As part of its effort to enter thespinal surgery marketplace, K2M put together a unique business strategy and anexperienced management team to make it happen. But the industry was dominatedby billion-dollar companies with deep pockets and established brands. K2Mturned to Sage Communications (Sage) for help raising their profile.
As a relative newcomer to the spinalsurgery equipment market, K2M wanted to establish an overall branding standardthat would set the company apart from its much larger competitors. K2M alsowanted to develop a suite of professional marketing pieces to support its salesteam and reinforce K2M’s status as an established company.
Sage needed to create the entire K2Mcorporate brand, including the company’s corporate logo and a creative suite.The agency was also tasked with developing an individual brand for each of thecompany’s 20 different product lines, so each product could be instantlyrecognized in the market place.
When Sage completed our competitiveresearch and brand audit, we discovered that most medical companies grew byacquisition. As a result, the original product names and images becameincorporated into the larger brand of the new company, causing confusion in themarket as product lines became disjointed and fragmented. Eventually, customerscouldn’t determine which company managed which product lines. Since K2M wascreating all of their product lines instead of acquiring existing products,they could choose a name for each product line, establish a distinctive lookfor that product, and market it more effectively. This allowed Sage to buildboth corporate and product brands from scratch.
For each product line, Sage presentedpossible names for K2M’s review, then created an individual logo, colorpalette, and a main photographic image. The agency then developed a two-pageflyer template, a PowerPoint presentation, a 36-page surgical technique manual,a 44-page launch packet for the sales force, a 35-page technical monograph, atrade show pull-up banner display, and a DVD cover and packaging. The goal ofevery content layout was the same – to give surgeons a way to find theinformation they needed quickly.
To ensure that all pieces met a brandstandard, Sage created a 76-page Style Guide, outlining primary and secondarycolors for the corporate brand and all of the company’s product lines. It alsoestablished which fonts could be used in corporate materials; usage guidelinesfor all of the new corporate and product logos that Sage created; and listedevery marketing piece Sage created for K2M, along with how much it cost toorder them from the company.
Our advertising campaign also took anunconventional approach. When marketing their products in medical journals,most of K2M’s competitors chose to show a large photo of the product they weretrying to market. Sage advised K2M to have each ad focus on one unique benefitof the surgical implant being promoted. We have written, designed and producedeight different ads, developed a comprehensive media plan, coordinated allspace reservations, and delivered the finished ads to the publications.
Sage also created specialty pieces formany of K2M’s products as the client objectives changed. For one of theirproduct lines, the agency designed a three-dimensional sales tool kit with acarrying handle. It opened to reveal that product’s suite of marketingmaterials and two DVD surgical tutorial sleeves. Sage has also created patternsfor ties and scarves, sales conference signage, surgeon case presentationposters, and Flash animations used for product demonstrations.
For NASS, K2M’s largest trade show,Sage designed individual booth panels and created a three-dimensional directmail piece. The goal was to increase attendance at their booth for the newestproduct line. The agency also designed and produced a three-ring binder for theproduct to hand to the doctors with all the product information in it. For this one trade show, Sage designed,printed, and delivered at least 30 collateral or trade show pieces every year.
Since 2008, the agency has beenmanaging all aspects of K2M’s public website. Sage has also designed andprogrammed a database-driven Extranet, where sales representatives can downloadall the latest collateral PDFs and catch up on the latest K2M videos.
With Sage's help, K2M haselevated its brand in the eyes of Orthopedic Surgeons around the world. Thecompany's corporate sales and market capitalization has increased each year andthe K2M sales force has a brand and collateral suite of materials that they canstand behind confidently.