Life Technologies acquired Ion Torrent technology with the goal of introducing a faster, lower-cost, more accessible solution to a genetic sequencing industry dominated by large, entrenched competition. With their significant investment in the technology, and a new product launch looming, they needed to build brand awareness fast.
Our first step was to audit Ion Torrent’s current brand awareness and perception with a nationwide survey of sequencing users. While we found that the brand had extremely low awareness within the industry, there were opportunities to carve out a unique space with a defined value proposition and a targeted marketing strategy. We established clear brand pillars, and a messaging and positioning framework, that allowed us to craft effective communications to every audience. This work culminated in a tagline that encapsulated Ion Torrent’s core brand promise: "Sequencing for all".
Now that we were armed with messaging, it was time to announce Ion Torrent to the world. So we targeted a key upcoming industry event in Boston to launch the new brand. We developed and tested a brand advertising campaign that communicated the core value proposition and connected with consumers on an emotional level.
Recognizing that the event was located in a research hub, but would also attract genetic scientists from all over the world, we proposed an out-of-the-box media strategy. In advance of the show, we placed outdoor advertising in the surrounding area and in the transportation corredors leading to the event site. To support the outdoor media, we rolled out a nationwide campaign that included print, digital, and social tactics, and a tour bus outfitted as a Mobile Sequencing Lab — all focused on building awareness and driving engagement at the booth.
The results were dramatic and immediate. At the show, our Mobile Sequencing Lab drew lines of curious scientists, wondering how they could utilize this new technology. Our Breakthrough Buddy giveaways were in such demand that we had to create a second contact list for attendees who weren’t fast enough to get one. Most importantly, in our post-show testing we found a clear and distinct lift in both brand awareness and brand recall. And twice the number of respondents agreed with our new brand positioning. Today, Ion Torrent technology is thriving in the targeted sequencing market, and the technology is in use in 20 countries around the world. Sequencing for all indeed.
(relative to Illumina)
Increase in agreement
with brand positioning
To capitalize on the momentum generated by the new brand launch, Life partnered with Traina to expand their quarterly user group meeting into an annual technology conference. We developed the name, branding and promotion strategy behind the event—which included email and social campaigns, as well as on-site branding and wayfinding. The event was a huge success, attracting more than triple the previous year’s attendees.