Brand Preference Mix
The great majority of prescribers use several brands to treat a given pathology, a phenomenon which requires that pharmaceutical companies raise the preference of prescribers for their brands in order to get a bigger share of their prescriptions versus competitor products.
Strengthening the preference of a prescriber for a brand goes beyond securing brand loyalty only. Because brand loyalty can be an outcome of habit, a prescriber could theoretically have no valid reason to purchase a brand/product other than habit. Brand preference goes one step further by ensuring that brand loyalty is linked to a number of preference drivers. Pharmaceutical companies can act on those specific drivers once they have been identified.
The Brand Preference Mix (BPM) is a framework that should allow pharmaceutical companies to identify the drivers of preference most relevant to their brands/products, as perceived by prescribers, to rank them according to their importance in prescribers’ minds, and to take the necessary steps to leverage their strengths in specific areas while palliating for weaknesses in others.
The BPM is made up of three components that each includes a number of preference drivers:
- The perceived value of their brand/product attributes (i.e. efficacy, safety, convenience, scope of indications, price, first-to-launch status)
- The perceived quality of the services they offer and deliver to physicians (scientific information, sponsorship, professional trainings, scientific grants, career development support)
- Their corporate reputation (i.e. access to medicines, business ethics, community involvement, innovation, environment)
The components and the links between them should be well established in the minds of prescribers to guarantee that promotional actions will have maximum impact.
The Brand Preference Mix Index (BPM Index) is a synthetic measurement tool that captures a brand/product performance on the criteria that carry the most importance to prescribers. The BPM Index takes into account:
- The relative importance of the three BPM components for a particular brand as perceived by physicians (the weights)
- The evaluation of the brand on each of these preference components as perceived by physicians (the scores)
The BPM Index is a great tool for monitoring purposes as it permits to evaluate prescriber perception on the three dimensions of the BPM at a given point in time, down to the individual prescriber level. As such, it is possible to track the evolution of this perception over time and to benchmark it to the perception of competitor brands/products. The impact on perception of both external events (i.e. related to health authorities, competitors or clients’ behaviors) and internal events (i.e. related to promotional activities, quality of service offered, or new communication strategy) can be assessed.
It is possible to identify the rationale behind the relative importance and scores of each BPM component and then to find actions to act on the mix (try to change their relative importance) or on the scores (consolidate or improve them).
The BPM and the BPM index encompass the key determinants of market share gain and allow pharmaceutical companies to take actionable decisions to improve the position of their brands/products in the marketplace.