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Differentiate or Be Deleted

Post-COVID-19, it is pretty clear that we will not return to “normal course” of business.

Physicians will spend less time face-to-face with sales reps. Accessing hospitals to demo new medtech products will be especially difficult as sales reps will no longer be standing at the surgeon’s elbow in the operating room.

Product differentiation is the ante to getting a physician’s attention. Does the physician see the message header and think, another XYZ product? Or do they see a product that’s truly novel and addresses a meaningful problem?

To avoid being DELETED, messages have to stand out to get the physician’s attention. More companies trying to promote their products electronically means more noise in the physician’s inbox.

To avoid being DELETED, a new products benefits will have to be clear, compelling, and concise. A sales rep used to meeting with a physician for 5-10 minutes now is lucky if electronically they get 5-10 seconds.

To avoid being DELETED, a product’s differentiation will have to make a real difference. Moderate improvements in clinical outcomes, dosing, and/or quality of life will not be enough to get traction in an electronic medium. Neither will line extensions and minor improvements to existing products.

We’re Red Team Associates. We help companies differentiate their products both before and after launch. If you’re worried about being DELETED, give us a call or shoot us an e-mail.



Harris Kaplan is Managing Partner of Red Team Associates, a boutique life sciences consultancy, and CEO of Healogix, a life sciences marketing research company. His resume includes work on the introduction of more than 100 new products including drug, biotech, device, and diagnostics. He is a commercial strategist who frequently presents and authors pieces on how the shift from a provider to a payer and patient centric world impacts new product innovation. Harris’ understanding of these seismic shifts in the life sciences landscape has made him a leader in the space and much sought after by clients ranging from startups to large multinationals. Harris excels at helping companies develop their commercial and go-to-market plans in support of new products. He has also been an advisor to multiple venture capital and private equity groups relative to assist their portfolio companies.

Harris’ articles have appeared in In Vivo, Medical Marketing and Media, and Product Management. He has presented at Intellus Worldwide Institute, Windhover’s Therapeutic Area Partnerships, IN3 Device Conference, World Orphan Disease Conference, Life Science Alley, the Biotech Conference at UC Berkley, Pharmaceutical Strategy Conference, and the Drug Information Association. He was also nominated as one of Pharma Voice’s most inspiring people in 2011.

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Harris Kaplan, Managing Partner

Red Team Associates