When the business evolves, so must the brand
How Amgen built and manages its worldwide brand
Amgen is the biggest biotechnology company in the world, with a global reach and 20,000 employees. However, the biotechnology pioneer’s origins were more modest. It began in 1980 as Applied Molecular Genetics, with all the characteristics of a Californian, tech-style start-up: millions in venture capital, remarkable talent and boundless ambition.
Success brought with it the challenges that many fast growing companies expanding into global markets face. The corporate brand was becoming less and less relevant to an increasingly diverse set of audiences. In addition, the brand itself was becoming unwieldy and difficult to manage.
A brand strategy to match aspirations
A start-up moving to the big leagues, Amgen needed to convey a sense of stature to establish trust. The old brand personality – formal, bold and communicative of leadership – served the company well at the time.
However, as the company began to push into the global markets, it recognized that the time was right to recast its image. Amgen reached out to Tenet Partners to help them redirect the brand. Our team of designers charted the course for a new direction, one that shifted Amgen’s position toward innovation and commitment to the discovery of breakthrough therapies that can change people’s lives. The revitalized visual personality expresses the essence of Amgen: its human mission, optimistic spirit and rigorous scientific discipline.
Putting technology at the service of the brand
While the company grew, so did the need to optimize its brand management process. With the company expanding globally, simple tasks, such as approving a logo to be used in a sponsorship or getting the legal language right on a piece of collateral, were eating up valuable time and resources. Given the importance of Amgen’s mission, it was vital to have a process that would be efficient, freeing people to turn to other pressing matters.
Brand Ensemble™, Tenet’s brand asset management technology, allows the team to streamline many of those tasks by using a single, worldwide repository of information, standards, resources and workflows. By moving away from manual management practices, the Amgen brand team has been able to improve consistency and efficiency on a global scale.
For Amgen, one of the biggest benefits that comes with Brand Ensemble is automated advertising. This tool allows communications specialists, anywhere in the world, to quickly produce a corporate ad. This process saves weeks of back and forth, legal time and lets Amgen be in the market faster.
Positioning for continued success
The challenges that Amgen faced as it grew into a global biotech powerhouse show how brands – and the way they’re managed – need to mature over time. Building an enduring, viable brand takes the kind of smart leadership and forward vision that has marked Amgen since the beginning.