Architecting a merger of equals
The merger of Alliance Unichem PLC and Boots PLC created a major international pharmacy-led health and beauty group spanning retail, wholesale, contract manufacturing and product brands with revenues of over £22 billion.
The merger between these two iconic healthcare businesses required a sensitive approach to developing a name and group corporate identity that would reflect a synergistic “merger of equals” to staff, internal audiences and the wider external investment community.
The brief involved not only the group brand name and identity but also the development of the group brand architecture that rationalised an extensive portfolio of both B2B and B2C brands and created a new pharmaceutical wholesale division.
What we did
Working with key stakeholders across the two businesses and with the new group executive we developed a group brand identity that drew equally on the key visual equities of the two brands.
The exact shape of the iconic Boots retail lozenge is recreated within the negative space created by the blue and green sweep from the Alliance Unichem 4 arrows device. The shape, delineated by the same sweep, forms the building block of the entire brand graphic architecture.
The new architecture also required us to rebrand the wholesale division with a new name and visual identity across 15 geographies and to communicate the reasons for and benefits of this change to staff and customers.
The new group identity and architecture was extremely well received by internal and external audiences and created the building block for further growth and geographical expansion.
Group revenues have grown by over £6 billion since the merger and have attracted US retailer Walgreens to take a substantial equity position in the business.