Post-Acquisition Brand Integration
- Industry: Global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) partnering with large, midsized, and small pharma and biotech companies
- Products/Services: Complete suite of capabilities across the entire drug development continuum from drug discovery to manufacturing
- Specialty: Drug discovery, chemical development, analytical services, API development and manufacturing, and drug product development and manufacturing
- Headquarters: Albany, NY
- Size: 3,000+ employees, facilities in seven countries
ESTABLISHING A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO INTERNAL
AND EXTERNAL CHALLENGES
AMRI is a global contract research and manufacturing organization that provides discovery, development, and manufacturing services to clients in the pharma and biotech industries. After acquiring seven global entities across North America and Europe within three years, AMRI needed to bring these businesses together through a solidified strategy and cohesive brand and message. Ready to rely on SCORR for its established expertise in industry mergers and acquisitions, AMRI engaged SCORR for strategic guidance and creative execution of a new unified brand.
Prior to partnering with SCORR, AMRI’s legacy businesses had functioned as separate brands with their own missions, messaging, and marketing collateral. These businesses did not position AMRI’s full suite of offerings consistently. Furthermore, brand confusion made it difficult to garner company buy-in. AMRI needed to create a brand identity that differentiated it from its competition, and assure employees, clients, and potential clients of the continuity and stability of the company.
In consideration of these challenges, AMRI articulated four primary objectives when partnering with SCORR:
- Unify the AMRI brand to improve brand awareness and drive lead generation
- Clarify and articulate company offerings
- Engage employees for brand advocacy
- Reintroduce AMRI to the global biopharmaceutical market
“From start to finish, SCORR’s commitment and expertise drove us to meet our rebranding goals. The SCORR team exceeded our expectations in delivering ROI. In addition, we have leveraged the success built during the launch to extend and reinforce our new brand identity.”
SCORR guided AMRI with its strategic SCORR CORE process. First, SCORR conducted internal and external assessments of AMRI and its individual legacy companies’ brand perceptions. This included an assessment of customer insights, a competitor analysis, and an evaluation of market trends.
One particularly important finding from the external perception surveys indicated that the overarching AMRI brand garnered higher awareness than individual legacy companies. This meant that acquired entities would not lose brand equity by integrating into the overall AMRI brand. Furthermore, the assessment identified brand confusion regarding what services and capabilities AMRI offered.
AMRI engaged with SCORR under its FSP relationship model, where SCORR serves as a full-service, dedicated program management and marketing team, reporting directly to senior leadership at AMRI and executing an integrated approach to the brand strategy.
STRENGTHENING IDENTITY WITH A LOGO REFRESH
To meet one of the company’s immediate needs, SCORR refreshed AMRI’s logo and developed a tagline that differentiated AMRI and accurately conveyed its expertise. Through typography updates and the application of the green color, the new logo conveys a feeling of growth, freshness, and forward movement while keeping the brand recognition the company already possessed. The new tagline clearly articulates AMRI’s brand promise and its willingness to embrace difficult and niche challenges: “Complex Science. Expert Solutions.”
CREATING UNIFIED BRAND MESSAGING THROUGH THE BIG IDEA
Driven by key findings from market research, SCORR then developed AMRI’s Big Idea — the visual concepts and core messaging that articulate AMRI’s value proposition. Building on AMRI’s foundation of applying scientific expertise and advanced technology to create customized solutions for complex challenges, SCORR developed messaging for each of AMRI’s core audiences around one concept: “Exact Science.”
By featuring thought leaders from AMRI, SCORR showcased each service line with an identity that tied to the larger brand. The Big Idea encapsulated AMRI’s credibility in the industry and promoted perceptions of stability while also conveying a personalized touch with which respective audiences could engage.
“To visually convey the feeling of stability and longevity, our creative team developed fresh, bold graphics that featured key thought leaders, in colors that represented each of the business segments.”
LAUNCHING THE NEW BRAND AT INFORMEX/CPHI NORTH AMERICA
In 2007, prior to engaging SCORR, AMRI had changed its name from Albany Molecular Research, Inc., to reflect its evolution into a global contract services and R&D organization. However, the company did not always apply its new name. SCORR consistently used the new AMRI name in all messaging to establish the company as a global brand with worldwide facilities and customers. This change was made in all internal and external communications to ensure cohesive brand messaging.
In May 2017, SCORR launched the new AMRI brand at InformEx/CPhI North America. The launch included a large custom island booth with a giant, floating inflatable molecule similar to the molecule featured in the new AMRI logo, and signage was placed throughout the exhibit hall. To generate excitement about AMRI before the show, SCORR created a teaser campaign that included print and digital media placements. Additionally, a drip email campaign, social media posts and a video directed clients and potential clients to a custom landing page that continuously updated, gradually revealing more of the new identity as the launch approached.
Achieving Internal Buy-in
Through the FSP relationship, SCORR worked with AMRI’s internal marketing resources as a unified team to develop and execute the brand launch plan. After honing the core messaging, SCORR presented the new branding elements at an AMRI internal town hall meeting. AMRI achieved its goal of garnering internal buy-in from its legacy companies. Employees became brand advocates, which included participation in community events as part of an AMRI team (such as running local races as the Molecular Milers) and social sharing via their personal social media accounts. They also took pride in their rebranded trade show presence.
Achieving External Buy-in
With its bold signage and a significant thought leader presence, the brand launch event at InformEx/CPhI North America created positive buzz on the show floor. Mini humidifier giveaways were popular with attendees, and all collateral reflected the brand’s new look and updated messaging. Comparing performance in the quarter before the brand launch to the quarter after, AMRI experienced significant traffic increases across all channels.
Within the first month after the launch, the website saw significant traffic increases:
In the first week following the brand launch, paid search traffic increased significantly without increasing its budget:
Driving Engagement: Social Media
The SCORR team created social media posts promoting trade show attendance as well as AMRI’s rebrand, education materials, news, and events, with a focus on AMRI’s complete suite of capabilities and thought leader presentations and publications. These high-performing posts drove increased website traffic, with a 176% increase in web traffic from social media from Q1 to Q2.
Online Media Placement
Creating Click-Thrus: Email Marketing and Media Placements
By improving AMRI’s list segmentation and creating more engaging subject lines and content, SCORR’s email marketing significantly increased website traffic.
- In Q2 of 2017, there was a 342% increase in traffic to the website from email.
- To reach AMRI’s audiences in North America, Europe, and Asia, SCORR developed a media plan and negotiated placement in a multi-channel mix of print and digital publications. The majority of media placements exceeded industry averages for click-thru rates (CTRs).
- The top-performing interstitial ad showed a 5.49% CTR, which is more than three times higher than the rates typically seen in the industry.
“Through the disciplined execution of social media focused on trade shows and AMRI’s rebranded capabilities, numerous high-performing posts drove significant increases in web traffic.”
From building a strategic brand from the ground up to a full launch at InformEx/CPhI North America, SCORR designed and delivered an integrated marketing campaign that exceeded AMRI’s objectives.
- By focusing AMRI’s brand identity on solutions rather than on the identities
of individual legacy companies, SCORR helped AMRI effectively unify its
acquisitions into its primary brand.
- AMRI has engaged its employees in brand advocacy, resulting in improved
social engagement and sharing.
- AMRI’s new brand differentiated the company in the crowded marketplace.
After helping AMRI to successfully integrate its disparate businesses under one brand focused on its scientific expertise, SCORR continues to work with AMRI as its agency of record.