When we launched our revolution-themed poster series last November, Audacity set out to help health and science brands find inspiration for creative growth and radical differentiation. By spotlighting significant events in revolutionary history, the campaign aimed to capture the essence of these events in a way that helped health and science brands see themselves in these moments. This original illustration focuses on the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The decision to enter a new market never comes lightly for any brand. For tightly regulated industries like healthcare and the life sciences, such choices prove even more daunting.
It is no secret that both industries have struggled recently. IPOs have been down since 2008, as have the number of technology innovations coming out of both industries. At worst, these trends create the impression that most health and science brands have chosen to pursue more risk-averse strategies. At best, one might think both industries have lost their mojo. Is it any wonder, then, why the question of entering new markets—be they product-, audience-, or geography-based—takes so much careful attention from health and science brands? As they cautiously explore new market opportunities, we look back to Berlin-1989 to help remind them that history favors the daring.
On the night of August 12 th 1961, a great wall was erected in the streets of Berlin. Telephone wires were cut, jobs were suddenly lost, and families were separated. Every conceivable measure was brought in to maintain the divide, from guard dogs and patrolmen, to trenches and barbed wire. Moreover, anyone who dared to cross it risked life and limb to do so. For 28 years, and through multiple configurations, this Berlin Wall stood as symbol of political, economic and philosophical separation before finally crumbling on the night of November 9th, 1989 to the joyous cries of onlookers.
Between its rise and fall, it is estimated that roughly 5,000 people successfully crossed the Berlin Wall while between 100 and 200 people lost their lives in the attempt. Really think about those numbers for a moment. Of the thousands who attempted to traverse the wall in its 28-year history, roughly 96% succeeded. That is remarkable! Not even your typical brand launch is that successful. In fact, it does not even come close. In these individuals' willingness to “risk it all" for better opportunities, we see a striking parallel to the risks of new market entry.
Like the decision to cross the wall, new market entries are risky by nature. They require intense planning, strategy and research every step of the way in order to ensure the highest probability of success. Health and science brands that do their homework and embrace the risk are more likely to see strong results and achieve brand supremacy. The Samsung Group's decision to enter the biologics market represents a perfect example of this forethought and daringness at work.
It is no secret that the biologics market has been the subject of heightened interest in recent months. Factors such as looming blockbuster drug patent expirations, proof of higher efficacy, and regulatory support ( at least in the US) all contribute to predictions that biologics will become the next dominating force in pharma over the coming decade. In 2012, Transparency Market Research estimated the value of the biologics market at $172 billion, up from $150 billion in 2011. The projections only get better from there. Analysts further estimate that the market will reach a remarkable $252 billion value by 2017. With such trends, it is easy to see where a company would recognize the value of setting foot in this very lucrative market. Enter Samsung.
In 2011, the Samsung Group – best known for its Electronics division – officially launched Samsung Biologics, its drug discovery and biopharmaceutical manufacturing division. Following the announcement, the company wasted no time making its next big move: a joint venture with Biogen Idec. Their partnership eventually led to interest from additional powerhouse partners like Merck & Company. With these moves, Samsung not only cemented its venture into a new market, it also joined the ranks of monolithic, industry-diverse brands like GE and Philips.
Strategically, the lateral move made perfect sense for Samsung. Even without much experience in biologics, one cannot deny the Samsung name carries weight. According to Interbrand's annual ranking of the top global brands, Samsung is one of the most well-known brands in the world. Add a rapidly growing biologics market to the mix, and the brand was practically guaranteed to make waves. Although the company has yet to officially commence production on any biosimilars (of course, there are still clinical trials that must be passed), between their partnership successes and continued media attention, the risk has already proved worth it for Samsung. Like those who crossed the wall, Samsung took a major risk by entering a new, unfamilar market. Today, the brand continues to be one of the most watched in the space, and many experts view its presence as a potential game changer for the future.
Follow the examples of Samsung and the people of Berlin. Seize new market opportunities and dare to take the risks that will lead to success.
Join the revolution. Fight doctrines. Achieve brand supremacy.