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Combomed Pharma

Combomed Pharma

Doing our part during the COVID-19 crisis

Getting critical personal protection products into the hands of Canadians during the pandemic

Combomed Pharma Overview

Using Comunika’s skills and contacts to arrange the importation of personal protective equipment and market them in Canada

What we did

Logo, Branding, Packaging, Scientific content, Health Canada approvals, Online sales, Advertising, SEM

Visit Epura by Combomed Pharma
Challenge

In a crisis setting stemming from the pandemic and lockdown, the task was to market essential personal protective equipment manufactured abroad to Canadians by creating the branding, supporting the import operation, taking it through the health authorities’ approval processes and getting it into the hands of Canadians as quickly as possible.

Approach

Simplicity, efficiency, speed. Our fast-track approach to design, branding, content creation and project management was developed through years of in-house experience marketing health products. With time being of the essence, we turned to our regular trusted partner to help us sprint through the necessary Canadian regulatory and approval processes with the appropriate diligence. Our expertise with online platforms, such as Shopify, allowed us to provide our client with strategic counsel and recommendations while designing and building a robust online sales platform as well as necessary resources, reflecting our reputation as a well-oiled machine.

Strategy

Our strategy was simple: creating the right branding for the personal protection products to appeal to Canadians, rushing the products through all the steps of the various health authorities’ approvals, and getting them to market as quickly as possible.

Tactics

  • Create branding and content for Canadian market
  • Partner with regulatory team to ensure PPE get rapid health authorities’ approvals
  • Help the client with setting up the different distribution networks (wholesale and direct sales)
  • Create point of sale materials
  • Create marketing campaigns to promote
  • Design SEM for targeted audiences (Business to Business and Business to Consumer)

Results

11 products created, approved for use in Canada and made available to Canadians

  • Less than 3 weeks from initial client contact to product on Canadian shelves
  • $35,000 in total in online sales
  • $10,300 donated to The Refuge des Jeunes Foundation in Montreal
  • Strengthened client relationship, start of a new endeavor, and the beginning of a thriving partnership
The Comunika team took the necessary measures and was able to act quickly in the short time they had. They successfully designated the best resources for the job, taking into consideration the project's urgent nature, and the result is at the height of our expectations. Although social distancing measures were in place, communications remained easy and fluid. They always bring brilliant and creative ideas to the table which have resulted in the success of many of our mandates, especially for packaging design.”
Richard Coudé, Co-Founder of epura by Combomed Pharma

Brand identity

We created the epura by Combomed Pharma brand from scratch, which encompassed a vast variety of products with multiple SKUs. The broader project included photo shoots, brand look and feel design, and multiple packaging options and formats. The main objective was to be enticing to mass market consumers while keeping an appropriate look and feel for personal protection products.

Creation of health content

The Comunika team created, and then translated, original scientific content in partnership with Combomed, as well as with our trusted long-time collaborator who already had extensive experience submitting regulatory content for approval (e.g. NHP, NIP, NPN, Health Canada approvals, etc.). We relied on our in-depth knowledge of health and natural health product packaging regulations and promotion rules and ethics, which in turn enabled us to save much time and effort.

Getting to market

epura personal protection products are marketed wholesale, direct-to-consumer (Shopify) and using the client’s network of direct order contacts. As such, our responsive design had to meet the needs and stand out from competing products in each of these markets.

Platform & technologies

Online and social media

Comunika’s online and social media plan included SEM, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, as well as native advertising.

For each of these media, we had two specific target markets:

  • B2B for high volume purchases
  • B2C for direct low volume online sales

One of our biggest challenges throughout the project was the rising cost of keywords. During the pandemic, certain keywords, such as "mask", were prohibited from being used in keyword bids, so synonyms and alternative keywords quickly became expensive to purchase. This, coupled with Facebook’s advertising restrictions to avoid companies profiting from the pandemic, forced Comunika to show great ingenuity in the design of its social media strategy.

Finally, as usual, Comunika was also responsible for monitoring and continuously adjusting campaign parameters for optimal results.

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Good corporate citizenship

The owners of Combomed are also pharmacists, and it was important for them to include a charitable component to the strategy to reflect their commitment to their communities’ health.

Therefore, Combomed Pharma donates 25 cents to La fondation Refuge des Jeunes in Montreal for each pack of 10 epura 3-ply masks sold. As of September 30, 2020, more than $10,000 has been donated to this important cause.