Freeing ICU from commodity gridlock.
ICU Medical designs, develops and manufactures leading-edge medical devices used in vascular therapy, oncology and critical care applications. It has long been acknowledged as a leading product innovator. And that is where its brand equity resided: among a plethora of individual product brands, with the corporate brand playing a quieter, background role. While the (product) brand portfolio was impressive, it had the effect of boxing ICU into commodity gridlock.
In 2011, Leadership came to the conclusion that the corporate brand deserved cultivation and should be remade into an equitable asset and leveraged to greater effect. It was felt that the corporate image would benefit from a shift from ‘medical device manufacturer’ to a ‘healthcare solutions provider,’ with a strong innovation pedigree. The company also wanted a brand with a compelling persona that inspired associates; made investors take note; and connected with clients and key influencers (caregivers) on an emotional level.
Finding the theme that would eventually ‘deliver the brand’ and drive ICU forward, was closer to the surface than we, at first, thought: everything that ICU manufactured made 3 things possible: patient-safe access, delivery, and monitoring: access between patient and life-supporting, life-saving technologies; delivery of critically needed medicines; and monitoring of life functions, life support, and crucial bio-information. In a word: ICU fostered critical ‘Connections that are ultimately, ‘Human Connections’ in clinical settings. Basing the new brand on this key insight, was the solution to making ICU more than manufacturer of medical gadgets (innovative and wonderful as they may be): it helped to transform it into an innovative healthcare leader with a human face.
To herald this transformation, BrandingBusiness re-designed ICU’s corporate signature, dispensing with its somewhat dated look and equestrian symbol, replacing it with a clean, ‘curvilinear’ word mark, and the tag line ‘Human Connections.’ We built a comprehensive visual identity system, replete with a new color palette, contemporary photo-imagery, type families, and stylish new graphic devices. The overall effect was that of a complete image overhaul that catapulted ICU from a maker of devices into a healthcare solutions provider with a human mission and a persona to match. And, the messaging program—also built around the theme of ‘human connections’—has become a new voice in the marketplace.
The result is a refreshed brand that: focuses sales and marketing efforts; provides distinction and competitive advantage; and serves as an efficient, unifying framework for a broad, varied and highly innovative product portfolio.