Skip to content

Three "Do’s" (and One "Don’t"!) for a Successful Programmatic Brand Strategy

What we’ve learned about creating efficiencies, considering stakeholders, and prioritizing internal communications while developing a master brand

Managing large-scale projects as a program – comprised of a group of related projects – helps us achieve efficiencies and other benefits not available from managing the projects individually.

Knowing when to use a programmatic approach when developing a compound through clinical trials – and implementing the strategy early – is important. If a drug candidate has potential applications across various indications in a given therapeutic area, developing a programmatic strategy will allow for study organization under a single brand while helping to position the sponsor as the leader in that therapeutic area.

Here we will lay out three “do’s” (and one “don’t”) for managing a successful programmatic branding and implementation strategy, based on key learnings from campaigns we have developed for our life science and pharmaceutical partners.

DO: Consider benefits for all stakeholders

There are many stakeholders to consider, and we have found ways to measure efficiencies for each of them. Patients benefit from easy-to-understand, relevant content. Healthcare practitioners appreciate a centralized, credible resource for trial information. Clinical operations and study sites will benefit from the accelerated enrollment and consistent patient volume a programmatic campaign can deliver. Sponsor procurement personnel appreciate cost reductions and streamlined contracting. Other stakeholders, including executive management, shareholders, and corporate communications professionals will also see benefits, from sponsor visibility, quality content generation, and business growth. 

“One of the main advantages of this approach is its scalability – we have implemented this strategy for suites of four or five studies all the way up to sprawling programs that include as many as 60 separate studies.”

DO: Analyze potential long-term efficiencies vs. short-term costs

We have found the efficiencies of a programmatic approach begin to be realized with the third study in the program. Beyond the third study, efficiencies increase dramatically, with measurable savings in both time and cost. One of the main advantages of this approach is its scalability – we have implemented this strategy for suites of four or five studies all the way up to sprawling programs that include as many as 60 separate studies. 

DO: Prioritize internal process development when change is necessary

Most life sciences companies approve funding at a trial level, not a program level. Review and approval processes, including dialogue and protocol with legal and clinical stakeholders, may need to be adjusted or completely redesigned to accommodate a programmatic approach. Implementing indication-specific campaigns in a controlled manner and within a well-considered framework will allow the program to progress through regulatory approvals as smoothly as possible. Progressive development requires flexibility and valuing the collaborative process will go a long way in ensuring the success of your program.

DON’T: Delay developing a strategic master brand architecture

The only way to achieve the efficiencies and benefits we describe above is by outlining and implementing a scalable programmatic strategy early. Developing a strong master brand as soon as possible is one of the keys to successfully executing a programmatic approach. This is where the sponsor is positioned as a leader in the therapeutic area, and awareness at the program level leads to successes at the indication and trial levels. Naming conventions, visual cues like color and icons, and photography options are of particular importance, as these will carry through to the individual projects within the program. Indication- and trial-specific content and visuals should always fit within the established framework supporting the overall master brand.


Questions about implementing a programmatic approach for a compound in your pipeline?  Contact us!

Want to learn more about how our creative department develops branding and materials?  Click here!