New brand development: Hana shows how to be insight-led

New brand development can get bogged down in the details of the new product or service, leading to a functionally based marketing mix. A recent brandgyym project for HRA Pharma on Hana, a new brand of contraceptive pill, shows the power of an insight-led approach

Post by David Nichols, Group Managing Partner and Global Head of Invention.

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1. Industry insight

The development of the new Hana brand was triggered by an industry insight. HRA spotted upcoming regulation changes that would allow women in the UK to buy the contraceptive pill ‘over the counter’, without a prescription. Rather than booking a doctor’s appointment for a replacement of their regular prescription, women would be able to buy their pills direct, without the hassle. “While it’s taken 60 years, this democratisation of contraception is a game-changing moment for women,” observed Vicki Maguire, CCO of Hana agency Havas

2. Core target insight

Tapping into the needs and attitudes of a tightly defined core target, allows creation a distinctive mix that appeals to a wide consumption target. The crisp articulation of ‘young independent women who want to enjoy a worry-free sex life’ really helped the Hana team translate create cut-through creative, rather than bland ‘for everyone’ comms.

3. Consumer insight

The clear core target helped the team dig deep to uncover a human truth on which to build the brand. Hana taps into the insight that independent women want to make their own decisions about their bodies and reproductive health. In the past, the journey to finding the right contraception has often been out of their hands. Now, Hana empowers them to make these decisions on their own terms.

4. Communication insight

communication on contraception is often negative and focused on the fear of getting pregnant. Flowing from the core target and insight, the Hana brand focuses on the positives of enhanced freedom and control. “The upbeat launch campaign will inspire and empower its target audiences,” commented Kate Evans, Marketing Director of HRA Pharma UK.

5. Channel insight

Young women run everything in their lives via 24/7/365 mobile apps: friends, fashion, food, banking and dating. This insight inspired HRA Pharma to create a mobile e-commerce app for Hana. With just a few clicks, you can get Hana delivered direct to your door with a monthly subscription. 

In conclusion, an insight-led approach to new brand development can create a more relevant and distinctive launch mix. Early signs suggest this approach is paying off for HRA Pharma. Hana won OTC Launch of the Year Award at the prestigious OTC Marketing Awards in December. Watch this space for news of how the launch progresses in 2022.


1.OTC Awards

2.Launch interviews