Danaher is one of those big companies few people know about other than investors, and that's despite the fact that it owns a big portfolio of biotech, diagnostics and life sciences brands. But the Fortune 500 company is set to become a little more visible thanks to a sharp rebranding exercise that includes a new logo design.
The rebranding has given the medical and industrial products and services company a much more modern and more noticeable identity. But there's also a hidden meaning to the logo design that isn't immediately apparent (see our round up of logo secrets for more).
We've seen some surprising logo redesigns based around abstract shapes recently (the new Patreon logo, anyone?). Designed by Lippincott, the new Danaher logo might seem to fall into that trend with its gradient-filled curvaceous but angular new mark, still vaguely reminiscent of a 'D', while also looking somehow scienc-y.
But the design is more calculated than might seem. Lippincott senior partner Dylan Stuart says the identity was built around the notion of an “acceleration curve" with "every component, from the logo and voice to illustration and motion, conveying dynamism and forward momentum.”
"Because its impact story was historically always told through the lens of its portfolio companies, Danaher itself remained relatively unknown beyond Wall Street," Lippincott notes. To make the company known as a science and technology leader and turn the Danaher name itself into a business asset, Lippincott reimagined the company's identity from the ground up.
It conducted global research into brand perceptions and opportunities, explored the organisation’s aspirations and went on to develop a brand strategy around the idea of “Innovation at the speed of life". The idea is to present Danaher as accelerating science and technology's power to improve human health.
"Danaher’s new brand identity needed to assure all stakeholders that the core values of continuous improvement, responsiveness to customers and business performance that had driven its success were unchanged, while helping them better understand the company’s deep capabilities. Danaher’s visual and verbal brand expression was reimagined and imbued with profound meaning, vibrancy, and purpose," Lippincott says.
Part of the new identity includes giving more visibility to the Danaher name by using its logo as a trustmark alongside its various brands. A library of guidelines has been created along with and assets covering video, social, events tradeshows and a new website that aims to show the group as greater than the sum of its parts.
The result is a radical rebrand (it's certainly not a subtle logo change) that finally gives a big but little-known company a genuine identity. The previous branding, included a logo that had barely changed over the company's history and could apply as much to its beginnings as real estate trust in 1969 as its current status as a major innovator in life sciences. It felt nondescript and invisible. The new identity resolves that in a clever way that makes the brand more tangible and understandable.