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Pharma Brand Authenticity Index™

THE IMPORTANCE OF BRAND
AUTHENTICITY IN PHARMA

1,834

pharmaceutical consumers surveyed

19

pharmaceutical brands rated

4

key pillars to
create connection

COVID-19 CREATED OPPORTUNITIES TO CHANGE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF PHARMA

With pharma companies being so visibly key to ending the global COVID pandemic, there has been a recent and substantial shift in consumer perceptions of pharma brands. Consumers now want to understand pharma company values and principles, and brands should be prepared to take advantage of this opportunity.

Pharma companies have a unique and timely opportunity to demonstrate brand authenticity and build consumer trust.

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
to Authenticity

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.

In putting 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 to identify what matters most in developing and maintaining an authentic brand, using our real-world experience in working with pharma companies to assess the unique opportunity ahead.

What is an authentic brand?

An authentic brand …


Clearly communicates
who it is and what it
stands for


Tells you what it
believes


Lives up to
those values

PILLARS OF AUTHENTIC PHARMA BRANDS 

Top drivers determining pharma brands’ authenticity

Brutally
honest


Constantly
consistent


Explicitly
moral


Unapologetically
transparent


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

INSIGHTS

01

AUTHENTICITY FROM PHARMA BRANDS IS MORE IMPORTANT TO CONSUMERS THAN EVER BEFORE

The pandemic upended our day-to-day lives nearly overnight. Almost everyone felt a new sense of vulnerability. Brands that rose to the occasion and made positive contributions during the pandemic are likely to secure a place in consumers’ post-pandemic hearts.

Consumer perceptions about COVID vaccines and treatments and parent company brands are being shaped as we speak. Consumer awareness of pharma companies is far more prominent and many consumers have a newfound appreciation for the innovative science and lifesaving benefits the industry provides.

This intense positive attention also has the potential to counterbalance negative consumer perceptions of pharma, including frustrations with drug pricing, and general distrust of industry relationships with healthcare providers.

Consumers now want to understand pharma company values and identities more deeply – and many are coming to the table with a more open mind as they recognize the valuable role of pharma companies in protecting and sustaining a healthy society.


why it matters

71% of respondents say it has become more important for pharma company brands to be authentic since COVID

02

BRAND AUTHENTICITY IS CRITICAL TO CONNECT WITH YOUNGER CONSUMERS

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 had significant exposure to the pharmaceutical industry, so pharma companies have a unique opportunity to foster a relationship with these younger consumers.

As these savvy (and skeptical) consumers become increasingly powerful, it is critical for pharma companies to consider how to infuse authenticity into both parent company brands and at the product brand level.


why it matters

92% of Gen Z respondents say it’s important for pharma companies to be authentic (highest of any age group)

03

PHARMA ALSO HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD TRUST 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, newfound awareness and receptiveness to the efforts of pharma companies present an opportunity to engage with BIPOC consumers to establish a trust-based relationship.

To establish trust, healthcare marketers must prioritize listening to BIPOC consumers to better understand their perspectives. Only after gaining this understanding can marketers develop strategies and tactics to communicate in meaningful ways with BIPOC consumers.


why it matters

90% of non-white consumers agree it is important for a pharma brand to be authentic

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

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.