18.11.07

Consumer Orientation

DTC Branding of an SMBG System


While in PoCGT systems targeting institutional business, the approach to build a marketing mix, product positioning, message and promotional mix is quite closed to that of ethical pharmaceuticals, medical consumables, and medical equipments. The case remarkably differs when we talk about an SMBG system tailored to meet home testing needs.

In the home use glucose monitoring systems world, three approaches were tried;

  1. Ethical Like Model: Capitalizing on prescription creation from major diabetologists and internists. This model was applied from 1997 to 1999 in MEA. However, when the massive investments in HCPs awareness programs and promotional projects did not fruit satisfactorily in the majority of countries, excepting France, a sort of mind resetting was required.
  2. Telecoms Like Model: Applying the very consumerism model of high tech consumer products like mobiles, modems .. etc. Supplying a flood of technical info together with massive ATL campaigns. More importantly offering FOC meters to consumers. While this approach succeeded in the first world, it did not achieve much in third world. Due to the extremely low frequency of testing (1.3 box of 50 strips a year). Wherein free meters shall never be justified as a cost!
  3. Consumer Health Model: as SMBG systems are too simple to be dealt with like a high tech., and too complicated to be treated like a consumable. A midstream applied in MEA at a later stage was in my viewpoint the best of the rest. It relied mainly on;
  • Simple message that is palatable to averagely educated diabetics
  • Consumer orientation in promotional mix designing. Yet, not to the extent of free trip contests and sweepstakes! A rationalized degree of consumer orientation, presenting to customer the health facts and the product's added values is what it takes to get him as a loyal customer. Price gaming and sales promotion here is of 2ry role, as no one will be taking bribes on the expense of his own health.

Message Simplicity Applied

OneTouch® Ultra Launch- Egypt North Africa- 2004

  • Linking the three major added values to the initial section "Con" to facilitate memorization process and support message engraving in consumer mind.
  • Focusing of the Precision Checker was of great value in low socio-economic countries wherein the ability of frequent testing is minimal. Accordingly the patient appreciates the benefit of autonomous precision checking to increase confidence in a single test.







  • Wide temperature range of increasing important in hot climates, specially for EC based devices









  • Convenience formula summarizing what the diabetic patient needs to comply with SMBG recommendations. Reduction of pain, sample size and simplicity of steps was a proven pro testing motivation




  • Benefits Summation in three statements all starting with Ultra and "Con" to further brand memorization


OneTouch is a registered brand name of of LifeScan Johnson & Johnson.
Copyrights© 2003. Eyad A. Harfoush

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