Achieving New Relevance in Your Market
Translating Mission, Vision and Values into the Right Identity: NERI
New England Research Institutes (NERI) was founded in 1986 and has grown to become an organization with a global reputation for high-quality research, innovative thinking and the use of state-of-the-science tools and techniques. NERI continues to be a leader in public health research (with an emphasis on understanding health disparities), clinical trials management, survey research, epidemiology, and state-of-the-art media and dissemination research.
In 2010, NERI needed to update its brand to better convey its message to the market. NERI’s existing brand had become dated, in terms of both message and impact on target audiences. To re-establish relevance in the market, NERI wanted its new brand to convey:
- State-of-the-art / State-of-the-science
- Seriousness of purpose
- Global reach
To create a stronger connection with its audiences, NERI needed to better understand what was most important to them. Also, the sheer scope of NERI’s content needed to be distilled, filtered and restructured to make it more accessible to these audiences.
- Profile target audiences, both traditional and those that NERI wanted to attract, in order to better understand what is most important to each about NERI’s research
- Map each service offering with most relevant audience(s)
- Create communication plan with tailored messaging for each service and each audience to speak to their unique needs in their specific language
- Re-structure website and content hierarchy to make NERI’s research easier to filter and access
- Create a brand that is modern, fresh, simple and bold and that conveys the concept of moving forward
- Simplify the logo to their acronym “NERI” to create a stronger recall mechanism
Aligning NERI’s service offerings with their target audiences through the website
We transformed the main navigation by organizing the information in a new way based on areas of research that connected with each distinctive audience. The content under each area was also changed using a new system of services, expertise, background and resources. The new system allowed each research area to contain information that different target audiences would be looking for. This also clearly defined what the secondary navigation would be giving clarity and hierarchy to the website information.
Name transition sparks new logo
‘NERI’ had long been ingrained as the way New England Research Institutes was most often referred to in the industry. While acronyms can lead to confusion or misunderstanding, what had been once been initials had become a pronounceable name and there was no turning back.
We set out to design a fresh, modern logo that placed more emphasis on ‘NERI’ for increased retention and recognition. We set the words ‘New England Research Institutes’ below the acronym, with the intention of eventually phasing them out altogether.
As a research organization NERI presents it’s findings at conferences in the form of scientific posters. We designed a new poster system that the researchers could use to present their findings in a more clear and organized manor. The example shown here is the same information on each poster with the before poster on the left and the redesign on the right. The new logo was now a stronger recall mechanism so NERI would get proper recognition at the conferences.
For NERI, a key means of outreach, aside from its website, was sell sheets detailing its services and expertise. The information on the sell sheets was complex and lacked relevant imagery. Embracing the form, we revised the sheets to better present the content by building in a browser-level system of headings and subheads, introductions and tables of information.
Staying on Topic
NERI’s newsletter, News&Views, originally covered a large range of topics in each issue. With the rebrand came a newly designed newsletter as well as a new editorial approach: a single focus for each issue. This new format allowed NERI to concentrate on and communicate about each of its areas of expertise individually, and to back up those claims with meaningful data and examples.
The challenge NERI faced was to refresh our core competencies within existing markets and establish name recognition in new markets while maintaining credibility, quality and commitment to high quality science. The impact of rebranding NERI resulted in clarity surrounding our core expertise for all clients, and emphasized the added value of scientific knowledge and breadth of services under one roof. NERI remains a leader in high-quality public health research and continues to broaden visibility as a CRO capable of providing services with the added value of thoughtful science, depth and quality.
One of the world’s most effective brand transformations of 2013
This re-brand received “Notable” recognition in the 2013 REBRAND 100® Global Awards. REBRAND 100® Global Awards is the highest recognition for excellence in brand repositioning—and the first and only competition of its kind.