As we recover from the trauma caused by the pandemic, many consumers find themselves in a state of shock. The HawkPartners 2021 Brand Authenticity Index™ provides an opportunity for brands to connect in new ways with consumers that are more engaged, connected, and open than before the pandemic began.
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Pharma Brand Authenticity Index™
THE IMPORTANCE OF BRAND
AUTHENTICITY IN PHARMA
key pillars to
Covid Created New Opportunities For Pharma Companies To Be Viewed In A Positive Light And Establish Authentic Connections With Consumers
During the past decade, we’ve gone through unmatched economic, political, and social turmoil that has resulted in a seismic shift to our priorities, including how we live, work, and play. The pandemic gave consumers the space to evaluate which brands they connect with and support.
With pharma companies being so visibly key to ending the global COVID pandemic, there has been a recent and substantial shift in the perceptions of pharma brands. This unparalleled level of public receptivity is an opportunity for the industry. The public now wants to understand pharma companies’ values and the principles for which they stand, and brands should be prepared to take advantage of this opportunity.
Brand authenticity is no longer a choice. It’s mission critical.
Now that pharma is so directly in the public eye and central to ending the global health crisis, consumers are demanding to more deeply understand pharma companies and their values.”
—Kathy Butler, HawkPartners
This is our Roadmap
This report is our roadmap to seizing the opportunity to create genuine, authentic connections with consumers—and to build the type of trust and loyalty that many brands only dream of.
Authenticity is your north star.
Inputting together this report, we connected with nearly 2,000 consumers on why brand authenticity is important, what they look for in a pharma brand, and what they’re willing to do for a brand they believe in.
We then extracted insights from these findings on what matters most in developing and maintaining an authentic brand, using our real-world experience in working with pharma brands to identify the unique opportunity ahead.
2021’s most authentic brands
What is an authentic brand?
An authentic brand …
who it is and what it
Tells you what it
Lives up to
PILLARS OF PHARMA AUTHENTIC BRANDS
Top brand attributes in determining a brands authenticity
Consumers are letting brands into new and exciting aspects of their lives, and with that opportunity comes great expectation. We believe authenticity is the key to unlocking the connection between brand and consumer.
—Jesse Epstein, HawkPartners
AUTHENTICITY IN PHARMA IS MORE IMPORTANT TO CONSUMERS NOW THAN EVER BEFORE
The pandemic upended our day-to-day lives nearly overnight. Almost everyone felt a new sense of vulnerability. The brands that rose to the occasion and saved lives are likely to secure a place in consumers’ post-pandemic hearts.
More specifically, perceptions about vaccine products and their parent company brands are being shaped as we speak. Never in recent history have consumers’ awareness (and experience) of a pharma product and company come before commercialization. While this can present a challenge, it also presents a rare opportunity.
Now, the conversation has moved beyond specific treatments to broader perceptions of brands. Previously, topics focused on more negative aspects such as drug pricing, distrust, etc., whereas now, there is an appreciation for the science and benefits that the industry represents.
Consumers now want to understand pharma companies’ values and identities more deeply — and are coming to the table with a more positive and open mind as they acknowledge that pharma companies have helped them.
why it matters
71% of respondents say it has become more important for pharma company brands to be authentic since COVID
AUTHENTICITY PRESENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO CONNECT WITH NEW CONSUMERS
Brands used to be able to get away with ignoring authenticity. But for millennials and younger consumers—the people who will determine brand success for the next generation—authenticity is non-negotiable. The pandemic was the first time that many in Gen Z were exposed to the pharmaceutical industry, so pharma companies have a unique opportunity to foster a relationship with these younger consumers.
It is critical for pharma companies to consider how to infuse authenticity not only with the parent brand but at the product level across disease areas. Those that manufactured the COVID-19 vaccine have a unique opportunity to build this into both product and parent company branding decisions.
why it matters
92% of Gen Z respondents say it’s important for pharma companies to be authentic (highest of any age group)
PHARMA HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ESTABLISH A TRUSTING CONNECTION WITH THE BIPOC COMMUNITY
Race-based disparities in health are a persistent and deep-rooted issue in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception, having disproportionately impacted communities of color. However, the newfound awareness and receptiveness of the efforts of pharma companies generally present an opportunity to engage with a BIPOC audience and establish a trust-based relationship with these consumers.
To establish such trust, healthcare marketers must prioritize listening to BIPOC consumers to better understand their perspectives. Only after gaining this understanding can marketers develop tactics to better communicate and optimize messaging and delivery channels.
why it matters
90% of non-white consumers agree it is important for a pharma brand to be authentic
The consumer conversation surrounding the pharma industry has refocused on the positive impact that innovation, science, and new products can make on their daily lives.
—Lori Holmes, HawkPartners
Consumers are paying attention to brands in different industries, creating new opportunities for connection
With pharma being so visibly key to ending the global COVID pandemic, there has been a recent and substantial shift in the perceptions of pharma brands. This unparalleled level of public receptivity is an opportunity for the industry. The public now wants to understand pharma companies’ values and the principles for which they stand, and brands should be prepared to take advantage of this opportunity.
Pfizer was the first pharma company to release a COVID vaccine and has established a newfound trusting relationship with consumers. Those that receive the Pfizer vaccine tout it as a badge of honor, posting to social media and sharing with friends. These perceptions around the COVID vaccine are now inextricably linked to the broader Pfizer master brand, providing new opportunities for other therapeutic areas.
why it matters
66% of respondents say the industry where it is most important for companies to be authentic is pharmaceuticals
How authentic is your brand?
Join us for an in-depth look at how your brand stacks up—and how we can collaborate on actionable plans to increase your authenticity.
More authenticity insights
Read our latest perspectives on our authenticity findings.
Our team shares key insights about which brands excelled in our Brand Authenticity Index as well as the factors that drive authenticity.
As everything in our economy and our lives is re-shaped, so too are the connections brands and consumers create, and authenticity is one of the most important ways to create connections in the new normal.