Critical thinking and analytical thinking are key skills for pharma brand managers

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking.

For critical thinking, consider these five steps:

Understand the logical connections between ideas.

Identify, construct and evaluate arguments.

Detect inconsistencies in reasoning and reflect on the justification of your beliefs and values.

Solve problems systematically.

Identify the relevance and importance of ideas.

What is analytical thinking?

Analytical thinking is a thinking process or skill in which a brand manager has the ability to scrutinize and break down facts and thoughts into an actionable form.

Consider these five steps analytical thinking:

  1. Focus on facts and evidence.
  2. Analyze data and convert into useful information.
  3. Dissect complex data into simpler constituents.
  4. Reason – Be coherent and logical
  5. Analyze trends changes over time

As a brand manager I invariably took a poets’ help – Have you read the poem ‘SIX HONEST SERVING MEN’ by Rudyard Kipling?

I KEEP six honest serving-men

(They taught me all I knew);

Their names are What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who.

I send them over land and sea,

I send them east and west;

But after they have worked for me,

I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five,

For I am busy then,

As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,

For they are hungry men.

critical thinking

For instance, if you are preparing a brand plan, ask these six questions.

  1. The ‘What Question’

What have you done to make your brand different? What are you really doing to make your presence felt in the niche you have segmented and get really specific? WHAT are the things I could have done to improve my market share and brand standing? What are those things I did not do? What will I do to STRENGTHEN my BRAND STRENGTHS?

  1. The ‘WHY’ Question


Why should a doctor prescribe your brand? Do you have a solid USP and a Value Proposition? Are you thinking like the Brand Manager of competing brands? Or are you different?

  1. The ‘WHO’ Question

Who are your doctors? Have you done the segmentation through proper market research? Or are you working on your hunches? Do you have strong evidence on the reason for segmentation?

  1. The ‘WHEN’ Question

When did you come to know that competition is catching up with your No. 1 Brand? When will you take action to strengthen your No.1 brand which is now shaky? When and how will you ensure the First-line Leaders are fully engaged in strategy execution?

  1. The ‘HOW’ Question

How well do you know competition? How are you going to face competition? Take them head-on in the same RED OCEAN? Are you strategically going to create another pie where you will render competition irrelevant? How am I going to train my field colleagues so they deliver better STRATEGY EXECUTION?

  1. The ‘WHERE’ Question

WHERE do you want to go? WHAT are the challenges ahead? HOW are you going to meet these challenges? WHICH obstacles are you like to face? WHO are the people who will help you in overcoming these obstacles? WHY do you think so?

Ask these six questions to yourself and the answers should be there in your 2018-19 marketing plan

 Both critical and analytical thinking are critical for a brand manager!

Vivek Hattangadi

Vivek Hattangadi

Chief Mentor at ‘The Enablers’

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