Smith & Nephew Case Study
Punch above its weight
In 2001, Smith & Nephew was successful and innovative with their weight world- beating medical products, but over the years it had made several big acquisitions across the globe, changing the scope of its offer, diluting its brand and creating a siloed culture. Wolff Olins was hired to help it define a big idea which would unite the businesses through a common goal and build recognition and equity across its diverse brand portfolio. This would allow it to leverage all of the brand equity it had for growth.
Giving people their lives back
We quickly realized that all the businesses had more in common than they thought—through Orthopedics, Endoscopy or Wound Care, they all existed to “give people their lives back.” Employees and customers alike began to tell stories about patients whose lives had been transformed by Smith & Nephew—people who were able to walk again, people who could get out of bed, people whose wounds had healed. With the brand idea embraced across the business, we created a new expression to take the company into the 21st century, designed consistent and simple systems for packaging and literature, and more recently, devised its first-ever consumer advertising to build awareness and drive demand among potential patients.
An industry leader
The launch of the new brand has transformed Smith and Nephew’s vast businesses into three main global business units – Orthopaedic Reconstruction and Trauma, Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management. It is an industry leader in each unit and jointly offers over 1,000 product ranges. Smith and Nephew’s global infrastructure has continued to expand and it currently operates in 32 countries. Over the last five years Smith and Nephew has grown its revenue from $2.3 billion to $3.8 billion in 2008. It is the UK’s largest medical technology company.