Elevate was purpose-built to lift healthcare challenger brands to new heights with unique positioning, innovative strategies and disruptive creativity that challenges the status quo. Hear from the healthcare challenger brand experts who have identified 11 distinct challenger brand archetypes that just might help you better engage customers and drive growth.

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So I’ll give you a cue here. Mmm agency 100 Studio sessions Elevate Health Care. Okay, we’re rolling.


this is Lasha bouchak. And I’m a senior reporter at mmm. I’m super excited for you to plug into this episode of a100 Studio sessions a new podcast series that gives members of the mmm agency 100 list in opportunity to Riff on what sets them apart.

In this

episode we’re focusing on the agency Elevate health care and how Elevate was purpose-built to lift Healthcare Challenger Brands to new heights with unique positioning Innovative strategies and disruptive creativity that challenges the status quo. We’ll hear from the healthcare Challenger brand experts who have identified 11 distinct Challenger brand archetypes that just might help you better engage customers and drive growth. I’m happy to be joined by Elevate Health Care’s Chief creative officer, very schmader and Sam kenazero executive creative director.

Barry and Sam welcome to the a100 studio sessions and thank you so much for joining.

Thanks for having us. Appreciate it.

Yeah thrilled to be here.

Elevate has been championing Healthcare Challenger Brands since its Inception nearly eight years ago.

Can you tell me how do you define a challenger brand and what’s different about a healthcare Challenger brand

when we started Elevate? I think right from the Inception. We were thinking about Challenger Brands and the agency was really as you said purposely built to be the agency. That was the champion of healthcare Challenger Brands and really it’s about helping clients Brands reach their full potential more or less by any means. It’s necessary strategic creative Omni Channel all of it. But from the beginning really about investing and making a difference for our clients Brands giving that Blockbuster Brand level ideas and communication strategies to Brand to otherwise may not get that kind of attention talent and dedication. So we’re really specifically built to do that. And so early on, you know far as Challenger brand goes we were inspired by that whole idea of challenge your Brands which is a sometimes it consumer.

Notion that gets applied to Consumer package Goods more often and in particularly there was a group and a book actually it was called eat big fish and they they really became a proponents of this Challenger brand mindset and mentality that Brands can adopt. They talked about how Challenger brands are ones who up in categories. They use their brains instead of big budgets. They move faster. They think quicker they do more they’re Bolder braver they get you know, what the big fish people call unreasonable results. So in perspective to budget spent and share a voice you’re getting unreasonable kind of out of perspective bigger results. And so that’s really the origin and Genesis of working with our agencies in terms of being a healthcare Challenger Brands. And so we we translate it and got the Insight from that challenge your brand mentality which existed in consumer Brands, and we really applied that

To the healthcare field

the other thing that that a lot of people think about it’s all about money, right, but it’s it’s more about a mindset.

So being able to take smart risks being able to produce disruptive creative that Sparks change, you know, a healthcare Challenger brand is challenged by their circumstance and their environment.

They may not have a clinical Advantage first class leverage a unique mechanism of action a breakthrough product profile. Terrific ask us or the ability to outspend,

right? So they don’t always have you know, the things you think of when you think about Blockbuster brand that’s leading the marketplace and really killing it. These are brands that have multiple challenges and not just a budgetary one, right? It’s really about a mindset. And so when we are thinking about Challenger Brands and health care, it’s a little bit different than the Consumer package Goods. There’s really multiple dilemmas for a healthcare challenge your brand but what they do have in common with those Challenger Brands and consumer is the

A mindset, you know to look at those challenges as opportunities their opportunities that differentiate to propel the brand and Elevate their marketing strategy, if not their budgets and create a narrative of change for their brand

based on your experience. What are a few dilemmas?

One of the things that we’re constantly running into is if you’re entering a market with inferior data to competitors, right? That’s a big challenge to overcome. You could be a new entrant in a crowded established category that you’re trying to make Headway in or you could be even be launching a new indication or a dose and a crowded space.

Maybe you’re a misunderstood technology where you’re reintroducing a product post-regulatory review. So there’s a variety of different challenges that they may run into. It could be a small brand facing larger established competition. Maybe you’re been on the market a while and your existing but you’re underperforming and your brand needed needs a boost.

You could even have a limited rep force and you need a bigger share of voice to complete and grow the Challenger brand and make sure that there’s a larger share of voice than the leaders have.

It could even be a commodity driven Market with little to no differentiation. And one of the other things we run into too is when they’re in the early phase of development of a promising molecule, but there aren’t they aren’t sure how to position it yet. So they are all different ways that we’re looking at it from Healthcare Challenger brands in the market today

right in our time of looking at these Challenger Brands and talking to them, you know, some of these things are birds. It’s like these are commonalities that we hear time and time again, and sometimes we’ll even go in and talk to to a brand Team and as we talk about some of these challenges that we’ve experience. I think it’s what it does it lets them know we understand their challenges and there’s usually a moment where they go. Oh, yeah, we’re like number three two, and not you know, that’s us and so it’s been a useful understanding there’s challenges and putting them out there at Sam’s just talked about there’s a whole list of really is a way to start that ident.

Case for the client on the path to finding out what they need to do to overcome their challenges to reach their full potential

in your opinion. What’s one myth that comes to mind around how some marketers think about Healthcare Challenger brands.

So I think the one big myth that I think everyone thinks is it’s solely resourced and financially constrained.

Right Health Care Challenger Brands come in all shapes and sizes. What we’ve come to realize is that most brands face when they’re a challenge brand even if it’s situationally

Yeah, and that’s I think what we’ve learned is even Market leading Brands which you don’t typically think of as Challenger brand are Challenger brands at some point in their life cycle. And so they whether it’s a Marketplace issue or a competitive issue or what have you there. There are challenges they that arise throughout their whole cycle. And so we we help as many probably Market leading Brands as we do upstart brands in the process

now Elevate just launched a new challenge accepted campaign with 11 distinct Challenger brand archetypes. Can you delve a little bit into what those different archetypes are

sure. Yeah and just a little set up to that. I think the archetypes come out of our years of talking to Brands and so in seven years of talk to a whole radically wide range of Challenger Brands and Pharma in medical devices and biotech some of them don’t

Realize their challenge your parents and so we were able to speak with them and point some of these challenges that we’re talking about out. But what we found is that probably somewhere in the area 95% of them have similarities. It can be looked at in about a dozen different ways. I think we actually have 11 different ways in terms of the archetypes and they’re looking back at the brands. We’ve helped overcome challenges and reach their full potential and to all those Brands we talked about about their specific challenges certain common archetypes have a marched and so that’s what we talk about the 11 different archetypes. That’s really what we’re talking about. But even though they’re commonalities that we’ve been able to create architects around we each one of those brands has a required individual approach and a different strategy of Engagement, but


those Architects house helps us get a start on that path down to how do you reach full potential first step is understanding?

Your challenges are and what kind of Brands you are?

You know, the whole idea behind the new campaign is a really to lean into what if what if we can help Brands find their way more effectively or faster or more efficiently with some guideposts in place for what works and you know, also what hasn’t as well to build from that and it all starts with brand leadership getting aligned with a process and really help discover. The Brand’s true challenges and its brand Essence and it’s brand character or archetype and we came up, you know, Barry mentioned those 11 archetypes and you know, we had we had some fun and and creative cleverness around it. And I’m gonna Top Line a couple of the 11 the 2020 Visionary is all about seeing and believing you’re finding Clarity in the future that maybe no one else was able to see or you could be the later innovator. You’re embracing that moment. If you don’t have that first move or Advantage maybe you’ll learn from others experience and Advance your brand and your category in that position. The different maker is all about being

Distinctive by marketing, you know, can you jump ahead of the pack?

Can you differentiate and change the brand trajectory? Another one is the change engineer. Are we Building A Better Tomorrow it all starts with being an Agent of Change. How do we rethink redesign restructure things that work better for you in the market?

The passionate Advocate you’re tapping into a purpose you’re being present at every step of the journey. Maybe you’re offering a helping hand you’re educating you’re caring you’re supporting better decision making

The constant Pioneer you’re relentlessly pursuing a newer open space. You’re being Dynamic you’re driving to higher potential think blue ocean.

You know the zebra unicorn you’re celebrating your uniqueness, you’re very different. You’re better recognized. It’s you know, it becomes a real Advantage for a rare or especially challenging purpose.

Yeah. So that’s that particularly is one we encounter in rare disease space quite a bit and zebra obviously is the

exactly the

the symbol for rare disease, but even within rare disease, you know, there are those unicorns within within the zebras if you can imagine that but you know, there are some things that we have that are ultra rare conditions that that Brands really have to extra challenges that they’ve got to surmount

You know, one of the favorites is you know, the Moa Maven right everybody falls in love with their science be different by Design, right? The essence of the brand could be based on the power of the mechanism to make it more powerful when it’s fully understood or appreciated in the market.

And then the defending Champion right is when we run into a lot, you know, they want to stay on top. They’re the market leader. However, you know, the marketplace Dynamics change and you might be in a position to defend your position in order to continue winning in the data driver, right? You’re gonna Champion the clinical

Even when it’s overlooked or underestimated data can change the perception and your position

and I think that’s the probably the latest all of these correspond to an ad or a piece of communication in the campaign. And so each of these have their own visual star and so we’ve uniquely got a a campaign with 11 different facets to it. And so each each one of the ads delves in a little bit deeper into some of these archetypes. So the data drivers the one that is about to break right now.

And I think everybody wants to be the tech Transformer at some point, right you really want to be a true disrupter something that is new or undiscovered. And you know, did you find an unknown advantage in the marketplace that changes the game

as it relates to actual Brands? I think we’re we’re working a lot with Johnson & Johnson right now and some of their medical technology companies. I think that’s one where we’re really see a lot of that archetype there, you know, everything from robotic surgery to digitally prepare plan surgery. So there’s a lot happening in the convergence of of medicine and Technology right now and that in that area. So that’s a that’s an architect that we’ve personally we’re seeing quite a bit lately.

And what would you say is the top challenge your clients Healthcare Challenger Brands face in the market today?

Oh I can I can say we’re constantly fighting deep-rooted beliefs, right? That’s right, you know people are uncomfortable with change or they’re trying something new right? I think everybody can relate to that and Healthcare Challenger Brands need to disrupt this deep-rooted unwillingness and really help people change their routine or Embrace something different and new.

Yeah, there’s inertia. And also there’s a lot of you know, I think folks can be overcome by their challenges. They’ve got to believe that they can do it and they got to be willing to that by any means necessary get there be willing and brave and believe in being bold and thinking differently about it.

You know, I’ve been reading a lot. I’m sure like most of us the Steve Jobs archives and you know, I think he said it best as most people don’t even know what they want until they see it. So sometimes you have to give people what they need. Not what they’re actually asking for and I think that’s exactly

Apple did so magically when they disrupted the cell phone market with the introduction of the iPhone.

That’s great example

with an i towards the future of marketing. Where do you see Health Care challenge your Brands evolving their strategies for tomorrow.

So, you know when you start thinking about where it’s going I think the focus and you know, you need to compete more aggressively in Niche markets, right? I think that becomes the largest challenge because instead of trying to compete head-on with the leaders of the market in large saturated environments Healthcare Challenger brands of the future should choose the target very specific Niche markets and the way I see it playing out is you know, you really have to truly understand the unique needs and preferences of that particular segment. Then you tailor your product offerings your services your marketing strategies to effectively meet those demands and you’ve really establish.

Yourself as an expert in that chosen area

and niches no longer, you know a bad word. I think I think it’s if you put enough of your Niche together, it’s really where you can make the most difference. And so I think people sometimes think of that Niche marketing is a negative thing. That’s too small but for the brands we’re talking about and then the scenarios we’re talking about that’s really how you start to build on to look at as a holistic thing rather than just though. That’s a small little part of the market that you know,

And I think the other area that you know, we’ve been looking into is almost like a fluid approach to marketing being agile and embracing, you know, a more adaptive mindset. So when you start thinking about the future of healthcare Challenger Brands, they’ll try to maintain an agile and adaptive mindset and respond more swiftly to Market changes and audience demands. Maybe you’re leveraging big data in real time. And we really believe that they should embrace experimentation.

Run more pilots iterate on strategies and be more willing to take calculated risks to stay ahead of the Curve.

Stay elevated. They need to do that exactly.


We have one final question this being the agency 100 Studio sessions podcast. We’ve been asking your guests this question and it is what is the last song you listen to?

Well, yeah, it’s probably on the way in the work this morning. I heard a song since it’s on the on the cusp of the holiday weekend. It was Island in the Sun by Weezer. So

that’s a good one. It’s a good summer song


I think started the summer.

Yeah, I think today on the I was listening to the 80s on Sirius and I think


was Phil Collins We Didn’t Start the Fire.


collecting a little bit

great. Well, thank you both so much. This was Barry schmader Chief creative officer and Sam cannizzaro executive creative director of elevate Health. Thank you both so much for being here.

Thank you.

Thanks very much.