Branding for Pharma Industry

This is an excerpt transcription from an interview podcast episode I recorded with my guest Dave Fletcher. We discuss about branding & design for Pharmaceutical Industry.

Here is their website:
https://www.themechanism.com/


Table of Contents:

  1. Basics of branding for Pharmaceutical Industry
  2. Defining the brand (discovery process)
  3. Analyzing the competitors
  4. Determining the strategy
  5. Designing the brand identity concepts
  6. Reviewing and refining the concepts
  7. Selecting the winning concept
  8. Developing all branding elements
  9. Delivering and launching the new identity

1. Basics of branding for Pharmaceutical Industry

Arek Dvornechuck:
What are some of the basics of branding for Pharmaceutical Industry?

Dave Fletcher:
Sure, I would say, that the basics of branding for pharmaceutical are the same, the same sort of basics as you would apply with any industry. You know, you’re looking to develop brand solutions that create affection for the brand. And, you know, affection not in a a lovey dovey kind of way but in a way, that’s very real, a real connection.

All branding should create a a real connection with the with the product or an idea Ideally you’re trying to create something that makes people feel comfortable, that eases pain, that is very empathy driven.


2. Defining the brand (discovery process)

Arek Dvornechuck:
How do you do the discovery session? How do you define the brand?

Dave Fletcher:
Sure. Well, you know, with with most projects it’s a, you gather together the the folks who are working on or going to be involved in the project in one way or one shaper or another a lot of times when you come in from a branding perspective you’re working with other agencies who might be dealing with, you know, the PR and marketing endeavors. The people that are dealing with with copywriting and copyediting which is a whole other enormous animal when it comes to to pharma, you know being sure that things are written legally and appropriately based on, you know, law.


3. Analyzing the competitors

Arek Dvornechuck:
How do you go about finding about the competitors and things on visual research?

Dave Fletcher:
Yeah, it’s, there’s a lot of push and pull in what you’re describing and the reason there is a push and pull is there are there are.. But let’s look at first the competitive analysis. There is, there is a finite amount of truly original ideas that are still out there. With the amount of graphic design and visual identity work that’s been produced. And you know, there are people that may disagree with that.

I would say that, you know, your goal is to is to first, you know, begin to look at how you’re going to identify with the audience with color and with visual.


4. Determining the strategy

Dave Fletcher:
I loved design annuals and conferences and you know all of the the things that come with being a graphic designer, but I like to try to come up with something based on experience first and then look, you know, look a little deeper from a visual standpoint.

I like to, I like to, you know, I like to understand the personality myself of what I’m of what I’m trying to develop for and then you know, then look at what’s been done. Because I try to be as original as possible, but I also know you know, that there are there limitations specially when you’re dealing with corporated, you know entities.

There are limits to originality.


5. Designing the brand identity concepts

Arek Dvornechuck:
Can you give us some tips on how many concepts you present to to the client? How do you present those concepts? and then just, in terms of the presentation, how it’s done by you?

Dave Fletcher:
Sure. Brand identity development is storytelling and you know, your first goal when you’re presenting design work to a client is to show how each concept, if you’re presenting more than one, how it tells a particular story or answers a particular question that made that you may have come up with during your initial conversations with them.

Something that’s really important I think for us as designers to understand is that we need to listen more than we need to speak a lot of times.


6. Reviewing and refining the concepts

Dave Fletcher:
When we’re presenting a first round of identity work for somebody, you know, there are no more than three, you know, ideas, and I don’t want to be prescriptive to any designers who may be listening to this on how many designs you need to present. I’ve presented one solution to a client that’s the right solution and kept a few on my back pocket. If I couldn’t sell it, but I’m pretty convinced that I can sell it or I wouldn’t be presenting just one.

In bigger clients, a lot of times they are asking for more than one. So what you try to do is to try to compartmentalize the keywords that you glean from your initial conversations and try to present to them, you know, three solutions based on certain core ideas.


7. Selecting the winning concept

Arek Dvornechuck:
How do you go about selecting the winning concept with the client?

Dave Fletcher:
Yeah, I mean you basically quip within the timeline to do your presentation to ascertain feedback. A lot of times if you’re presenting more than one idea, you know, they’re always going to come back and say I kind of like this about that one. I like a little bit of this and that one. I like a little bit of this and that one. And you know, you can, you’re sort about a crosswords there where you can say okay, “Well we can work on that.” or you can say, “Well this piece of this or this color palette will not work with this particular design.”

You have to be on Nimble, you know and you know fast on your feet to be able to explain it.


8. Developing all branding elements

Arek Dvornechuck:
Once we have the concept, the winning concept then I assume that the next step would be to, you know, developing all the branding elements.

Dave Fletcher:
If you do your work and you’re rationalizing, you know, very basic UI you know, or UX for an application or a web website or or you know, whatever whatever you’re developing to kind of create reach material for the brand identity. You thought a lot of that through in the beginning.


9. Delivering and launching the new identity

Dave Fletcher:
There is a lot of effort that goes into that first presentation. You know, it’s like it’s like a band comes out with their first album, you know, their first album is usually the best because they spent their whole career to get to that. You have spent, you know, when you’re working with a brand you’ve spent an enormous amount of time to get it to that. To get it buttoned up to that presentation point where you’re ready to show it to somebody.

So you if you’re a good designer or you’re a good developer or you’re a good creative person. You thought all of those items through because you’re ready to answer the questions that come up when you’re doing that presentation. You know, you have to, you have to know you know, how that brand speaks?

What it sounds like?

What it’s voice is, you know.

How it translates to a UI or UX, you know, that’s going to come next before, you know, before the clients even made a decision.


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