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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2013
Thesis number: 13224
Understanding brand relationships with OTC pharmaceutical products and corporate brand experienced by the consumers: Case Orion Oyj
Author: Honkanen, Emma
Title: Understanding brand relationships with OTC pharmaceutical products and corporate brand experienced by the consumers: Case Orion Oyj
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; hyvinvointi; welfare; tuotteet; products; lääketeollisuus; pharmaceutical industry; apteekit; pharmacies; brandit; brands; kuluttajat; consumers; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; terveystalous; health economics; luottamus; trust
Pages: 105
Full text:
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Key terms: Pharmaceutical business, OTC, corporate brand, product brand, FMCG, consumer-brand relationships, trust, pharmacies, consumer behaviour.

The purpose of this thesis was to study consumer-brand relationships of OTC products and pharmaceutical corporate brand. The practical aim was to determine whether the corporate brand should be utilized in product marketing and to what extent. As branding of drugs is a rising trend and something not yet properly understood, this study will provide both practical and theoretical implications that are novel, regarding the research conducted in this field is extremely limited.


Six in-depth interviews were conducted by following existential-phenomenological methodology, which is a means of conducting qualitative research. The interviewees were chosen based on their lifestyles and demographic qualities were left in a diminished part. In terms of some participants, second interviews were conducted in order to discover more information. The empirical analysis was built around consumer profiles of five respondents. The purpose was to explain their consumption by life values, personal history, and involved persons in addition to study what type of brand relationships there exist. Moreover, trust formation and brand relationship typology were central themes of the analysis.


The results of the study indicate that consumers share deep emotions and long relationships with OTC brands that are frequently regarded to solely provide rational and functional benefits. The strong relationships not only have been already developed in childhood, but also have increased price tolerance and affected trust. The relationships with OTC products evolve during time and are based on both emotional and functional attributes. Despite experiencing Orion rather distant, the consumers valued its trustworthiness and quality of being domestic. These are attributes that should be used in the future when constructing a strong corporate brand and differentiating from other companies in this market characterized by low growth and increasing competition. Only after efficient corporate brand building is it justified to attach it in the product marketing, as currently the brand is not strong enough to separate Orion's products from others. This is especially important as the consumer behaviour is rapidly changing in addition to the evolving sales environment and legislation. Moreover, there was a need to exercise more influential branding strategies in terms of memorable brand name development, more personalized advertising, and as a whole, investing in marketing and branding rather than simply in sales and R&D, which regarding the current market situation is not sufficient.
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