This month we introduced a number of new drug brands into our Pharmaceutical Category for August.  In particular, we’ve upped our coverage in the Cancer treatment sector.  I thought I’d profile one particular biotech player – Genentech – and their respective media position.  This is also part 1 of a 3 part post.  The second post will look at Genentech product brands and their media dynamics among competing drug brands.  In the third part we’ll take look at some trends impacting Genentech and how they’re evolving in the media.

Here are 10 fundamental questions that any business should ask about their brand (or a competing brand).    I’ll step through each of these during the rest of the post and then follow-up in Part 2 and 3 by showing how you can answer similar questions of product brands and trends affecting those brands.

  1. What is my current media position?
  2. How has it changed?
  3. How well am I positioned versus the competition?
  4. Have I slipped or gained media attention lately?
  5. Have I built adequate media momentum behind my brand?
  6. Has my relative rank within my peer group increased/decreased?
  7. Where are my key competitors in the media?
  8. Is my brand outperforming my category average?
  9. What is my media position relative to social discussions?
  10. How is consumer interest fairing relative to my brand?

I’m going to answer all these questions using a single media dashboard, our new (still in beta) category explorer (see below).  This dashboard replaces about 4 other dashboards and offers a comprehensive view of an entire category, in this case the Pharmaceutical Brand Category.  In the image, Genentech has a already been selected as the focus within the category.

Let’s take a look at Genentech, as a corporate brand.

The brand is up +5 points at strong 64 TrendSignal position going into August, well ahead of its trailing 12-month media position of 58 points.  Genentech’s strong TrendSignal is propelled by amazing media momentum at +7 (3-month media momentum average).

The brand is current ranked 20th in the crowded Pharmaceutical Brand category (note that we have  a separate category for pharmaceutical drug brands).  Genentech moved up 6 positions in its peer category over the prior month, and 7 positions over the same period in prior year.  While not a top-10 media brand in it’s respective category, the brand is showing consistently strong media momentum over the prior year on strong product announcements.

Here’s a little more detail on Genentech’s competitive media position relative to media growth (12-mo. vs. 30-day growth performance):

The brand is in the envious position of hitting a new media high (64) and gaining a FastMover classification for increasing it’s rank position relative to its peer group.  FastMovers are defined as a brand, trend or influencer which has increased its rank position by more then 10%.  You’ll also notice that the category itself has shown solid growth (intersecting red lines).  Both long and short term category growth are up +2 points.  Genentech is among a select group of pharma brands in the Leading quadrant:

Another question that still needs answering is whether Genentech’s strong media position is consistent across both traditional and social media channels.  You could even throw in the addition of a search media channel to see whether the brand is competitive when it comes to consumer media interest,  which is well captured by search volume metrics.

Traditional versus Social Media

Genentech’s position on social media is significantly off its traditional media TrendSignal position (54 vs. 72 points for August).  This isn’t unusual in the Pharma corporate brand area as there is traditionally more consumer discussion of drug brands versus drug manufacturer brands (Herceptin vs. Genentech).  Herceptin may have a lower TrendSignal then Genentech, but the gap between traditional and social media coverage is less striking.

Rounding out our question on media channel performance variations, we can see below that Genentech’s brand is holding its position quite well, having hit a new search volume high (+5 points at 61), ranked 8th among its pharma brand peer group.

So we’ve been able to answer our fundamental media performance questions posed at the outset.  Genentech’s overall media position is quite strong and backed by a highly competitive media momentum position.  And while not in a category top-10, that doesn’t really matter.  When it comes to trends, and trending brands, there’s quite a lot of similarities between stocks and brands, its all about growth, momentum and trajectory.

Paul Senatori