A distinctive name is an important part of a brand’s identity. It’s usually the first thing customers see or notice, and it’s how they remember a business or product. It’s the beginning of their brand experience, and it’s critical for developing trust and loyalty. The pharmaceutical sector has always concentrated its brand names on functional features rather than attempting to connect with customers on an emotional level. According to Logos Associated’s research, this is a squandered opportunity because brand may impact the bottom line by driving profit, premium, and preference.
So, why is the crucial step of creating a brandname in healthcare so difficult?
1) Trademark development is a major concern for new healthcare brands. A name, like a consumer brand, must be legally viable. The majority of our clients begin the brand naming process by telling us what they want the brand to communicate. Our team then creates hundreds of names that represent that idea using certain letter combinations, analogies, or stylistic characteristics. As trademarks become more common, finding white space around a certain letter string/communication (especially if it is inspired by a functional feature that isn’t very unique or new) becomes more difficult.
2) Getting a website domain is also complicated. Securing a.com for your company, which is crucial in today’s increasingly digital environment, can be quite difficult. The global reach of the digital arena is growing.
3) It’s critical to evaluate any brand name’s linguistics across many global marketplaces to guarantee that what you’re saying in one language doesn’t signify something negative or false in another.
4) Even if names pass these requirements, they face a difficult audience: internal stakeholders. Many persons participating in the evaluation and decision-making process for a new brand name are unfamiliar with the obstacles that a potential trademark must overcome and underestimate the value of a viable name candidate. They usually have strong, subjective, and sometimes emotional beliefs about what their brand should express, and are astonished when they don’t see it articulated in a name in the way they expected.
5) When it comes to brand name development, the healthcare industry, unlike most consumer industries, faces a unique set of problems. Regulatory authorities must authorise a name for a medicine, implant, or, in rare cases, a medical device product. Not only are there different regulatory agencies in different regions, which makes global branding even more difficult, but each has its own set of criteria for evaluating and approving a name. Regulatory authorities examine various components of a possible brand name, with safety being their primary concern.
When was the last time you got a prescription from your doctor? Could you decipher your doctor’s written prescription? To avoid confusion and pharmacist or physician error, regulators mandate that healthcare names must not sound or look like those of other products. That’s why Prozac, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin are all different names for the same thing: depression. Furthermore, the name cannot convey a health and wellness claim or a non-functional benefit directly. So we can make inferences about characteristics—pro-active-prozac, loft-lift-zoloft—but not directly about advantages; no one will ever be able to promote an antidepressant as “happy pills,” even if we use the phrase colloquially.
6) Once a name has passed trademark exams and cleared regulatory hurdles (if necessary), it still faces challenges. Whether it’s a product name or a company name, healthcare marketers need a name that appeals to a wide range of people. Communication pieces must connect with patients, physicians, and insurance companies in very distinct ways. In the context of healthcare, something that is intrinsically perceived as positive in the consumer world may be interpreted as negative. Take, for example, Jet Blue. This is a fantastic name that conveys speed (monosyllabic), action (jet), and safety/serenity all at once (blue skies). If the term “blue” was used to describe a medicinal product, it could connote depression, coldness, or even death (think: code blue).
Given how difficult it is to brand an entity in the healthcare industry, it’s no surprise that our industry’s names have generally centred on utility. As a result, many scientific healthcare businesses are failing to connect with their clients’ emotions. Long-term success is unlikely for brands that are unable to develop a relationship with clients that goes beyond a basic feature. A connection that goes beyond how something works–tapping into emotions and building a relationship with end-users–is required for a brand’s sustainability. This is a large and exciting potential, but it must be tackled with industry knowledge and category insights in order to forge a lasting relationship with clients.