A contingency. An Auxiliary. An Alternate. A Plan-B. As a general rule, having a backup plan is always a good idea. Whether it is professionally, financially, or personally, having two outcomes with which you are comfortable moving forward is something we all strive for in any situation. Ideally, the backup plan should compliment, and if need be, replace your primary choice. The same concept applies directly to pharmaceutical name development and submission process.
With hundreds of proprietary names submitted for regulatory approval between 2010 and 2015, the rejection rate was as high as 59%. Building these brands requires an enormous investment of time, talent, and money, none of which you want to be wasted. However, that is exactly what up to 59% of companies submitting new names faced in the previous 5 years. Time, talent, and money were sunk into a branding project only to be left with no name for the product.
There seems to be a simple solution to this problem, right? Unfortunately, creating a backup plan is much easier said than done. When you are deciding where to make reservations for dinner you can quickly rattle off your second favorite choice with little if any consequence. Developing a backup name for a pharmaceutical submission requires the same amount of creative, legal, and regulatory screening as the primary name in order to navigate the 1.2 million trademarks currently in class 5 … a complexity you wouldn’t face when deciding where to eat dinner.
Ensuring that you get the name that your product deserves, more than anything, is a matter of timing. Having a plan for creating backup names can salvage a potential name submission disaster. “Ideally, you would be organized enough that if you suspected your first choice name candidate could be rejected, you would have enough time before the next submission deadline to generate backup names,” says brandsymbol Senior Vice President, Doug Rand, “when it comes to backup names, its usually the case that clients are running out of time so it stops becoming ‘give me a good name,’ and becomes ‘just give me a safe name.’ Where as if they suspected that their name might be rejected, they should have gone ahead with a backup-naming project immediately to give them time to reapply ahead of the deadline. That way, you know you have an alternate that is viable from safety perspective, but still lives up to creative expectations.”