“Over 18 months ago, we embarked on a journey to find a strong, strategic and capable partner. We couldn’t be prouder of the partnership we formed with Lippincott. It began with the belief that Lippincott instilled in all of us—we needed to create a movement to drive perception, distinction, differentiation and more trust.”Vice President, Global Brand and Marketing Centers of Excellence, Medtronic
“We've wanted the brand to be the asset it can be. This puts us on that path.”Sr. Director, Global Brand, Medtronic
Amplifying how a brand engineers the extraordinary
How does the inventor of the battery-powered pacemaker and many other life-changing devices convey its true impact as a global healthcare technology leader? And how do you do this successfully during a global pandemic, where digital business accelerated faster than anyone could have predicted?
Pre-pandemic, Medtronic leadership was on the cusp of a key inflection point in their evolution. They knew strategically that future growth would come from harnessing capabilities at the intersection of data, digitization and medical technology. Equally important was the need to connect with not just traditional B2B audiences, but consumers as well. Enter Lippincott—not only to guide Medtronic’s long-term evolution with a new brand positioning, expression and experience—but to help tell its story in the shadow and wake of a pandemic.
The challenge was clear: Energize a brand and culture built on a heritage of engineering excellence while rallying its 90,000+ employees worldwide, and do so by connecting on an even greater emotional level with every key audience, especially a new one—consumers.
An intensive research phase yielded a critical point of tension: while Medtronic has always stood for innovation, with employees inspired by the company’s mission and the people they serve, its purpose-driven nature wasn’t clear to its audiences in the market. We knew we needed to better tell the Medtronic brand story, embedding it across its culture and bringing it to life for external audiences.
The shift began with a new brand promise: We engineer the extraordinary to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life. While alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life had long been the foundation of the Medtronic Mission, the addition of engineering the extraordinary elevates and emphasizes the company’s legacy of innovation. The new brand promise is the defining statement of how Medtronic harnesses the power of medicine, science, and technology to inspire hope and new possibility in people’s lives. For its employees, we defined five behavioral norms to deliver on this, all tied together in a compelling executive communications plan. These act as guideposts to help each and every employee live the Medtronic promise.
We then helped energize and contemporize the brand’s communication style through strategic storytelling and a new brand expression that integrated visual, verbal, and experiential components. For example, when the company shared its blueprint for building ventilators with the rest of the world to prevent a shortage, we worked with them to create a comprehensive COVID communications workstream that would drive awareness in key audiences and beyond. We applied a similar purpose-driven framework for communications focused on DEI, sustainability and community outreach efforts.
The brand’s visual and verbal expression doubles down on storytelling and reinforces its purpose at the intersection of humanity and engineering. Its brand voice draws audiences in by being more provocative, engaging, and plain spoken. The visual identity speaks to Medtronic’s customer-centricity and technological savvy, with dynamic movement throughout, a color palette centered on electric blue and an imagery style that demonstrates its emphasis on people-first.
We also reinvigorated to the company’s legacy symbol—an image of a person being brought to full life—by infusing it with new energy and forward movement. Lastly, the brand’s experiences focus on creating opportunities to surprise audiences with the unexpected, motivate action and drive impact with every interaction.
Every step of this process, from our initial discovery phase to facilitating internal adoption through a thoughtful change management strategy, was achieved through deep collaboration with Medtronic executive leaders and the global marketing team. We constantly inspired and challenged each other along the journey, yielding a strong balance of outside counsel and inside ownership.
Revealed to the world on October 11, 2021, the transformed Medtronic brand is poised to continue engineering the extraordinary for a new generation of employees and patients alike.