How wargaming was used to understand the likely future HCV landscape and give strategies for brand success
Our client had a product ready for launch in the HCV landscape. A number of new competitor products were expected to alter the market dynamics. Given the stage of development of both our client’s product and the competitors, a number of different scenarios could have played out. Consequently, the company wanted to conduct research in order to feed into strategy development for their product. What would physicians think of the new entrants and how could this be leveraged to ensure a successful launch?
This study required a ‘forward thinking’ methodology. Discussions around future developments (particularly of this magnitude) were best suited to focus groups and allowed for an interactive ‘wargaming’ exercise to be utilised. Initial discussions focussed on current prescribing behaviours, then each of the future products were introduced (shown as hypothetical product profiles) and reactions to the products were gauged at both individual and group levels.
After each product review, we split the focus groups into teams; each team was asked to represent one of the pharmaceutical companies launching a new product. We briefed the teams to consider not only the new products, but also any existing products they had in their portfolios, and to develop a marketing strategy that would ensure they gained the highest sales. Alternative scenarios were introduced throughout the exercise to reflect the uncertainties with the product development, and the teams were asked to update their strategies accordingly.
We conducted debriefs with the client following each day of research, to share learnings and so new ideas / scenarios could be fed into subsequent groups. A visual story-lined report gave our clients a detailed overview of the outcomes of the different future scenarios, with recommendations for different brand strategies to support the launch of their product. This directly fed into later wargaming sessions held with internal stakeholders.
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