BRAND STRATEGY: CHEST

Problem: How do you sell your products to a different industry?


The American Academy of Chest Physicians (CHEST) approached my team at Jell Creative with a difficult yet common challenge: take their smattering of rich educational offerings, originally designed as CME credits for physicians, and sell it to pharmaceutical sales and marketing representatives.

Analysis: Not all customers care for the “burrito bowl” product model


As the resident Brand Strategist, I knew at first blush that my job would be difficult. After a competitive analysis of the industry training landscape, I found promising results: few other organizations were interested in training sales representatives about disease management and clinical perspectives–and few came close to CHEST’s national reputation for academic quality and rigor. The problem was understanding their products. CHEST was initially wedded to a confusing sales model that prioritized customization over clarity and, in the processed, failed to adequately frame their products for their target audience. I would have to simplify their service lines, devise a new brand architecture, and build clear and memorable messaging to make it a success.

Solution: Clarify your offerings and target your messaging


My process always begins with questions. It was no different here. I went through several rounds of questions and answers with their sales and communications executives. When given vague answers–which was frequent–I had to gently pressing my point through even more carefully-worded prose. It’s important to understand that as a communications designer, I’m always thinking about audience and affect–even through seemingly simple email correspondence. Eventually I came to learn that certain services were actually identical, others nonexistent, and others completely miscategorized.

Once I knew what they could offer, I had to figure out how to do it. I devised a new brand architecture that radically simplified their so-called “burrito bowl” customized service concept into three distinct, clear, and attractive categories. The entire category would be called “CHEST Immersion”–to speak to the depth and transformational quality of their courses. Their in-person two-day seminar, previously named PREP, became CHEST Forum; their online e-learning options which had, until this point, never been articulated as such, became CHEST Learning Space; and their in-person activities, distinct in format from Forum, became CHEST Encounters. After I’d built the categories, the rest came down to writing clear, approachable, and knowledgable messaging targeted not to industry reps but to their bosses: mid-level pharmaceutical trainers. Oh and did I mention that I had to do this all in a month? I think that the results exceeded expectations. Take a look for yourself:

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