Cannes, FR — During last month’s Cannes LIONS Live events, Rei Inamoto shared a keynote titled Pivot: How Can We Grow in the New Normal? During the session, he shared 4 Imperatives for Growth — simple shifts that can quickly get a brand or organization poised to survive and thrive through seasons of significant uncertainty. As an experienced advertising exec and co-founder of New York-based business invention firm I&CO, Inamoto shared a unique perspective that clearly sees the pitfalls and ingrained habits of marketers that prevent brands from quickly adapting to challenges and borrows from the best to show a better way. 

He unpacked these concepts by drawing parallels between the restaurant industry and advertising — specifically through a business case familiar to him: the quick-turn transformation that his friend chef Narisawa pulled off that helped his world-class restaurant thrive through this global pandemic.   

His four shifts include pivoting:

  1. from Organizational Scale to Functional Speed
  2. from USP (Unique Selling Proposition) to POV (Point of View)
  3. from Case Study to Business Case
  4. from Ideal Future to Practical Future

Why This Matters — 

As pharma aims to quickly adapt to fit both the shifting landscape and constantly evolving needs of the patients, physicians, pharmacists and population-based decision makers we serve, perhaps Inamoto’s 4 shifts hold significant promise:

  1. Distill the elements of your offering most valuable to today’s customers. Use this insight to deliver the most essential bits quickly and effectively. For marketers in the life sciences industry, this could be doubling down on 2-3 areas most critical to starting and staying on therapy during and beyond this pandemic.
  2. Merge brand values with the value proposition offered by your brand. While today’s uncertainty may warrant rethinking your value proposition, it should not shake your values in the least. In many ways, this where purpose driven marketing meets good business strategy. 
  3. Move from what’s possible to what’s prudent. Case studies have offered valuable proof points for years, but in a climate fraught with uncertainty, strategic actions that demonstrate well calculated risk should prove invaluable.
  4. Focus on maximizing value for the real world. During periods of significant disruption and countless challenges, wishful thinking and idealistic approaches fold to solutions that address real unmet needs emerging from the crisis. 

Looking for inspiration to help your brand identify and make the right pivots? Check out our latest research and insights at

About the Author:

Drew Beck has spent his entire career in healthcare — from direct patient care as an EMT in college to countless roles in pharma sales and global marketing for leading life science companies including Eli Lilly & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline. He is currently a leader on the Syneos Health Insights & Innovation team, a group charged with leveraging deep expertise in virtual collaboration, behavioral science, trends-based-innovation, custom research and global marketing insights.