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Metabical Positioning and Communications Strategy for a New Weight Loss Drug (Brief Case) Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
839 1737 Words (6 Pages) John A. Quelch, Heather Beckham Harvard Business School : 4240
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Apparently, it’s Printup, the senior director of marketing, who is assigned the task to make decisions about Metabical. These decisions about Metabical will decide the fate of the drug. If it is observed closely, there are many other stakeholders involved that will eventually decide about the fate of this drug. Printup would decide the marketing and public relation strategies to push the drug in the market. But, it’s FDA that’s quite active and concerned after few awful events, which occurred from usage of weight reducing drugs. In addition to these events, there are some deceptive marketing campaigns. Alli was approved by FDA, but still 30 cases of severe levels were caused by Alli. So, FDA will sure be strict this time. In addition to this medical care providers will also be involved in decision making process as, it will be FDA approved drug, but it will boil down to communication skills and convincing power of  sales force to make them prescribe this drug. End consumer will decide its ultimate success. Metabical will be successful if this drug suited patients to lose weight. Last, but not the least, it will be senior management who will accept or reject Printup’s plans and budget.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. Who is involved in the decision making process? What is the decision making process for  Metabical?

  2. How should Printup think about the segmentation of potential Metabical consumers? Who is the optimal target consumer?

  3. How should CSP identify and employ the differential advantages that Metabical offers to position itself in the marketplace?

  4. Given the position strategy you chose, what would be your communications strategy to each of your target audiences? Would you change the marketing budget or the IMC mix? If show? What would the timeline for your communications plan look like?

Metabical Positioning and Communications Strategy for a New Weight Loss Drug Brief Case Case Analysis

It will start off with plans budgeting and strategies of Printup. These strategies will be presented to the senior management that will decide whether the allocated budget is suitable or not and, if this needs necessary changes. After approval or budgets and necessary changes from top management, plan will be ready to execute. After a green signal from FDA, this plan will be executed. Then decision process flows with fate of drug lying in marketing strategies and communication skills to convince health care and attract people to create a perception. Created perceptions will not long last if the drug is not actually showing results. At the end, this decision, whether Metabical will be made by the end consumer based on its success rate and its side effects. Another problem that can influence decision regarding Metabical is that, if once left subject will start gaining weight again. In addition to this, more side effects can arise later, like in case of Alli, so it’s FDA that would again be monitoring the long term effects of the drug.

How should Printup think about the segmentation of potential Metabical consumers? Who is the optimal target consumer?

Almost 65% of the total adult population in United States is categorized as overweight obese or severely obese. So adult can be categorized as a potential segment. But, if someone further probe into this condition, then it can be noticed that this problem is not within the adult population only but also among other age groups. This problem is quite prevalent I would say up to level of epidemic. Population ranging from 20 to 75 plus is in this illness. This problem is not only among males but also among females. According to survey males are more prone to obesity than females. Obesity is the cause of all diseases; no wander its second largest cause of death. So this as whole, serves as a target market for the Metabical. But these can be separated as primary and secondary segments. There is no FDA prescribed drug for BMI segment of 25-30. So this can serve as a primary segment for Metabical. Segmentation should be done on the basis of.

  • Demographics

  • Psychographics

  • Behavioral

  • Healthcare providers

The optimal segment for Metabical can be separated from this segmentation. People having BMI25-30 should be the primary target. Because of the fact, that there is no FDA’s prescribed drug for this segment. Now, within demographics there are 75% dissatisfied females with their weight and 55% want to have a healthier lifestyle. Addition to this we have 20% of consumers with income group of $80,000 and above who are willing to pay out of pockets. Among males, we further 65% are dissatisfied while 40% want to adapt to healthier lifestyle. So this represents target segment on demographic basis.

For the psychographic segmentation, survey indicated that, 70% of the people are concerned about their access weight. While out of those 70% only 35% are actively trying to reduce weight while this percentage further reduces to 15% who are comfortable with usage of drugs. So within psychographic, strategies and efforts should be made to focus on people who are trying to lose weight and those who are comfortable with drugs.

For behavioral segment, it can be observed that males and females want to lose weight for different reasons. Some are pushed and want to be socially accepted and admired while others want to be up to new fashions. Some want to look like a star while others want a health life. So, behavioral segment provides with different attitudes of people. In summary, it should target ones who are concerned about weight and want to lose it.

Health provider is an important segment to target as they will serve as opinion leaders and prescribers. These people deal with diabetic and other issues, so they should be convinced and communicated the importance and positive effects of this drug.

How should CSP identify and employ the differential advantages that Metabical offers to position itself in the marketplace?

CSP should make a detailed analysis of their product’s offerings and advantages and then compare them with products and offerings already in the market. After comparing, CSP will get to know their strengths and weaknesses. This analysis will show the potential as if the brand can be charged premium or as per competition.

If it is looked into the strengths, it will be the only brand that will be approved by FDA. So, it will have a first mover advantage of an approved drug. In addition to this, Metabical is expected to produce greater results i.e. significant weight loss as compare to its rival products and it will be consumed in less quantity, only 1 pill per day. If, look into its competitor Alli, it can be seen that Alli is in a weak position because it’s already in custody of FDA as per its side effects. Addition to that, side effects, effectiveness and consumption of Alli is more than Metabical. These factors make it a superior product and capability of it charging at a premium. Metabical has an extensive support program and health care plans as compare to its rival.

With these advantages, CSP should position Metabical considering segmentation done on the basis of

  • Demographics

  • Psychographics

  • Behavioral

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