QBFox Healthcomm

QBFox Healthcomm

2 Changebridge Road, Suite 203, Montville, NJ 07045

973-723-9198 • [email protected]qbfox.com

 

Finalist

  • Best Corporate Branding Campaign (Pharma/Device)
KalaBio

Finalist | Best Corporate Branding Campaign (Pharma/Device)
Kala Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on diseases of the eye, was changing its therapeutic focus, and therefore its name, to KALA BIO. This new KALA BIO would be applying its advanced, innovative science – mesenchymal stem cell secretome (MSC-S) platform – to solve rare and serious eye diseases. The name Kala was originally inspired by the beauty of the famed Kalalau Trail along the Nāpali Coast of Kauai. As such, QBFox’s original branding utilized rich photography to illustrate that beauty and also the challenges and demands overcome when tackling the trail.

It’s been six years since Steve Viviano, CEO, Chet Moss, chief creative officer, and Stacy Patterson, chief medical officer, rekindled their decades-long relationship and opened up QBFox Healthcomm. These leaders say the most recent period saw growth on several fronts, boding well for the agency and its particular client approach as year seven unfolds.   

“We’re discovering that our unique offering of senior, experienced talent who operate in a nimble and quick agency environment is really speaking to the needs of more and more clients,” Viviano observes. “Many of these companies have significant challenges that require a new perspective, and working fast and smart is seen as a tremendous competitive advantage for them.”

The leadership team says this is more than a philosophy – QBFox’s business model dovetails with what clients need: strong brand development, online presence, medically savvy content marketing, and targeted outreach to healthcare professionals and patients.

“Over these six years, we’ve been tagged as an ‘Agency To Watch,’ a ‘Most Innovative Startup,’ an ‘Elite Strategist,’ and a multi ‘PharmaVoice 100’ winner,” Moss notes. “We’ve had our share of creative awards and have been awarded business by clients who have switched companies. Perhaps nothing speaks to the success of what we’re doing more than that.” 

Recent accomplishments

One of the most noteworthy accomplishments in 2023 for QBFox was winning three new assignments in the areas of addiction and mental illness. According to managers, the work will span brand promotion for both healthcare professionals and patients across multiple platforms.

“We answered an RFP that was specifically looking for an agency who could work as an ‘agile’ partner with them,” Viviano says. “This spoke directly to the QBFox value proposition, so we were thrilled when we were selected to join their roster.”

According to the leadership team, part of the QBFox story for the assignment was the efficiency and time-savings achieved by a well-oiled, experienced agency team, one that would be singularly focused on the assignment at hand.

A fourth, new product win from another client was in the category of hypertension. The work included early medical strategy and platform building, which leaders say is another core strength of the agency, and was assigned because Patterson is a physician who had, together with Moss and Viviano, previously worked in the hypertension space on Diovan, Exforge, and Tekturna.

“There hasn’t been a lot of activity recently in hypertension,” Patterson notes. “But our Novartis launches showed our extensive knowledge of the category.” As this new agent wends its way through clinical trials, expectations are that the account will grow to a full AOR assignment.

Agency leaders say another key highlight of the past year was the new work for Kala Bio. Kala Pharmaceuticals was QBFox’s first client and the agency answered the charge with several launches for Kala’s ophthalmic brands.

For the newly rebranded Kala Bio – the company is becoming a rare-disease leader in the emerging field of mesenchymal stem cell secretome (MCS-S) therapy – the leadership team says the agency needed to create a new look and feel that leaned into this new focus. To date, the agency work entails exploration around the new company name, as well as logo development and web design.

“We built on the core of Kala’s original story,” Moss says. “A legacy of taking on the beauty and demands of the Kalalau Trail along the Nāpali Coast of Kauai. The creative work reflects both the determination of Kala’s innovative science and the rigors of the trail.”

“Our focus will be shifting to biologics, which gives us a chance to dig deep into the MCS-S platform for rare corneal and retinal diseases,” Patterson observes. “I love finding the hook in the science.”

Agency leaders say they believe that 2023 was notable for several significant web-based client initiatives, both branded and unbranded.

The application of the web-based work into social media (YouTube Channels, etc.), was a result of a tightly knit and expert team led on the creative side by Jonathan Richter, chief content officer/creative director, George Abdy, ACD/art lead, and Gustavo Estrella, senior designer who heads up digital design.

Executives say the operational, day-to-day account management at the agency resides in the accomplished hands of newly promoted Mark Vespole, who became senior VP, group account supervisor.

“Mark is a goldmine,” Viviano says. “He will fearlessly tackle anything, has uncanny organizational skills, and is an example of how to build relationships, both in and outside the agency. Part of our 2024 growth is due to what he’s been developing with clients since 2018 – winning over everyone.”

To support growing account needs, the agency also hired Taylor Ullrich as account supervisor at the start of the year.

Structure and services

Agency leaders say a visit to qbfox.com quickly  gets to the core of how it operates: small enough so leadership thoroughly knows each client, brand, and its customers, and experienced enough to make the right calls.

“Our industry moves fast. So do our clients,” Viviano says. “And technology and expectations have accelerated the pace.”

Patterson adds, “Knowing the marketplace as intimately as we do lets us stay ahead of the curve.”

According to Vespole, “We have a definite agency vibe. The way we work together daily, our speed of activity – we are truly connected as a high-performing team.”

Leaders say the key to success remains founded on the agency’s commitment to nimbly respond to client needs, while honoring strategic vision, creativity, senior proximity to the work, and having fun with clients and each other.

Future plans

The fundamental plan from 2018 remains the plan for 2024, agency leaders state, adding that QBFox continues to engage with potential new clients and is committed to growth that allows them to maintain their intimate approach and high-touch service model.

“We love the new clients we’ve partnered with this past year and look forward to meeting new clients who think the way we do and want what we have to offer,” Viviano says, adding that the agency is always looking for new people.

“Those first six years have come but are not gone,” agency leaders declare. “They’re the basis for QBFox to keep building on its value.”

QBFox Healthcomm

(top row left to right) George Abdy, ACD/art lead; Jonathan Richter, chief content officer/creative director; Mark Vespole, senior VP, group account supervisor
(middle row left to right) Steve Viviano, CEO; Megan Lugo, account executive; Gustavo Estrella, senior digital designer; Laura Miller, editor
(bottom row left to right) Stacy Patterson, chief medical officer; Chet Moss, chief creative officer; Chris Viviano, copywriter; Taylor Ullrich, account supervisor