The Overlooked Linchpin to Accelerate Commercial Success

For life sciences companies seeking to advance healthcare and scale adoption, the secret to success relies on more than just innovation and technology. An often overlooked yet crucial element is language. 

By purposefully shaping the language surrounding a new product or service, you can influence how your target audiences perceive and embrace your solution. The right language can also create a new space in the minds of your target audience that’s different from anything that currently exists rather than forcing you to compete in a crowded existing category.

Be different, not better

Choosing the right language is a strategic business decision that can become the linchpin for reliable commercial success. 

We’re not talking about your product brand name, a catchy tagline, or a positioning statement. We’re referencing how intentional languaging (a.k.a. the strategic use of language) drives commercial growth and more reliable revenue in the life sciences landscape. Languaging can be used to influence the perception of your product, while other times it can be used to influence the perception of the problem or enemy your audience is experiencing, or even a health condition. 

The right language can create a new space in the minds of your target audience that is different from anything that currently exists. This enables you to position your product and your company as the market leader with the potential to dominate and gain the potential to dominate this new category's market valuation.

The right language will also reflect your unique point of view (POV), which tells your target audience what you stand for, what you stand against, and in general, what you’re all about. Identifying and then consistently using the right languaging to communicate your POV will help make you irresistible and provocative in a way that makes your value clear.   

Poor languaging could risk your product being mis-placed or mis-positioned in a crowded, existing category. Your audiences (providers, investors, and partners) may think of you as yet another “slightly better” option alongside many options that already exist rather than something truly different and valuable. When that happens, you spend your energy and resources trying to out-compete the competition and likely only claiming a minority market share.

Another reason to spend time on the right language is to make sure you move away from a legacy category, not only for differentiation, but to avoid any negative anchoring effects. You don’t want to be connected to failed products, or products/companies with negative reputations/press, etc. 

The impact of finding the right language in the life sciences industry

Pfizer recognized the negative connotations associated with the medical term "impotence," and decided to introduce a different term: erectile dysfunction. Same condition, different name. This shift in language destigmatized the condition, making it more approachable and acceptable in conversation. By changing the language with something more neutral and clinical, Pfizer not only changed how men and women perceived the condition but also facilitated greater acceptance and engagement with potential solutions such as their product Viagra. It was one of the most successful drug launches ever, hitting $1 billion in global sales in the first full calendar year post-launch. The company credits the introduction of this language as being the main facilitator of open conversations between the patient and physician.

Now, consider Riverain Technologies. The use of AI for imaging interpretation has become an increasingly crowded space. Despite the company being an early entrant, Riverain was fighting to scale their customer base and revenue. Grey Matter Marketing helped them develop a clear narrative using differentiated language to stand out in the AI imaging interpretation space. We introduced new language to reframe the radiologist’s enemy when trying to interpret chest X-rays or CTs: background-impaired imaging interpretation. It’s challenging to correctly and quickly detect diseases when bones and vessels can impair the radiologist’s view. Then, Grey Matter Marketing used languaging to reframe the imaging interpretation solution: Clear Visual Intelligence (CVI). With their unique suppression technology, it visually removes the things (bones and vessels) that can compromise accurate and efficient diagnoses. With CVI, radiologists can focus on the actionable data in chest imaging to precisely detect, characterize, and report findings to improve diagnostic accuracy and advance earlier intervention. That’s way different and more valuable than triaging radiology reads using AI.

Riverain ended 2023 with 286% revenue growth and a double-digit increase in new customers across all healthcare segments including academic medical centers, radiology groups, integrated delivery networks (IDN), and VA/DoD facilities.

Of course, languaging is one of many components behind the development and implementation of a strong business/brand strategy. But it is a vital component, as it provides the language that you, your colleagues, and your target audience will use repeatedly. Ultimately, it is the language your industry will adopt, placing you in a category that is new and strategically advantageous instead of being mis-categorized by others. 

If you're ready to harness the power of intentional languaging to redefine your place in the market, contact us for a complimentary consultation. Together, let's embark on a journey to reshape perceptions, drive adoption, and propel your company to new heights of success.

If you want to experience the most reliable way to grow your revenue and market cap, please call us.

Our #1 priority is giving you a proven category-driven commercial growth strategy using brain science to create differentiation that matters to patients and providers, activates behavior change, and accelerates demand for your device, drug, or therapy.

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