top of page


  • Douglas Bock

How to avoid a FrankenLaunch

FrankenLaunch illustration

While today’s rapidly changing pharmaceutical marketplace may be frightening, your launch strategy shouldn’t be. At launch, there is a strong temptation to try every available tactic to support your brand. But that sets many brands up for a FrankenLaunch.

And that can be very scary indeed.

FrankenLaunches happen when multiple vendors and consultants advise on different, yet interconnected elements of a brand’s launch. Ultimately these mismatched parts are brought to life… as a monster.

It starts innocently enough – the market access team works on the hub and copay support and the trade team works on the distribution plan. Meanwhile, the brand team is developing a direct-to-patient ad campaign and a website. The company supports a disease foundation. There’s more coordination with patient advocacy groups, and hiring field-based nurses seems to make sense. Before you know it, you find yourself with an unmanageable assortment of vendors and consultants independently working on their piece of the launch plan.

When your product launches, the lack of a consistent vision for supporting the patient journey is quickly revealed, and your salespeople and HUB will be the frontline recipients of angry feedback. (If you’ve ever been told that a doctor won’t prescribe your product because it’s “too hard to start patients,” despite the suite of services your brand offers, you might have a FrankenLaunch).

Multiple perspectives can often create a better, more comprehensive solution. But a FrankenLaunch, with redundant or incompatible tactics, is not what the brand set out to create, and worse, it’s the opposite of what your customers want and need. A FrankenLaunch can lead to:

• Inconsistent messaging to customers

• Lack of accountability when things go wrong

• Varying metrics and KPI’s

• Disconnected data

• Few economies of scale; higher expenses

• Little chance to improve internal alignment as your product matures

FrankenLaunches can be avoided though. Archbow advises our clients to:

Focus early on strategic continuity. It’s important to have a long-term strategy and for everyone involved to understand WHY you are engaging in certain tactics over others.

Empower someone on your team to “own” internal alignment. The most successful launches are the result of a commitment to a high level of internal coordination, communication, and calibration. An appointed champion will keep this a top priority.

Either engage one trusted external partner or develop a coterie of collaborative partners. Alignment is vital in providing the best patient and prescriber experience. All partners need to be oriented toward the brand strategy and work with each other to help achieve the goals.

Engage in the best practice of face-to-face, roundtable discussions with all vendors and consultants. Your partners should be willing to share ideas and develop a complementary plan together.

While some brands flourish with multiple partners and providers, others do better when there are fewer players involved. Your approach to your launch should be as unique as your product. Following the recommendations above will help you find success, regardless of which approach you take.

At Archbow Consulting, we guide our clients through every stage of the launch planning process. Contact us today to help ensure you don’t have a FrankenLaunch.

bottom of page