Viagra is one of the world’s best known pharmaceutical blockbuster brands. Yet, the profitability of big brands tend to collapse after patents expire and generic ‘knock offs’ flood into market. Faced with early patent expiry in NZ Pfizer NZ launched their own generic ‘Avigra’ to retain customers by migrating them to a quality Pfizer alternative.
A successful launch would prevent generic competitors establishing in the erectile dis-function (ED) market and stop Viagra users switching to competitor brand alternatives. This strategy had never been tired before so the strategic and creative challenge was to transfer the positive brand equity from Viagra and link it to a second brand offering a more affordable price point for men.
Avigra launched in May 2011 and by July 2011 achieved dominant 55.3% market share. Avigra sales have significantly exceeded Pfizer NZ expectations, +277% over budget. Since Viagra’s patent expiry in July, the total NZ ED market has also grown by 40% in tablets. Combined Viagra/Avigra volume is now 63%, growth of 176% over the same period in 2010.
This NZ originated retention strategy is being examined by Pfizer Globally as a best practice case study into combating the damage cause by generics to the business.