Genomics plc

From the possibilities of science 

to the business of health 

The context
 

Genomics plc was founded in 2014 by four of the world’s leading geneticists, to combine scientific rigour with commercial delivery and forge new and better ways to understand, treat and prevent common disease. The business’ vision is to accelerate the translation of advances in genetic science into better health and healthcare for

more people.


2019 found Genomics plc at a crucial and exciting inflection point, having secured over $40million of equity funding from some of the world’s leading life science investors.  With ambitious plans in place and a rapidly expanding team, Genomics plc needed a brand that could support growth and help achieve its vision of a world where better health for all is powered by genomics.  The Leadership team recognised that to unlock the full benefits of brand and succeed in the fast-paced, rapidly evolving sector they were operating in, a complete overhaul was required, beginning with a strategic review of market positioning.

The approach

Depth interviews with Board, Exec and senior leaders across the business > Research and engagement with all staff across all key functions > Horizon scan and market review of global genomics sector and key players within this > Qualitative research and depth interviews with some of the leading figures in genomics internationally; investors, Big Pharma, Government health policy advisors, healthcare CEO’s in UK and US, senior representatives from Management Consultancy & Biotech> Strategic review of major product / service areas > Development of brand strategy framework allowing commercial flexibility > Complete overhaul of brand identity* and strategic narrative > Redevelopment and build of new website*

*in collaboration with Edit Brand Studio

The strategic shift

From changing the world of genomic science, to changing the world

Genomic science sits on the threshold of a full transition from ‘a science of possibility’ to ‘a science of practicality’. All stakeholders - investors, governments, pharmaceutical and healthcare industry - are looking for practical solutions that bring genomics from ‘bench to bedside’ to help transform medicine and healthcare.

 

To achieve their vision of improving health and lives of the many, as well as to realise their commercial ambitions, Genomics plc needed to shift focus from ‘discovery’ to ‘invention’, developing solutions that bring the best of genomic science closer to the physician and the patient, within everyday healthcare systems and drug discovery, in order to forge new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. 

 

They needed a brand that helped re-define how they thought of and positioned themselves – to then shift external and stakeholder perceptions –  from ‘world-class scientific research organisation’, pioneering new methods and knowledge, to  ‘world-leading health business’, innovating and inventing products and services that work for and within healthcare and drug discovery industries.

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendations

A brand that 'speaks to the world', as well as to scientists 

To achieve their aim of genomics powering healthcare and drug discovery, the business needs to engage and convince a far broader range of audiences than in earlier years.  To attract investment, partners, customers and world-class talent with diverse skillsets beyond the scientific realm, the new brand needed to ensure that the business, its products, services and the science that powers them are comprehensible, clear and compelling to all, not just to specialists. Equally,  the business, already operating in US and UK, was focused on developing partnerships and selling its services in a range of international markets so the brand needed to feel globally relevant and bring to life the scientific excellence and research at the heart of the organisation, in ways that felt credible and compelling to a diverse range of health and healthcare settings. 

 

Future-facing, not the science of the future

As genomic science has continued to advance, the market landscape of genomics has shifted from investment and interest in ‘the promise’ to a growing focus on businesses and organisations that can demonstrate a clear market fit and scalable products and services.  As such, any positioning too firmly grounded in 'just' research, regardless of how world-class, would fail to attract the level of serious interest or investment required.  Instead, our approach was to ensure the founders’ world-renowned scientific reputation and the organisation's scientific excellence was woven into the provenance story for Genomics plc, without being the whole story.  Our central idea - ‘powered by genomics’ sits at the heart of the new brand and enables Genomics plc to tell their broader story in ways all can understand - connecting their science to their mission and broader impact, and exciting all with the very real opportunities that their solutions represent for improving the way we prevent, diagnose and treat disease.

A strategic framework, not a straight-jacket on growth

 

As a rapidly growing scale-up, operating in a fast-paced sector, Genomics plc needed to define its brand in a way that balanced the requirement for clarity and cohesion of positioning, with commercial flexibility in terms of the products and services being developed and launched.  Our recommendation was to develop a strategic framework where the brand was defined primarily around its core vision and approach – it’s Why and How – rather than its products and services.  Ensuring that as commercial models evolved and developed, the positioning and narrative remained relevant and compelling.   

 

 

A brand beyond 'just genomics'
 

The greatest impacts and benefits of genomics in healthcare and medicine - for patient, practitioner and provider - will come from its incorporation and combination with other key health metrics and disease indicators.  So, expertise in genomics will have to be combined with experience in, and evidence of, how this can be effectively combined with other health data to transform healthcare and lives.  Therefore our recommendation was to ensure that the new brand clearly positioned Genomics plc as a health business with core expertise in genomics, but with ambitions and expertise beyond it. This positioning inspired an identity that reflects this sense of ‘power’ and of a science ‘in progress’.

Over the last five years the company has developed a lot and as it evolved we felt it was appropriate to think about the brand we needed moving forward. Our business does not  operate in a 'standard space'; the space is being created as we and others develop and we really benefitted from boardroom's ability to think creatively about this and to help us envisage where we might want to go. Their work has helped us think about what is important to us as an organisation, about how we think about ourselves, as well as how we want to be thought of by others. We were very impressed by their thinking about both our challenges and opportunities and they really helped us sharpen our thinking.

Sir Peter Donnelly, founder and Chief Executive, Genomics plc

If you want to know more, 

contact Martin Carr or Claire Rigby

+44 (0)161 327 2355

martin@fortheboardroom.co.uk

claire@fortheboardroom.co.uk

© 2019 Boardroom Consulting

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