Identifying Barriers + Driving Physician’s Prescribing Behavior to Increase Share

Abbvie was stymied about why Kaletra – its HIV treatment with significant and well-known efficacy – failed to achieve above fourth place in market share and was rarely recommended for early-stage HIV treatment. Finding no rational explanation, Abb partnered with Brandtrust to identify physicians’ deeper human truths related to HIV patient care and treatment selection. Ultimately, they hoped these insights would reveal how to change physicians’ behaviors around treatment path recommendations, thereby increasing Kaletra’s market share with regard to the line of treatment.


Emotional Inquiry research revealed physicians harbor a deep emotional need to outwit HIV and, because Kaletra’s positioning emotionally morphed into “very strong”, were using it as a last resort when other less-effective drugs failed. Moreover, it became clear that Kaletra was not optimizing its strength in helping doctors and patients reach their “undetectable goal” in its current positioning.


Together with Brandtrust, Abbvie developed a slightly altered but much more effective positioning that both appeals to physicians’ desire to successfully reach the “undetectable” goal and makes clear the advantages of early use. Additionally, the new positioning and associated tactical expressions emphasized Kaletra’s ability to help remove tension in the physician/patient relationship by uniting them around this common “undetectable” goal.


Abbvie experienced near-immediate success with the implementation of this new positioning. Kaletra’s market share began to accelerate dramatically and increased from fifth place to first place in less than one year.