Below: Before and After Images in Slide Show, Video, Summary, Credits
The company was founded in 1668 and is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. Despite its diverse business, the company had always portrayed itself as a typical pharmaceutical brand, a sector where deep-rooted visual clichés ensure nobody stands for anything or stands out. The company wanted to update its blurred brand positioning, its aging and unemotional visual identity, and to unite its many complex businesses across different areas of specialization and locations.
In 2015 the company felt as if it was not the same as it was a decade ago. It had transformed to a global player with a unique combination of expertise in science and technology. The company wanted to communicate its commitment to advancing technologies for life. The “dusty and rusty” (quote of a former top manager) B2B brand held back an entire industry giant from taking its next evolutionary step. It was also important that the company be perceived as one company, despite not being able to use its brand name in the US and Canada for legal reasons. In addition, the company wanted to unite its heterogeneous business brand portfolio under one memorable brand, enhance its appeal in the employer market, and drive cultural change within the company towards a modern, more agile organization.
All scientific companies look the same. They are awash in an unemotional sea of sameness of industry conventions. This company had colorful stories to tell, but our world was clinical and exchangeable. In search of a new expression of Vibrant Science & Technology, we found inspiration in the world under the microscope with an alien world of fascinating forms and captivating colors which has defied expectation. It is where science looks for its answers, and where the company looks deeper than anyone else.This vibrant and colorful new brand was a radical change for an industry where companies are known for stark white backgrounds and traditionally “sciencey” photos. This was a brave new expression for a company at the cutting edges of scientific discovery. The brightest blend of art and science destined to illuminate not just the sector, but all of our lives.
By making the shift from a chemical and pharmaceutical company to one of vibrant science and technology, we now have the brand identity that allows us to show the world our true colors. The identity now also has huge standout among competitors which has revolutionized the industry and replaces 100% of the old identity, making it the most radical rebranding in the company’s now 350 year history. Or as one customer said when he saw the new brand identity for the first time during market testing: “They’re daring to go somewhere no one has before”.
Client: Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany – www.emdgroup.com/en
Head of Branding & Strategic Projects: Axel Löber
Head of Brand Management: Katrin Menne
Senior Manager Brand Communication: Christine Blum-Heuser
Senior Manager Brand Design: Brigitte Schneider
Manager Brand Design: Martina Ackner
Manager Brand Projects: Aferdita Kastrati
Brand Strategists/Designers: FutureBrand – www.futurebrand.com
Project Lead: Simon Hill
Creative Direction: Richard Holt
Creative Direction: Stuart Dickson
Account Management: Charlotte Elliott
Account Management: Clare Smith