DARMSTADT, Germany, December 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
- Innovation and digital presence identified as main drivers of successful engagement with consumers and healthcare professionals
Merck, a leading science and technology company, has developed a novel approach to product co-creation for its Consumer Health business. As part of its sustainable growth strategy and commitment to improving the health and well-being of consumers worldwide, the business is involving not only healthcare professionals, but also consumers, taking full advantage of innovation and the business's digital presence. This unique approach is rooted in Merck Consumer Health's continued and close engagement with consumers and experts, allowing the business to stay ahead of consumers' needs and create purposeful brands that aim to deliver value beyond their functional benefits. A combination of functionality and emotional connection to the brands can also create loyalty among consumers, which then creates a "lovebrand"- a special class of brands that enjoy exceptional engagement and a strong emotional bond with consumers.
Explaining the business's new approach to co-creating brands, Uta Kemmerich-Keil, CEO and President of the Consumer Health business of Merck, said: "As a business, innovation and digital tools allow us to proactively and transparently engage consumers on what matters most to them. Our R&D process leverages our digital presence and listens to consumers' aspirations and needs. These efforts helped us to structure our innovation philosophy around three pillars: novelty, surprise and positive impact."
Merck Consumer Health's quest to respond to consumers' desires and expectations relies on the systematic engagement of more than 40,000 consumers and 10,000 healthcare professionals annually in a global market research program. The dialogue continues through digital and social media after products are made available on the market. Continued analysis of consumer expectations and feedback contribute to the business's sustainable success.
In Germany, Merck Consumer Health actively engages consumers around Femibion®, the multivitamin for "baby planning", pregnant and breastfeeding women, on various digital platforms to empower women with specific actions they can take that will benefit their future children's health. Leveraging the Femibion Facebook page, more than 1 million viewers watched Femibion's most recent video, and the conversation continues with the more than 100K followers on the Femibion Facebook page.
In Latin America, where neuropathy sufferers are largely underdiagnosed, Neurobion® has launched the "Don't live with your body discomforts" campaign, which leverages social media to raise awareness about neuropathy and its symptoms while also educating consumers about the benefits of Vitamin B. 267K followers share their experiences on the Neurobion Facebook page where the brand answers questions and shares information about the right dietary intake of food rich in Vitamin B. Also in Latin America, Vivera®, a product addressing gastro-intestinal upset that was introduced in January 2016, uses a virtual reality experience to showcase its mode of action, highlighting the need to regenerate intestinal flora in cases of diarrhea.
Finally, in the UK, as part of the "True Age" campaign, Seven Seas® informs consumers about the benefits of Omega-3 oils, vitamins and minerals for effective absorption of nutrients into the body's cells. Using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the brand promotes healthy life choices and informs consumers about the right nutrition for health and well-being. 225K people follow the brand's Facebook page, forming a community in which open communication enables transparent and educational discussions.
Commenting on the company's digital engagement with consumers and the business's approach to innovation, Uta Kemmerich-Keil concluded: "Moving forward we will continue to leverage the power of digital and innovation to interact with consumers and swiftly provide them with engaging content as they turn to brands to seek answers. The examples of Femibion, Neurobion, Vivera and Seven Seas lead the way in consumer engagement, and we look forward to starting more conversations on the other health and wellness topics that can educate consumers."
About the Consumer Health business of Merck
Brands of the Consumer Health business, such as Neurobion®, Bion®, Nasivin®, Seven Seas®, Dolo-Neurobion®, and Femibion® are innovative leaders in key markets, backed by science and trusted by consumers worldwide. The Consumer Health business is with over 3,800 employees globally active in over 40 markets. The portfolio comprises of brands with annual total sales of about $ 1 billion. Consumer Health is a business of the Healthcare business sector within the Merck Group with global headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.
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Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life - from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2015, Merck generated sales of € 12.85 billion in 66 countries.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.