Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2010

Metabical: Positioning and Communications Strategy for a New Weight Loss Drug

by John A. Quelch and Heather Beckham

Abstract

Cambridge Sciences Pharmaceuticals (CSP) expects final approval for its revolutionary weight loss drug, Metabical. Metabical will be the only weight loss drug with FDA approval that is also clinically proven to be effective for moderately overweight people. Barbara Printup, Senior Marketing Director for CSP, must develop the positioning strategy and marketing communications plan in preparation for the launch of the new drug. Printup must consider the consumer decision-making process and the interaction between the consumer who purchases the drug and the health care provider who prescribes the medication. Despite promising medical studies and consumer research, poor positioning of the drug in the highly competitive market for weight-loss solutions could spell disaster. Students analyze market research data and consider the optimal positioning strategy and marketing communications program.

Keywords: Product Positioning; Marketing Communications; Product Launch; Consumer Behavior; Pharmaceutical Industry; United States;

Citation:

Quelch, John A., and Heather Beckham. "Metabical: Positioning and Communications Strategy for a New Weight Loss Drug." Harvard Business School Brief Case 104-240, July 2010.