CSL’s Anthony Farina Talks About Brand Value, the Power of Disruption, and Staying True to Purpose… 
6 mins read

CSL’s Anthony Farina Talks About Brand Value, the Power of Disruption, and Staying True to Purpose… 

For the past decade, Anthony Farina, Chief Communications & Brand Officer of biotech giant CSL, has been part of the company’s extraordinary evolution. From his beginnings as the first communications leader in CSL’s century-long history, he has helped champion a purpose-driven ethos or “promise,” which enabled the CSL family to unify as one global brand as it doubled in size through acquisitions. 

Now, CSL has achieved another brand milestone. The biotech leader is the #1 Fastest-Growing Brand in the Pharmaceutical Category, according to Brand Finance, with brand value growth of over 30%. 

The annual Healthcare Report on the Most Valuable and Strongest Pharma, Medical Devices, and Healthcare Services Brands shows that CSL is the fastest-growing brand, up 32% to USD 1.3 billion, despite significant drops in brand value among many pharmaceutical companies.

CSL’s immunoglobulin portfolio has witnessed a significant upswing, rising by 19% due to a combination of increased plasma supply and rising patient demand. This growth not only augurs well for CSL’s future in manufacturing plasma products but also underscores an unwavering commitment to patient care.

Such positive developments also reassure stakeholders about the company’s dedication to improving healthcare outcomes.

All marketers recognize that a strong brand can contribute to a company’s overall value and lead to improved business returns in several ways. A well-ingrained brand ethos helps a company differentiate itself and establish a unique identity, as CSL has done.

Anthony Farina also believes that “staying true to your purpose,” long-term planning, and “trying things so you fail fast” contribute to a culture of innovation that benefits employees and company results.

To learn more from Anthony Farina about how brands can increase their value, watch the video interview on Internationalist Marketing TV (IMTV) on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.


Anthony Farina emphasizes that CSL’s strong commitment to “living its values” has guided the company for many decades.

“Our Values,” he says, “have been fundamental to our success — helping us save lives, protect people’s health, and earn our reputation as a trusted and reliable global biotechnology leader. They’re at the core of how our employees interact with each other, make decisions, and solve problems.”

Becoming Comfortable with Disruption…

Ever the realist, he also believes that regularly disrupting one’s own brand or process— before someone else does— is the hallmark of a leader. According to Farina, this thinking has not only helped make CSL a “Content Powerhouse” and vastly improved its online user experience when searching for critical information but also continues to underscore the brand values that make a difference to patients, employees, and the medical community.

Listen to Anthony Farina discuss the values of a purpose-led organization and to The Internationalist’s entire Trendsetters podcast series here on iHeartRadio’s Spreaker or wherever you download your podcasts.

In our conversation, we discuss the following:

  • According to Brand Finance, CSL is the #1 Fastest-Growing Brand in the Pharmaceutical Category, with brand value growth of over 30%. Tell us more about this extraordinary accomplishment.
  • Brand Finance’s measurement of brand value becomes even more crucial in the current landscape, especially for a biotech giant like CSL. As we’ve seen, some pharma brands have grappled with significant losses to brand value and overall strength in the post-pandemic slowdown. Could you shed some light on why brand value measurement is so important in such challenging times?
  • CSL’s dedication to rare diseases and what you often refer to as “living our values” are not just strategic choices but deeply ingrained in the company’s DNA. This unique combination is a key driver of the company’s success. Could you elaborate on how these two pillars are interconnected?
  • You’ve seen remarkable growth and transformation since you’ve been at CSL—from the number of employees to the number of countries you now serve. Yet, to an outsider, CSL’s focus on your patients, as well as innovation and integrity, doesn’t change. How is it possible to grow so much without experiencing major challenges?
  • You and I have talked about purpose-led organizations for some time now. Recent Internationalist research sees significant purpose-related challenges, especially as marketers admit to difficulties expressing purposeful messages— from “purpose washing” and potential backlash to “purpose fatigue” and perceived disconnects between stated values and actions. Do you think it is more difficult now to communicate one’s purpose effectively?
  • How do you ensure purpose is part of an organization’s DNA?
  • Have marketers gone too far in pursuing purpose? Or does it take much more work to get it right? I recall that you believe a longer-term strategy is an essential blueprint for any purpose-driven initiative.
  • As movements change, do notions of purpose evolve to reflect societal issues? Or are there core elements of purpose that remain unchanging?
  • You’ve witnessed so much growth with CSL. What do you see ahead for the company or the industry?

Anthony Farina is globally recognized as an innovative and results-oriented strategic communications leader with an established record of developing and leading creative, high-performance global teams that deliver against business objectives.

During his 30-year communications career in both the private and public sectors, he has held a range of progressive leadership roles, including as an Associated Press award-winning journalist and executive communications director for the governor of Delaware.

Under Anthony’s leadership, CSL has evolved from “the largest company no one has ever heard of” to a global brand leader in rare diseases. During Anthony’s tenure, CSL’s CEO has emerged as a global thought leader, earning a number of recognitions including “CEO of the Year” by the highly respected Australian Financial Review. Forbes also named CSL among its Top 50 employers in the world in 2017 and 2018 for the first time.

Anthony was named among the world’s top 25 communications and marketing leaders twice by PR Week and as “Internationalist of the Year” for championing innovative communications strategies and advocating responsible brand-building. He is widely recognized for his Public Relations excellence, including receiving the Best of Silver Anvil Award and 2 additional Silver Anvil Awards by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA.)