NEJM Group
More than a leading medical journal

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) stands alone as the world’s most recognized and respected medical journal, surpassing two hundred years of service to the field of medicine.

Background and Challenge

Covering 13 medical specialities and a host of topics, the Journal is cited more often in scientific literature than any other medical journal and more than 600,000 people in 177 countries read it every week.

When the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), the renowned organization behind medicine’s most esteemed journal, wanted to leverage its global brand recognition while expanding its product offerings, it came to the firm that had for years contributed to its brand development and growth: Brandigo.

History and experience had shown that the challenge at hand required a well-conceived and executed strategy that would not only preserve the prestige and reputation of the Journal, but would leverage it for success.

What we did

Capitalizing on the globally recognized NEJM acronym and working closely with the team at MMS, Brandigo conceived of, developed and introduced the world to NEJM Group.

This powerful parent brand would execute upon the organization’s defined mission: “To advance medical knowledge from research to patient care, making the connections between developments in clinical science and clinical practice to improve healthcare quality and patient outcomes.”

To help the group make this desired goal a reality, Brandigo would need input from the people behind the brand. Through stakeholder and product manager interviews, Brandigo identified four main areas in which NEJM Group advances medicine. These four areas became the basis for segmenting the product offerings of NEJM Group and drove the development of a scalable brand hierarchy.

As part of our painstaking efforts to ensure that we got it right with regard to protecting this venerable brand and to get input and buy-in before launching the initiative, Brandigo engaged more than 200 internal stakeholders by bringing them into the process via four brand open houses. At and from these well-attended events, over 20 hours’ worth of filmed interviews were conducted, more than 200 pages of written content were developed, and findings from a series of focus group sessions were recorded — all of which was represented on our newly created NEJM Group Website.

Yet still, developing a creative campaign that would at once launch the new NEJM Group to the healthcare community and communicate the rich 200-plus year history of this cornerstone brand would not be an easy task. We went through several worthy campaign directions that got us close but didn’t quite hit the mark. Then we discovered Derek Gores.

This Rhode Island School of Design graduate is quickly becoming one of America’s most prominent artists. In fact, he was named “One of the 40 most important artists of the New Contemporary Movement.” His style of recycling magazines, labels and assorted analog and digital materials to create mind-blowing collages was perfect for our strategy.

After receiving enthusiastic concept approval from the MMS team, we were given historic access to Massachusetts Medical Society archives and more than 100 years’ worth of printed editions of the New England Journal of Medicine and other publications, including Journal Watch — the world’s leading resource for the most up-to-date medical research summaries.

Our team hand-selected hundreds of copies covering more than a century of medical history, innovation and breakthroughs that would be used to create the artwork that would bring our vision — and NEJM Group’s mission — to life.

We identified four pertinent themes for the campaign and commissioned Derek to create original works to illustrate those themes, using actual pieces collected from the archives. The end result was moving, inspiring, and well received by NEJM Group. In fact, the story of the creation of the artwork became a story in and of itself, and we took full advantage of the public relations opportunity it presented to bring even greater awareness to the group’s introduction to the healthcare community.

Finally, we conducted an awareness study to measure market perceptions around the newly formed NEJM Group and to deliver a baseline against which the organization could annually measure perceptions and determine the success of its marketing efforts.

Brandigo has helped us instigate change and evolve and grow as an organization and brand. Their strategic insight and leadership has been especially beneficial for helping us envision and map out our future.

The Results

Creative strategy
Research driven
Engaging content

  • Brand analysis report
  • Market and customer perception research
  • Establishment of brand name and naming conventions
  • Creative strategy in place
  • Content strategy and design

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