The Marriage of Clinical Trials and Branding

by | Feb 16, 2022 | Clinical Trials

It isn’t just naming, is it?

There are those who believe that if you simply put a name on a trial, the patients will come. Like any other new product or service introduction, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The name, while important, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the development of a relevant, credible, and unique clinical trial brand!

What is a Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials are part of clinical research and are at the heart of all medical advances. These trials look at new ways to prevent, detect or treat disease. Treatments can include:

  • new drug entities
  • new indications for older products
  • new surgical procedures
  • new medical devices
  • drug-containing medical devices

The overall goal of a clinical trial is to determine if the new test or treatment works, and more important, IS IT SAFE!

Why do patients participate?

Based on our patient research, people participate in trials for many reasons; some of the most common ones are listed below. Of course, participants may be motivated by a mix of these.

  • To feel the satisfaction of playing an active role in their own health
  • To gain access to treatments before they are otherwise available
  • To benefit from expert medical care at leading facilities, likely for free
  • To experience a greater sense of self-worth by helping advance medical science and aiding future generations of people
  • To feel hope in a potentially effective novel treatment
  • To receive compensation
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At one time, branding was a name, a tagline, a symbol, or various combinations of these elements that would allow people to distinguish a company, product, or service from one another. Think Coke vs. Pepsi. Now, branding is much more complex. Proper branding creates promises that a trial must deliver in order to be perceived as a compelling offering/package that motivates participation and creates engagement and loyalty to the trial.

To succeed in branding, you must first understand the needs and wants of your target audience — and you must do this strategically.

The Marriage of Clinical Trials with Branding

A successful marriage of these two elements will deliver a compelling trial experience where, in the words of Aristotle, “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”

This is often misquoted, but that’s not the point. There is a synergistic element of pairing clinical trials with good branding. When done well, the results are truly impressive.



Virtue is the moral excellence of a person! As mentioned above, people have reasons to participate in clinical trials, and many of those reasons are virtuous (help and hope). Clinical Trial Sponsors endeavor to develop new treatments in order to treat diseases and cure patients — also very virtuous — although sponsors answer to investors/stockholders. Why not brand these trials not only to assist in the hope and help but also to enhance commitment, courage, faith, optimism, purposefulness, loyalty, and sincerity? All elements of virtue!

In the end, branding is fundamentally about building a relationship with your target audience based on trust, values, needs, and motivations.

Including patients at the center of what you do, we are leveraging what motivates them — in life with their disease and their desire to participate.

Clinical Trial Branding

At Six Degrees, we fuse strategic clinical trial branding with targeted and customized engagement tools and communications that educate and guide patients throughout the entire trial.

As you can see, Six Degrees creates a roadmap to success. Whether your trial is targeting a high-prevalence disease, a rare disease, or involves a medical device, Six Degrees has the experience and skills to create a compelling and motivating trial brand to ensure the trial successfully recruits on time and on budget but, more importantly, helps the patient.

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Paul Welch
A pharmacist by training, Paul has applied his academic training over several decades of professional work to help bring new pharmaceuticals and medical devices to market for greater commercial success and, ultimately, for better patient outcomes. At Six Degrees, Paul is central to developing compelling trial brands and executing patient enrollment and retention campaigns.

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