Engineering Drugs (and Clarity)

Having worked in the life sciences (medical device, pharmaceutical, biotech) field for 30 years, I know how difficult it can be for those drug development/manufacturing companies to stand out.

Their taglines all tend to sound the same – something about medicine, patients, caring, health, etc.

But then someone mentioned Merrimack Pharmaceuticals to me, talking about a company culture angle; so I visited their website. And there I found a great example of message clarity:

merrimack pharmaceuticals

Merrimack puts one key message forward, front-and-center, and it’s different from other companies in the field. They are approaching drug development with a focused engineering approach (see my yellow arrows above).

I love this. Any company that can distill their core message down to 3 words (Cures Are Built) and a related phrase (Cancer Is The Ultimate Engineering Challenge) gets my vote of approval.

Whether or not their approach actually bears significant fruit in the long haul, they unabashedly fly their flag – here is how we approach research, development, and the marketplace. We will BUILD cures. We will attack diseases like engineers.

Merrimack was a company I was vaguely aware of for years, but I never had a cause to look into them. Yet, in less than a minute, they became fully differentiated and memorable in my mind. They put forth one clear message.

Notice that this single message goes all the way to the core, the DNA, of the company. It is not specific to one drug. Whatever products they develop over time, whatever other therapeutic areas they tackle, their approach is: Cures Are Built. It’s evergreen.

In an internet full of noise and content overload, this is how to stand out. Distill down to one 100-proof compelling message.

Get that cornerstone right, and all your other communications will more readily fall into line.

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