Novo Nordisk: Focusing the Corporate Brand
38 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008
Kare Schultz, COO of Denmark's Novo Nordisk, must choose one of several scenarios for focusing the company's corporate brand.
Focusing the Corporate Brand
For the past few years, Kåre Schultz, Novo Nordisk's chief operating officer (responsible for production, sales, and marketing) had grown increasingly concerned with the external image of the Danish pharmaceutical company in the global marketplace. Novo Nordisk had long been one of Denmark's most highly regarded corporations, but as a global brand its recognition did not really match the company's ambitions. For a number of years, Novo Nordisk had been working intensively with such elements as its vision, culture, and image; however, only now was the company ready to explicitly define itself as a global corporate brand. On this particular morning, Schultz was to participate in a final meeting with the executive management team to decide upon a platform for the future of the Novo Nordisk brand. Choosing this platform was expected to provide renewed direction for marketing and communication activities as well as focus for internal motivational programs. Still, choosing among the different alternatives that had been proposed was not going to be easy.
Since the de-merger in the fall of 2000 that separated the company's healthcare and enzyme business areas, Novo Nordisk had been more clearly focused on its core business: diabetes. Still, approximately 30% of the annual turnover was generated in other areas such as haemophilia and growth-hormone therapy. Now the new entity—the world's largest producer of insulin—faced formidable challenges. With strong market share for its insulin products in both Europe and Japan, Novo Nordisk only had around 25% of the critical U.S. market and was competing intensely with its few but formidable competitors in regions with the strongest projected growth. Although Novo Nordisk had built strong recognition among medical specialists, the company was not well known by general practitioners or the wider public outside of Denmark. While this had not been a problem until now, it seemed likely to become a limiting factor in the future because general practitioners and end-users were increasingly making decisions about the medical treatment of diabetes. It was one thing to be one of Denmark's premier corporations and quite another to be known by policy makers or a general practitioner in Singapore.
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Keywords: brand management
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