A distinct positioning for a crowded market
Merz North America, a division of Merz Global, was a relatively small player in the bustling, saturated pharmaceutical marketplace. The company aspired to be admired, trusted and have a reputation for innovation, but it wasn’t sharing a clear, relevant and distinctive story with its stakeholders. Up against bigger, high profile players like Allergan and Galderma, Merz needed to define and articulate its brand story and communicate its value to customers and employees. Merz asked us to help uncover and bring to life a brand strategy that would position the company more effectively in North America.
Promising a better experience
Our research and interviews revealed a potential story of differentiation. Customers shared how much they enjoyed doing business with Merz and prized their relationship-focused approach to business. Both employees and customers said they could trust the stability and integrity of the 100-year-old family-owned global company who had consistently prioritized the customer experience for physicians and quality of life for patients. Merz’ personal, nimble approach offered a refreshing contrast from competitors, whose actions and attitudes clearly demonstrated their shareholder-first focus. This potential major competitive advantage formed the basis of the brand’s distinctive positioning — “experiencing better.” Not only was this positioning highly relevant to the North American market, it also tied back well to Merz’ global theme line — “Live better. Look better. Feel better.”
Being seen and getting heard
Beyond the brand strategy, Merz needed the proper tools with which to tell its new story. Baker developed a brand expression — both visual and verbal. Directed not to touch the original Merz logo, we instead reimagined and repurposed the logo’s heptagon, creating an entire visual vocabulary. Heptagons are scaled, layered and deconstructed to suggest progressiveness, anticipation and opportunity. This visual, paired with a messaging framework, not only supported but also constantly reinterprets and extends the “Better” positioning.
Additionally, we defined a master brand architecture to better unify the wide range of business units within the global company.
Shaping a culture of opportunity
The internal launch of the brand was met with great excitement and enthusiasm. It was kicked off at the annual sales meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada. Employees, who had longed for a more articulate and relevant story to live and deliver, fervently embraced the company’s new look and messaging. In addition, knowing the brand’s continued success would rely on the carrying forward of a healthy, supportive internal culture, we also helped Merz focus its employee communication. We worked with the CEO to capture the quality of experience offered at Merz. This strong message of professional and personal opportunity was summed up in collateral materials shared with both internal teams and prospective employees.
Signaling a new era
Lastly, we helped Merz NA embark on a physical transition — a move into a new 60,000 square-foot office headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. As the company brought all of its business units together under a single roof for the very first time, they asked us to help set a fresh tone. We designed environmental graphics that tell a clear story of where Merz is moving — toward an energetic, collaborative future.