The Pathway to Brand Relevance

What do you get when you merge technology with pharmacy benefit management (PBM)?  You get Catamaran, a PBM that prides itself on innovation, agility and flexibility.  But with giants in the market like Express Scripts and CVS to contend with, how does a smaller brand get noticed?  At BrandSmart 2015, Susan Fleming, VP of Marketing and Communications at Catamaran, explained how a focus on thought leadership, community engagement and client experience allowed them to compete with the big guys.

Originally a tech company that provided software to PBMs, Catamaran evolved into the full service PBM that it is today through mergers and acquisitions.  They settled on the name Catamaran because the catamaran boat was considered to have revolutionized sailing, just as the brand planned to revolutionize the PBM sector.  But choosing a name was just the first step to brand recognition.  Like the catamaran in sailing, they had to be innovative, agile, proactive and experienced.

To present themselves as an innovative company, Catamaran sought to become a vocal thought leader in the field.  They worked heavily with their PR firm and several different agencies to place their clinical experts and CEO at the forefront of the PBM discussion.  Through various media spots on television and in publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, they received over 63 million impressions within the first three months of their brand re-launch.  Catamaran sees the value of their brand in data and technology and regularly aspires to present their message in innovative ways including videos and gaming.

Another path to brand recognition is through community engagement. As a Board member of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Susan brings high-level visibility to the Catamaran name. In addition, the company is heavily involved in attending and sponsoring events at the Executive’s Club in Chicago. As a means to further demonstrate that the brand is at the forefront of technology, Catamaran also hosts the Chicago Innovation Awards and Think Chicago events in their Innovation Center, a 24,500 sf multi-media space in downtown Chicago that features big data and interactive technology.

To further solidify their reputation, Catamaran focuses on customer satisfaction through their consultants, clients and prospects.  By regularly engaging their clients with surveys and requests for feedback, they have been able to better understand their clients’ and prospects’ needs and keep their message and offerings relevant.

So how does all this spell success for Catamaran?  By understanding the market, staying on-point and on-strategy throughout the rebranding, they have managed to not only solidify their brand reputation in the PBM market, but also to drive 50% compound annual growth for the organization.  With this type of success, Catamaran will definitely be giving their competition a run for the money.

Suky Lawlor, Director, Content Marketing, Chicago AMA



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