Multimedia marketing is just what the doctor ordered for Perrigo. The over-the-counter (OTC) and generic prescription manufacturer and distributor recently launched its digital “Store Brand Meds” campaign to educate doubtful consumers about the quality, efficacy, and equivalency of store-brand medications.
“The messages are to convey the fact that these products are indeed equivalent to the higher-priced national brands,” says Jeff Needham, EVP and GM of Perrigo. “We want to really reinforce the fact that because the FDA regulates this industry so stringently, store brands and companies like Perrigo have to run their business, manufacture their products, [and] develop their products exactly like national brands.”
Needham acknowledges that more consumers are learning to trust store-brand medications—with store-brand sales now accounting for 35% of all retail OTCs—and recognize that store brand medications can be cost effective. In fact, Needham says that store-brand prescriptions generally cost 35 to 40% less than their national competitors. However, there are still the doubting Toms who are concerned that they’re sacrificing quality for price.
To turn these pessimists into preachers, Perrigo is relying on Facebook, YouTube, and its campaign website to educate consumers in an engaging way. The website provides consumers with fast facts and expert opinions, while the YouTube channel marries entertainment with education, such as by featuring a kid superhero whose X-ray vision allows him to see similarities between store and national brands. In addition, Perrigo created a Facebook page to establish a sense of community and allow consumers to share their information and store-brand medication experiences. To lure skeptics into trying store-brand medications, Perrigo is also providing digital coupons.
“We’re trying to stimulate some action,” Needham says.
Being a store-brand provider, Perrigo doesn’t have the deep pockets that its national brand competitors do, Needham says. Hence, digital provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising channels while still reaching a broad audience.
With customers like Walmart, Target, CVS, and Walgreens under its belt, Perrigo had to balance between driving its own educational message without disrupting its customers’ marketing campaigns. Traditionally, Perrigo has communicated with consumers by collaborating and creating marketing campaigns through a retailer partner, such as by featuring its products. However, Needham says, “Store Brand Meds” is an industry-wide campaign.
“We wanted to be careful that we’re not clouding the picture and that we’re not providing any mixed messages as to what these retailers are doing,” he says. “Our objective is to raise the overall water level of all the store-brand programs and all the store brand messages.”