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Moderna’s Kate Cronin on turning a pandemic hero into an everyday hero

For the first 10 years of its life, Moderna was a research and development company, with nary a product on the market. That changed virtually overnight during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Moderna emerged a hero, with the kind of brand recognition (and in some cases, loyalty) many marketers dream of.

The firm is now busy leveraging its cachet as it educates consumers about the power of mRNA technology, on its mission to reimagine health and wellness. And it’s doing this while making the conversation fun.

“People retain more when they’re being entertained,” says Kate Cronin, Moderna’s chief brand officer. “So instead of lecturing consumers about, ‘You need to get vaccinated,’ we spend more time engaging with them when they’re at sporting events or when they’re at concerts, reaching them when they’re having fun and they’re open to hearing more.”

Elsewhere, Cronin shares how Moderna got its name, how it works with retailers to find new audiences, and why it sees itself as a platform-technology company, not a pharmaceutical one.