Branding to Reach New Heights: Part One

As part of a corporate re-branding initiative that included a revamp of its corporate website, Thought Leader Select engaged Trig Innovation to revisit their corporate logo.  Through Trig’s consultative process, the two parties spoke in great depth about what Thought Leader Select stands for as a research and consulting partner to the biopharmaceutical industry, how they are different from their competitors, and the customers they serve.

Thought Leader Select understood that brand elements such as logos create unique icons that become shorthand for all the positive and negative associations experienced by the customer with that company.  Logos become meaningful as file folders of the minds of customers—they store their brand experiences mentally, using the logo as an instantaneous trigger to recall memories, both good and bad. Thus, icons are a powerful shortcut past language to a deeper emotional connection.  Properly designed logos pack a lot of meaning into a visual shortcut

The first stage was to discuss the brand strategy in terms of a 3C (company, customers, competitors) analysis and determine how that strategy would be expressed in the visual assets.  Thought Leader Select’s marketing team had already done a great job understanding their customers and competitors, through its recent completion of a client feedback survey and exhaustive competitive landscape research, and has developed a strong awareness and appreciation for the people in its own workforce and their respective skills and experiences (the company has doubled its number of employees in the last two years).

Comments from one of Thought Leader Select’s employees, a research manager named Rhonda Napier, stood out in particular during discussions.  The fierce pride within the company came out with comments like “Doctors aren’t a search term. They deserve to be honored and not reduced to a number or data set.”  Thought Leader Select’s employees exemplified the company’s commitment to its core service—identifying and profiling medical experts for collaborative work on new medications—and the industries it serves (healthcare and biopharmaceuticals).  “We respectfully connect companies with the doctors they need to advise them on medical and clinical issues as they bring new medicines to market—the right people for the right reasons,” stated Kristen Smithwick, a vice president at the firm. “We believe that our objective, validated methodology opens up opportunities for more physicians and health care providers to provide their expertise pharma and medical device companies in the ultimate service of public health. “

When asked what brands would inspire the new direction of the company brand, principals at Thought Leader Select loved the modern, clean look of pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Eli Lilly, consulting companies such as McKinsey, Bain, and even some art museums such as the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art.  Trig Innovation had to strike a balance in the visual assets’ appeal to both pharma and the medical community.  Previous brand iterations utilized color references for scrubs, white spaces, and a general sense of antiseptic sterility.  After some thoughtful discussion, the antiseptic scrub colors were less emphasized, though the palette couldn’t stray too far away. Trig drew from the bold, dynamic presence of advertising agencies while establishing the brand as a trusted resource that can overcome skepticism.  And, just as importantly, Trig team had to accomplish these goals in a way that amplified the humanity of the highly trained people that assess the research data with a very hands-on process. 

MarketingSamantha Harr