DRUG NAMING 101 SERIES: Who Should Be Involved In The Naming Process?

If you have never used a naming agency, you may think – “How hard can it be? We can do it internally” or “our ad agency should be able to handle this for us,” but having an agency that specializes in pharmaceutical brand name development can be a huge asset when navigating the complexities of the industry and in ensuring trademark and regulatory viability.

A strong and experienced creative team will generate names with these end goals in mind, minimizing the potential for these kinds of conflicts later in the process. However, it is equally essential that regulatory experts remain engaged both during and after the creative process.

1. Legal and Regulatory Experts

As the ultimate goal of any pharmaceutical naming initiative is trademark registration and regulatory approval, it is crucial that paralegals as well as safety and regulatory experts are engaged early on in the process. Having a specific group dedicated to trademark and regulatory involved when the initial naming strategy is developed will ensure that name candidates are generated with this end goal in mind. Once creative is underway, the paralegals should review names for any potential trademark conflicts and the regulatory experts should be prescreening the developed name candidates to eliminate names with potential “sound-alike” or “look-alike” concerns and any with potential claims/promotional issues early in the process. Once name candidates have been developed and prioritized, a safety and regulatory group should be entrusted with vetting the name candidates through thorough name safety testing, including both promotional and prescription simulation studies, culminating in a risk assessment for each name considered, which should be used by the client in deciding the final names to submit to regulatory.

2. Consistent Account Executive and Brand Creation Specialist

In addition to experienced safety and regulatory experts, a full team of agency professionals with well-defined responsibilities is important to the success of all naming initiatives. Having a dedicated single point of contact, such as an Account Executive, will keep you and your team thoroughly updated on the status of your project, ensuring that your team is engaged at the right time throughout the process and that there are no surprises later down the line. A Brand Creation Specialist has an intimate and detailed view of the project and will give you key insight into project progress and creative name generation. The Brand Creation Specialist is also responsible for keeping your project on track, meeting budgets and, ultimately, meeting your overall timeframe for name registration and submission.

3. Executive Involvement

Lastly, experienced leadership provides a strong support system, harnessing years of experience to lead a team of passionate professionals to deliver strategic, fact-based branding solutions. It is important to have experts that will provide the insight needed to navigate the complex landscape of pharmaceutical naming. Their expertise will ensure that your Brand name is differentiated from the competitive landscape and your internal portfolio of products, that it builds on the equity of existing brands, conveys a new message that resonates with the target audiences, is available for use and trademark registration in all relevant markets, and has a strong likelihood of regulatory approval. When looking for an agency partner for your naming initiative, it is essential to have a team of professionals that work together seamlessly to provide the knowledge and experience necessary to develop a world-class pharmaceutical Brand name.