Life is difficult for healthcare professionals. Every day is fraught with treatment challenges, economic woes, and patient frustrations. Like any consumer, to break through the clutter of their everyday lives, you have to get to their motivating principle — what is in it for them? Sadly, many brands fear differentiation. Despite the creative constraints imposed by the current regulatory environment, pharmaceutical branding can always rise above the sea of sameness without threatening regulatory policies. Many marketers are failing — either out of misguidance or misplaced fear — to push the limits of creative expression of a brand. They are also dangerously underestimating the value and effect of good creative and impactful design in differentiating a product with healthcare professionals.

Remember this: you’ve got to understand what their problem is and offer a solution.

Look at this eye-catching ad for DuoDerm® Signal®. Without reading a word, the main benefit of this brand is clear: This dressing will stay in place. This ad creatively addresses a challenge that is extremely frustrating for nurses. They can immediately identify with the problem, and the fact that this dressing provides a solution makes the brand a clear winner.

Marketing in this stringent regulatory environment certainly has its challenges, but with the right vision everything is possible. There’s a delicate balance between conservatism and creativity. Leaning too far one way — or the other — can make a brand become either obsolete or a cautionary tale. The true measure of success is always influencing healthcare decision-making by motivating and changing the behavior of doctors and their patients. This success is determined by the experience and expertise of the marketing team — and there’s no place for rookies.