Traditionally, global pharma companies would often shy away from bold, fresh branding, instead sticking to a more corporate and ‘safer’ approach. Given the serious and sensitive nature of their work, it’s understandable that historically pharma branding has focused on conveying trust and professionalism at the fore. Typically, pharma companies would opt for a very clean, clinical and corporate look and feel – until recently, that is.
Brand Finance conducted a recent study assessing the value of rebrands across 25 industries. It was found that the pharma industry was the most prolific rebrander of them all! It’s also one of the most successful, with rebrands in pharma generating average returns of 13.8%, according to Brand Finance calculations.
We’re really excited to see global pharma companies developing their brands to stand out, be bolder and more modernistic in their look and feel. The fresher, progressive approach being taken in our opinion better embodies pharma’s contribution to ground-breaking advancements in patient treatments and healthcare technologies.
Here are a few recent examples of pharma companies taking a modern, bolder approach to refresh their brands.
The new logo catapults Sanofi into the 2020s with its bold, lower case, sans serif font. Incorporating two purple dots (purple representing wisdom), the logo embodies “the scientific journey between a starting point and a finish line – the eureka moment where innovative solutions are unlocked to impact people’s lives”. The new logo also signals uniformity between previously fragmented companies which have merged with Sanofi – in their own words, ‘connecting the dots’ between them all.
A far cry from their previous, quite dated and somewhat faded-looking colour palette, this new new look and feel really packs a punch without Sanofi losing the trust of their audience, or the prestige of their legacy and expertise as a company. Hints of purple are used across their website, accompanied by real-world photography instead of the classic stock photo selection which has been a firm favourite of pharma companies in days gone by.
Rebranding for the first time in 20 years, GSK is taking steps to position itself as the pharmaceutical industry’s leader in science and technology before it demerges from its consumer healthcare business later this year. The pharma giant has taken a huge step up with their branding to ensure they communicate their new focus and aims with their customers, patients, and investors. The new branding “features numerous curved forms that evoke the highly adaptable nature of the human immune system, acting as a reminder of the constant need to evolve and adapt”.
Unlike Sanofi, GSK has kept their signature orange colour – a hue that is widely recognisable and already helps them stand out in the pharma industry, and which is undoubtedly associated with their knowledge and expertise.
However, the logo has evolved away from the soft lower-case lettering and egg-shaped background to be replaced with a bespoke font which was inspired by DNA. Wolff Olins, the agency behind the new brand, describe the newly designed logo as taking “inspiration from the visual language of biosciences, genomic sequencing, and data analysis, but still feels warm and human… We have designed a brand that is capable of adapting to work in a wide variety of formats and channels, so it can speak to people no matter their background, role or expertise”. The colour has been inverted, with the previously white lettering now filled with an orange gradient, resulting in a strikingly bold identity.
Johnson Matthey Health
Following the acquisition by Altaris Capital Partners, Johnson Matthey Health has rebranded to Veranova. Veranova currently holds over 425 active patents and, over the course of the past century, has helped develop more than 100 APIs, including the first platinum-based drugs for cancer treatment.
The new name Veranova represents reliability and innovation (originating from the Latin words ‘vērus’, meaning ‘true’, and ‘nŏvus’, meaning ‘new’) – two key values for any great pharma company. The logo uses a sans serif font in continuous capitals, which is bold and confident, especially when compared to their previous, more rounded, lower-case choice which perhaps seemed less impactful and ‘safer’.
Their new website employs bright and bold purple gradients accompanied by striking monochrome imagery, as well as high-quality, real-world imagery of their experts at work.
Overall, their new look and feel screams ‘We’re here, we’re ready!’ for the next stage of their journey.
Thinking of rebranding but not sure where to start? Get in touch today to discuss how we can help guide you every step of the way.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01625 789050.
This latest thinking article was written by:
Head of Design