiscal year 2009. Fueled by truly superior product value and communications that effectively demonstrated that value, the brand took over the market leadership position in its category during that year. The key competitive strategy concerns that Annie and her team identified on the basis of interviewing physicians in the key target market tended to focus on education. They found fairly clear consistency around the need for evidence in demonstrating one’s advantages and the company’s failure to effectively share that evidence. In general, there is lower risk in making big decisions regarding education even on the basis of small sample evidence as, very frequently, more education is better, provided that (a) it is focused on the right customer values, and (b) the company really, truly effectively delivers on those customer values.