Some months ago I was asked for my thoughts on how to position Pharma brands and what it takes to get a brand positioning accepted. When I sat down and thought what to say the following equation came to mind. Each time I look at I really like the simplicity and what call to action it brings.

P=E+(-O)
acceptance of  brand position = Customer Experience + negative objections

Pharma Positioining

E for Experience- This tells me that to gain my brands position I first have to have customer experiences that are positive. That means that my targets audience will be able to tell themselves and others a positive experience story about my brand. Can your customers do that and do you have this as an action in your marketing plan to generate and capture these early on in the brands life cycle.

-O for Objections– what will counteract the positive experience story will be a negative experience story of belief stories.  When these stories are held by our customers its likely that they will counterbalance the positive stories or at least put doubt in the customers mind. Do you think he will share his positive story under these circumstances! Once again how much attention do you apply to ensuring these stories are eliminated of held by few customers. Don’t forget here that some of these objections are likely to be false.

Persuasion= Positioning- Its well known that in the face of a good story facts and rational arguments have less persuasion for change powerthan stories. To affect a change of mid you have to make the customer go on a journey that tells a story where he can generate a new story for himself that holds your argument a a new truth. to  do that you will have to show a positive outcome for him in your counter story. this story should be one that he can re tell to re enforce one of these new truths.

So overall to drive the acceptance of your brand position you need to have stories of how the world is different to customers like your current target and stories that relate to the sort of objections he is naturally going to raise. its not enough to present counter arguments. You need a compeling story to tell for each objection.  its not easy to plan for this but it will save you  advertising dollars and create a faster fan base who have and are willing to tell colleagues why to use your brand.