Founded over a century ago, global healthcare company Smith & Nephew manufacture healthcare products across a wide range of applications with a clear specialism in woundcare. An established and trusted manufacturer, they realised that their key competitors all had consumer facing brands that were powerful and stood for something in the mind of the consumer. Smith and Nephew adopted a bold strategy. Rather than being perceived as a solid manufacturer known only to sector audiences, they adopted the stance of a big, consumer brand and focused on the impact their products have on the lives of patients. The proposition was 'Helping people regain their lives' – this was a major cultural shift, helping them think about their products and service in a totally different way.
Thompson were asked to help roll out the core brand throughout the UK and Europe. Our first task was to communicate this brand thinking to every member of staff in the UK and explain why this major shift in thinking was necessary for the growth of the business both in the UK and globally. We devised an effective raft of brand communications that included brand reminders, screen savers, posters and brand values cards.
We also gave everybody a kite to reinforce the people-focused brand message. We then had to communicate this major shift to all their key customers and the sector, explaining why Smith & Nephew were changing and what it actually meant in their day-to-day dealings with the company. We developed a two-tiered approach with target-driven communications for their larger customers and strategic work for their broader audience.
"There was a significant impact on the culture of Smith and Nephew after the implementation of the new brand. It signalled a new way of behaving for the company and resulted in a more confident and committed workforce with a renewed appetite for growth. The re-branding was also received favourably in the city with the Smith and Nephew share price increasing by more than 200% post UK launch in 2003".
Jon Moss, International Brand Manager
Smith & Nephew