FCB Health launches stand-alone agency for pharma and healthcare branding

BX: Brand Experience Design Group is FCB Health's new agency dedicated to branding for pharma and health and wellness clients. (Alpha Stock Images)(Attribution: Alpha Stock Images - http://alphastockimages.com/)

As pharma products launch into increasingly competitive markets, branding becomes more important. And that's why FCB Health has launched BX: Brand Experience Design Group, its first stand-alone, full service branding agency focused on health and wellness.

The newly independent agency will focus on brand experiences for product launches, corporate brands, clinical trials and patient support programs. It will also work in the fast-growing area of naming new brands with its sibling agency Brandsymbol.

“A lot of our clients are not ready to make a commitment to an agency of record when they are just getting the brand identity going for their product," Fernando Fernandez, the new agency’s creative lead, said in an interview. "We also felt it was the right move because we wanted to create a group that would live and breathe the design and branding culture."

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BX was formed out of an FCB Health group already handling branding work, and it's intended now to be a small, nimble and focused agency to serve emerging biotech companies on up to Big Pharma, he said. The new agency has 25 employees from both consumer and healthcare backgrounds, and close connections to web development, analytics, medical and broadcast production groups inside FCB Health, so it can easily tap parent agency resources when needed,

In the past, Fernandez’ group has worked with pharma companies on typical rollouts, which included brand architecture, visual elements such as logo and typography, naming and data-gathering. They worked on naming for Bristol-Myers Squibb's cancer immunotherapy Opdivo, for example, and have worked with 18 of the top 20 brands in the past.

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BX is now looking to push forward into brand-building across senses, such as auditory branding. Like Intel’s familiar five-note mnemonic tune played at the end of its ads, Fernandez sees opportunities in healthcare to create similar audio brand add-ons as “another way to associate personality and values with the brand.”

The new standalone agency plans to move beyond pharma as well and reach out to new clients in related health and wellness industries. BX is already talking to potential nutrition business, medical device and genetics brands, he said.