Naming a Pharmaceutical Brand: A Product Manager's Dilemma

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG149
Case Length : 05 Pages
Period : Not Applicable
Organization : Not Applicable
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : Pharmaceutical

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from generalized experience of the authors, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source. 

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Ramesh Nayar (Ramesh) was having sleepless nights over how to increase the sales of his new brand X-Neuro Plus.

Ramesh was a product manager in a medium sized pharmaceutical company in India, and X-Neuro Plus was a brand extension of X-Neuro, one of the star brands in his portfolio. X-Neuro Plus had failed to live up to the high expectation of sales from gynecologists , who were the primary target segment.

The sales of the brand in the first three months after its launch were dismal, and way off the initial projections.

X-Neuro was used as a vitamin supplement in the treatment of certain neurological disorders; it was used as an adjunct to standard therapy.

The drug was popular with its target segment - physicians and neurologists. Its brand name too was a good fit with the neurological disorders for which the company had positioned the brand.

Ramesh often pointed this out to the sales force during sales review meetings and training programs. During the previous year's annual brand strategy meeting, he had said, “X-Neuro is synonymous with the (neurological) disorder it is intended for. Doctors say that its brand name is quite apt. Whenever they diagnose the disorder, they remembered X-Neuro.” Within a few years of its launch, X-Neuro had cornered 12 percent of the market, despite the intense competition. As it was a widely prescribed drug, it enjoyed good brand recall among members of the medical fraternity. Even doctors who did not prescribe this drug were aware of X-Neuro.

In May 2005, a clinical study showed that the addition of two other vitamins to the composition of X-Neuro made it a very good supplementary drug for treating some rare neurological and cardiovascular disorders. As these disorders were rare, the demand for this combination drug would be quite limited.

Ramesh put forward a proposal to launch this combination as a brand extension of X-Neuro. Ramakant Desai (Desai), the Managing Director of the company quickly shot down the proposal...


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