For instance, Vyleesi, a drug meant to boost women’s sex drives, is designed with aesthetics that mimic a cosmetics brand. Tia, a network of virtual and physical clinics for women, took an approach that is usually reserved for traditional consumer brands to appeal to younger women. AI-powered biotechnology company BERG used an algorithm inspired by AI science and DNA to craft its brand expression, an unusual approach that is more at home among tech brands. Even Annovera, a contraceptive brand with a legacy logo (including two swoops), recently launched a much more provocative and empowering campaign, designed with today’s aesthetics, that lets the brand speak to a modern audience.
In the middle of a pandemic, with all eyes on how healthcare and pharmaceutical companies will help us navigate our new, shared reality, never has there been a more opportune time for these brands to successfully communicate their value to the world in new, even unexpected ways. They can highlight everything from their services to the overall science of drugs to the mode of delivery — all explored through design — instead of using a generic story of transition and change that the swoop tends to illustrate. When you go in new design directions, it allows brands to differentiate, telling more authentic stories about what makes them unique and how they benefit people.
In the branding industry, we’ve learned a lot about how pharmaceutical brands and consumers relate to each other. The brand’s ultimate goal is often to increase their own trustworthiness, and the consumer’s goal is to seek out brands they can trust. Good design will support these goals no matter what, but it’s time to rethink how we get there. There will always be obstacles, barriers, and regulations we must comply with, but that doesn’t mean that trying to innovate the pharmaceutical design space is a lost cause. If brands and designers can come together and agree to let go of the past and embrace new creative paths, we can create something that changes the face of the entire pharmaceutical design space.