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3 ways to create awareness and conversation in P line extensions

29 Nov 2019 / Studio

Unlike GSL products, pharmacy medicine engenders a unique relationship between brand, pharmacist and customer. The pharmacist assumes the role of trusted adviser; a position that becomes all the more pertinent as patients are urged to skip GP queues and think "pharmacist first”. In order to give customers relevant advice, pharmacists – now more than ever – need valuable product choices that they recognise and trust.

Understanding this three-way dynamic is the key to creating powerful communication solutions for P line products. When you’re extending an existing range of medications, your new P product becomes a tool to communicate integrity: forming a chain reaction between brand, pharmacist and customer. To achieve this, you first harness the belief inherent in the parent brand, using key brand equities.You then layer in an element of distinction that speaks to the new product’s USPs. This balance is nuanced, and plays out on a variety of conscious and subliminal levels. 

It’s also important to look at the wider conversations that communication around your product can facilitate. How can core messaging and training literature be used to support pharmacist needs? And, at a time when pharmacy services are under pressure, how can product communication aid meaningful dialogue between pharmacists and their customers? 

The team at ALL Creative is well-versed in this process. Here are our key learnings for communicating a new P product under a trusted parent brand – using our recent brief for Nytol’s new caramel liquid format, out this month, as an example: 

Use key brand equities to harness consumer belief 

Any new product in a line extension needs to seamlessly translate the sense of belief the consumer already has in the relevant master brand. This trust that the product will work is vital to all levels of communication, and it operates directly from subtle elements of messaging and design in the parent range. 

The challenge here, then, is how to use key brand equities to move from surface-level relief (delivered by the product itself) to deep-rooted belief (ensuring the long-term success of a product). You need to examine the overarching brand architecture, and determine which parts are most closely aligned to your new communication objectives. Fail to do this, and you’ll not only create dissonance within the communication of a product range; you’ll also fracture the consumer belief that’s built within that. 

As a pharmacy-only product, the primary consumer for Nytol liquid is the pharmacist, who needs to recognise, trust and dispense it. This value will then be passed down via their relationship with the customer. For the new liquid caramel version of Nytol, ALL Creative retained the soft cloud icon – the key beacon of the parent brand. This, along with mirroring other elements of the master brand messaging and design, creates saliency across the full Nytol range. It cements consumer trust – operating at both conscious and subliminal levels – in Nytol’s heartland message of a good night’s sleep.

Create a balance between product trust and distinction

Though it’s vital to adhere to brand architecture, you also need to highlight the USP of your line extension. Otherwise it simply won’t stand out in a competitive sphere, where pharmacists have limited time to decide from a crowded product market. 

In the case of Nytol liquid caramel flavour, the two standout features are its innovative liquid format, and the taste. These two factors offer a fresh alternative to consumers who perhaps don’t like to take tablets, or are looking for a slightly softer take on the established format of the medicine. 

To draw attention to these new elements in the design of the product, we introduced an eye-catching moon motif. This warm image represents calm, soothing sleep habits and is clearly tied to night-time. The dripping caramel on the bottom half of the moon accentuates the product’s unique flavour and consistency. 

When communicating an extended line product, it’s key to strike this balance between brand consistency and charisma. Master brand equity must be measured against distinction, so that you harness a powerful sense of consumer trust while ensuring that the new product stands out with a personality of its own. However, that personality can’t be so strong that it negates or cannibalises the parent brand in any way; it’s a careful line to tread. 

It’s important to look to the future while considering this balance, too. Remember, your product design and messaging needs to carry a longevity that ensures it holds resonance not only on a pharmacy shelf but also back home in a bathroom cabinet. Bear in mind that your product may end up in a supermarket at some point further down the line, too, if it’s moved to a different classification – another important reason for it to be distinctive. 

Support pharmacy-customer dialogue with brand value education

Great pharmacist communication lies at the heart of all P line product launches. The messaging you create needs to support their needs, allay concerns, abate misconceptions and ultimately create another valuable product choice both for pharmacists and their customers. 

Brand value education, therefore, is vital. Whatever you are offering with a line extension, you need to communicate that not only in the packaging and design of the product, but also within supporting literature and integrated training programmes for healthcare professionals. The more a pharmacist understands your product, the more likely they are to use it and drive forward customer trust.

Communication with pharmacists extends beyond immediate brand values, too. With GP services under strain and patients urged to think “pharmacist first”, pharmacists are increasingly being placed at the frontline of healthcare services. You can facilitate this process by linking your P line product to wider conversations around physical and mental wellbeing. 

The new Nytol liquid caramel product, for example, is a good opportunity to open up dialogue on the integral relationship between sleep and wellness. With that in mind, the team at ALL Creative has created a series of leaflets designed to encourage pharmacists to speak to their customers about the role sleep plays in impacting mental health. This covers everything from background facts on the importance of rest to bite-sized advice pharmacists can give their customers on enabling a good night’s sleep. 

These brochures, in turn, tap into a broader discourse around sleep awareness driven by campaigners such as Arianna Huffington. With the UK in the grips of a stress epidemic, it becomes evermore crucial to understand how sleep impacts wellbeing. A new version of Nytol, then, becomes more than a product alone: via good communication, it opens up a fresh channel for pharmacists to have meaningful conversations with their customers, in a relationship that endures. 

Read about our approach to healthcare here,

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