How can history support corporate rebranding?
Client ChallengeIn 2015, the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA)—a trade association representing primary pharmaceutical distributors—was preparing for a major rebranding effort that coincided with its 140th anniversary. HDA wanted to take full advantage of this moment, seizing upon the opportunity to celebrate the past and unveil an updated look that would bring HDA into the future.
HDA hired HAI to tell a compelling story of its 140-year-long effort to protect and promote the medical supply chain and prepare material for use in their marketing collateral and events. The length of the alliance’s history, which stretched back to the United States centennial and included several name changes, provided HAI with both the opportunity and the challenge of examining over 100 years’ worth of information.
Providing Historical Context for Change
HAI examined the alliance’s archives and gathered additional sources at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and other local and remote repositories. The team of historians researched significant events in HDA’s past, such as its support of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, its advocacy on behalf of members during Prohibition, and its efforts to promote a safe and secure supply chain during World War II. We created a new, dynamic narrative presentation that helped place HDA’s rebranding efforts in the context of its long history of adapting to new challenges.
“With History Associates’ help, we were able to tell our story in a meaningful and memorable way through the presentation of unique images, artifacts and fresh narrative.”
– John Parker, Senior Vice President, Communications – Healthcare Distribution Alliance
Telling a Memorable Story
HDA planned to announce the rebranding at its annual Business and Leadership Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and asked HAI to provide the content for a special exhibit for the conference that would emphasize both the organization’s new name and extensive history. Our team consulted with HDA’s graphic designer on panel flow, word count, and content organization. In a short amount of time, we conducted additional research, acquired images, and wrote, revised, and delivered a final script. As the annual conference drew closer, we also advised HDA on display cases for the exhibit, wrote artifact labels, and oversaw the packing and shipment of the exhibit components.
The anniversary celebration at the conference was a huge success. HAI project lead Scott Vierick traveled to Colorado Springs to attend the event and serve as a “historian on demand,” giving informal talks about HDA’s history to conference attendees. Attendees enjoyed the artifacts on display—in particular, a menu from the last time an HDA conference was held at the Broadmoor in Colorado Spring in 1922.
After the meeting, HDA repurposed our foundational research and content development efforts in the form of a digital history timeline. “The goal, as we announced the rebranding of our organization, was to celebrate our past and embrace the future,” noted John Parker, Senior Vice President of Communications. “With HAI’s help, we were able to tell our story in a meaningful and memorable way through the presentation of unique images, artifacts and fresh narrative.”