Monday, November 30, 2009

$150 million investment by Merck KGaA to expand R&D presence in China

Last week, Merck KGaA announced plans to strengthen its global research and development capabilities of its Merck Serono division by establishing a global R&D center in Beijing, China.

Merck is planning to invest more than $150 million and create more than 200 new qualified jobs over the next four years to set up the China R&D center and conduct R&D activities in China.

"The creation of the China R&D center marks a new milestone in Merck Serono's commitment to China, where there is a rising demand for more healthcare options," said Elmar Schnee, Executive Board Member with responsibility for the Pharmaceuticals business sector. "We are committed to investing in areas that can help China to address some of its public health needs that currently are not met."

"China is a country with talented scientists and high-quality research," added Bernhard Kirschbaum, Executive Vice President, Research and Development for Merck Serono. "We will recruit more R&D talent in China and build a world-class organization in China that will extend our global R&D expertise and capabilities."

The China R&D organization will become one of the key R&D hubs for Merck Serono worldwide. Key hubs so far are Germany, Switzerland and the United States.

The China team will lead drug development for China and other Asian countries, for local clinical trials as well as for the participation in global clinical trials. The team also will ensure the management of collaborations with research institutions in China and continue to look for partnerships with local academic institutions and companies. Research activities conducted in the China R&D center will mainly focus on biomarker research including pharmacogenomics and bioanalytics activities.

Merck Serono already has some research collaborations in China and plans to further develop its collaboration network and build its R&D strategy on more innovation opportunities by tapping into the Chinese scientific expertise.

Merck Serono China currently employs more than 1,000 persons nationwide.

Merck Serono China offers a portfolio of innovative medicines, including the division‚s leading brands serving patients with cancer (Erbitux®), multiple sclerosis (Rebif®), infertility (Gonal-f®), endocrine and metabolic disorders (Saizen®), as well as cardiometabolic diseases (Concor®, Euthyrox®).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

5 B-to-B Brand Ads – and 4 Stinson Brands Ads – That Point in the Right Direction (To The Web)

Blog entry submitted by Nancy Burgess, one of our Verbal Brand CHEMists.

When we use our C.H.E.M. tool to create ads for our clients, we not only Connect with our audience, provide Honest information, and make content Easy to follow, but we also ensure that we Motivate our targets to take action.

In today’s environment, a clear call to action drives customers and potential customers to a website. Unique URLs for each ad can help track the promotional efforts and be a measure of ROI.

In a recent issue of B-to-B Magazine, five campaigns were reviewed specifically on their ability to drive visits to the web site:
  • Energy concern Petrobras had only a scant reference to its Web site, as a standalone element in the bottom left-hand corner of the ad.
  • Deutsche Bank gives readers no incentive to visit its web site.
  • Sun Microsystems and technology services provider Computer Sciences Corp. offer to help companies with their identity and access management programs – with a reason to visit the web to “watch a compelling video on the importance of identity management. ...” Now that's more like it.  (There's one big problem: the URL is 50 characters long.)
  • Adobe Systems offers a URL better look at its product in action and a free trial of the system.
  • IBM Corp’s ad “Leaner. Meaner. Greener” ends on an effective note inviting readers to see a webcast.  The landing page has a talking owl that picks up where the ad leaves off. That's the kind of print/Web synergy that more advertisers need.
Click here to read more about these brand campaigns.

As we at Stinson Brand Innovation are creating campaigns, we also want to point readers in right direction – to the web.
  • Fujirebio Diagnostics is building web traffic from European physicians through an ad we developed for Italian medical journals. The unique URL helps track ROI by associating the specific URL directly to the ad placement.
  • Vivaglobin® ads in a consumer journal urge patients to consult with their doctors about therapy and also encourage them to visit our branded website for more information.
  • Privigen® has an attention-grabbing, die-cut physician ad – a rarity in medical journals, driving physicians and pharmacists to the branded website.
Click here to see more of Stinson’s brand work.

Monday, November 23, 2009

3 companies account for 85% of biotech profit

In this blog, our finance manager Robb Hughes offers a financial perspective on industry leadership.

Until last year, biotech as an industry has NEVER made a profit since the category’s founding by Genentech 42 years ago.

In 2008, biotech turned its first profit according to a survey by Burrill & Co. cited in BusinessWeek.  Total profits reached $9.4 billion; however, $8 billion of those profits originated from just three companies – Amgen, Genentech, and Gilead Sciences.

Only sixty-four other publicly traded biotechs pulled a profit. The remaining 306 publically traded companies lost a combined $6 billion.

The future looks challenging with more than 120 firms reporting less than six months of cash on hand.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Covidien in India

Recession or no recession, quality healthcare is a need we can’t ignore.

And despite the challenges, Junichi Obata of Covidien admits he can’t ignore India either.

“If it were about discretionary spending, healthcare companies would have been one of the worst casualties of the slowdown.

“But imagine having half the pills the doctor recommends, or staying half the duration of the suggested hospital stay, because you want to save for a rainy day! Not possible right? That is why we could say that if a healthcare company’s fundamentals are right, the impact of recession will be severely limited.

“Covidien International, a $10 billion player in the global healthcare market, is one such company.”

That’s the opening of a recent article by Neha Saraiya, in “4Ps Business & Marketing,” one of the largest business weeklies of the India. Here are highlights from her interview published earlier this summer with Junichi Obata of Covidien International:

Covidien International currently operates in four segments of product lines, which include medical devices, imaging solutions, pharmaceutical products and medical supplies. It prides itself in working closely with medical practitioners for innovation and product development. Although it announced its entry recently, the company is not a new entrant into the Indian market as it had a small presence earlier as Tyco Healthcare since 2002. In fact, in the areas of Bariatic surgery and laparoscopic gastrointestinal surgery, the company already has a credible market share.

Junichi Obata is the President of Covidien International and is credited with helping the company make great strides into the emerging markets, where neither economies nor populations are aging. Jun believes in ‘talking less and doing more’. Jun attributes the solid operational performance to constant innovation and market share gains made by the company.

On India operations, Jun explains, “We have been operating in India much earlier. Brands such as ValleyLab and Puritan Bennett are trusted brands among the medical professionals. We will leverage our earlier experience to confirm our commitment to India, and more importantly, we will leverage the aforementioned competitive advantage to accelerate the growth in India.” But what about the logic of moving into India formally, at a time when companies are putting a halt on their expansion plans? “The Indian healthcare scenario is undergoing a complete makeover, with world class healthcare demands by the country’s increasingly prosperous middle class. Therefore tremendous synergy exists between what Covidien offers and the (requirements of) the roles played by leading Indian physicians and healthcare providers,” points out Jun.

As Jun would have us believe, there are several factors which distinguish Covidien from the competition globally, including exemplary customer relationships and professional education programs, diverse portfolio of leading brands, innovative products & solutions and global scale. Covidien has flexed up all its muscle and is banking on its overseas diversification in a big way, “Globalization is a key strategic focus for the company, and we do look at all emerging market opportunities. They include Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, Middle East, and Latin America. Besides India, China, Korea, and Taiwan are among the biggest market opportunities for Covidien,” affirms Jun. But that does not mean that the company has lost its focus for India.

It’s not easy to develop the market though, as India’s per capita spending on health is still below $100 per annum as compared to US, where it is around $4,000. This is despite increasing government spends, rise in standard of living and growth of medical insurance business. Moreover, MNCs in the pharma sector do face major problems in terms of patent laws too. While Jun does not want to comment on India-specific challenges at the moment, he talks to us about his plans for the company’s India operations as he says,“We currently have 120 people in India, and we have recently opened our new headquarters and dry lab in New Delhi. We will continue to accelerate the investment in our advocacy of world-class healthcare for India.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

5 Ways to Make Your Personal Brand “Indispensable"

In the turbulent, toss-about world of work in America, all kinds of people are worried about their positions. Who among us hasn't seen a helpful, smart, hard-working person get laid off? Being let go is not for last-place performers anymore. Everyone is at risk.

Can you avoid this? You can sure try. While no one may guarantee you a job these days, here are five tips from the Harvard Business Review on making your personal brand indispensable.

  1. Talk Directly to Your Manager - Lay it all out on the table and sincerely ask for advice from your boss about your situation. You're not asking them to butter you up or paint a rosy picture. You're asking for the truth. You should take control of this process. In this meeting you should ask two questions. First, what can I improve upon? Second, what additional things can I do to help you do your job better?
  2. Learn Other People's Jobs - It sounds calculating, but it's true. If you can do the work of two, you have a better chance of out-staying your peers. As with any worthwhile fitness program, you must cross-train for greater strength and resiliency.
  3. Be Profitable - If you're not clear how your work either makes the company money or cuts costs - or both - you'd be wise to figure that out soon. If you need help, talk to trusted friends, coworkers and even your boss. Letting your boss know that you're trying to improve your contribution to the bottom line can't hurt. Plus, it's a reminder of how essential you are.
  4. Toot Your Own Horn - Loudly! - No one appreciates arrogance, but staying quiet about your contributions isn't wise right now. Whatever you do to move the company forward - stay late to complete a project, have a great call with a client, train someone else in a new skill or improve your output - make sure that your boss knows about it. Your resourcefulness and willingness to work hard are attributes most managers want to keep in-house.
  5. Rise Up and Take Command - Amidst the devastation that layoffs leave behind, you have a unique opportunity to collect the remaining pieces and move quickly into management. Be the phoenix. This could be your opportunity to rise to the top. When departments are combined, take advantage of a re-shuffled deck. Management will be looking for new leaders to prevail. Plus, that way, when the company is back on its feet, you'll be a time-tested veteran who helped lead everyone through the worst of times. Your job could be more secure and well-paid than ever.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"New Orleans is great, but it ain’t the place this Cajun girl calls home"

Blog entry submitted by Brandy Gonsoulin, client service manager and “project innovator.”

I’m originally from Louisiana, and having transplanted to Oklahoma and currently Chicago, I’ve always encountered the assumption that if I were from Louisiana then invariably I must be from New Orleans. Don’t get me wrong New Orleans is great, but it “ain’t” the place this Cajun girl calls home. (The difference between Creole and Cajun to some natives is like the difference between the Cubs and the White Sox.)

With the Big Easy having always been Louisiana’s tourism flagship, it seemed the most obvious brand association. But after Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana had to find a new strategy. The response was a new tourism campaign under the slogan “This is my Louisiana.” This campaign shifted the focus off the Big Easy and put the focus on known state personalities, as well as locals, sending out the message that the specific differentiation between the food we eat, the culture we enjoy, the language we speak and the way “we pass a good time” are what makes this state one you have to visit.

When it comes to brand associations, what a great way to connect to your current and new audiences – and then put the actual people behind your product, sharing their stories and brand personality.

See more about the "My Louisiana" campaign on

You can also see the campaign background on the agency’s website. Click here to read more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

When it comes to logos, the space race is still alive

This blog was submitted by Greg Dosmann, our Associate Creative Director who sends many a brand into orbit.

Some things seem doomed to divide us: Cubs vs. Sox, Pepsi vs. Coke, Star Wars vs. Star Trek and so on. Each camp can make a convincing case to why theirs is better. For design nuts, it’s turning into an alpha vs. beta division in choosing between the right logo for NASA.

The logo that NASA adopted in 1950’s, and still uses today, is known as “the meatball” (above left). From 1975 to 1992 NASA used a different logo known as “the worm” (above right) but ultimately moved back “the meatball.” What’s the deal with that?

Most designers love “the worm” for obvious reasons. It’s simplified text stripped of essentials (no cross bar in the “A”); the A’s also appear as side-by-side rockets getting ready for lift off, and the flowing “A” to the “S” depict the speeding off into space. Compared to “the meatball,” everything about “the worm” is new, futuristic, brighter and leading to a bolder future. However, “the meatball” has a case of its own and one that ultimately is winning. A NASA Lewis Research Center employee designed the meatball logo back in 1959 and the result is a very amateurish mess, but this is why people love it. It embraces the human touch, and there is an amateur design tradition at NASA where crew members design the mission patch for their space suits before every launch. It also sheds light on how passionate the people of NASA are about outer space.

Even though “the meatball” was designed to fit the spacecraft of its time, it still reminds us of the triumph our country experienced with the Mercury and Apollo missions. I don’t know if it can recapture the glory for today’s NASA, but regardless, both logos are brilliant in their own ways.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

100 Top-Seller List at Barnes and Noble -- today is the day for "Living In the Now"

I am a co-author in the book Wake Up Live the Life You Love: Living In the Now featuring over 40 other top professionals from all around the world. We are taking this book to the Best-Seller list today.

It is inspirational, motivational and full of advice anyone can use to find their life’s passion. It teaches us the secret is to live in the now. It is not enough to be alive; we must live in the present moment, or hopes and dreams may never materialize. This book is the perfect gift.

Living in the “now" means more than getting up every day to push back the curtains of possibility. It means, also, that we realize and appreciate everything in our lives, so that life becomes more real, more precious, and more rewarding.

So, please order your copy of the book TODAY.

Click here to purchase your copy.

Here's what readers are saying about the book:

“I find strength, and direction each time I pick up Living In The Now and read even one page. An entire story warms my heart and opens my mind as it guides me into the "now." What an inspirational book from a powerful group of authors! I've already ordered more as gifts!”

“This book contains personal accounts of overcoming challenges and gaining strength and wisdom through choosing to follow ones passions. I find these different stories very helpful, showing us that regardless of what circumstances one has to face, one can develop something much better out of it. Highly recommended! Good gift, good little read.”

“This book is motivational, inspiring, heart-breaking at points. What compelling real-life stories of being empowered to break through the things that hold us back!”

Please remember to order the book today.

Thank you for your help and support – it means a lot to me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

11/11 is the day we're taking our “Living In the Now” book to the Best-Seller list

I am a co-author in the book Wake Up Live the Life You Love: Living In the Now featuring more than 40 co-authors who are top professionals from all around the world. We are taking this book to the Best Seller list tomorrow Wednesday, November 11.

So, please make a note on your schedule to order your copy of the book tomorrow.

Click here to purchase your copy.

Friday, November 06, 2009

200 media outlets picked up our offer of 'Notes on Nursing' e-book

We wanted to find a unique way to recognize National Nurse Practitioner Week November 8 –14.

So we created an e-book version of Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing. If you know nurses you'd like to thank for their service, click here to download this e-book for no charge.

This is one way we can celebrate the vital role that NPs play in bringing high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered, personalized primary care to all populations of the US.

We were pleased that our press announcement of this offer was picked up by more than 200 media outlets across the country in only a matter of hours.

You can see how our Carolina partners will read it in Charlotte on CBS3 News. Click here for the Charlotte news.

And how one of our team member's family will see it on 7News Lafayette.

And click here for how our Boise office and clients can see it on Today’s Channel 6 News.

And how our client in Texas might read it in the Dallas Business Journal.

Other newspapers in which our story appears include:
Arizona Republic
Atlanta Business Chronicle
Austin Business Journal
Baltimore Business Journal
Boston Business Journal
Business First of Buffalo
Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee
Business Journal of Phoenix
Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area
Charlotte Business Journal
Cincinnati Business Courier
Dallas Business Journal
Dayton Business Journal
Denver Business Journal
Fort Wayne News Sentinel
Houston Business Journal
Jacksonville Business Journal
Kansas City Business Journal
Los Angeles Business
Memphis Business Journal
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
Philadelphia Business Journal
Pittsburgh Business Times
Sacramento Business Journal
San Antonio Business Journal
San Francisco Business Times
San Jose Business Journal
St. Louis Business Journal
Seattle Times
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Triangle Business Journal
Washington Business Journal

Some health, science, and technology news that picked it up include:
BioWorld Online
Healthcare Industry Today
Media Industry Today
Technology Today

And other TV stations where it appears include:
Fox Business
KATC ABC-3 (Lafayette, LA)
KAZT IND-7 (Phoenix, AZ)
KCOY CBS-12 (Santa Maria, CA)
KDBC CBS-4 (El Paso, TX)
KFDA CBS-10 (Amarillo, TX)
KFVE MyNetworkTV-5 (Honolulu, HI)
KGUN ABC-9 (Tucson, AZ)
KHQ-TV NBC-6 (Spokane, WA)
KJCT-TV ABC-8 (Grand Junction, CO)
KMPH-TV FOX-26 (Fresno, CA)
KNOE-TV CBS-8 (Monroe, LA)
KOTA ABC-3 (Rapid City, SD)
KOTV-TV CBS-6 (Tulsa, OK)
KPTM-TV FOX-42 (Omaha, NE)
KRNV CBS-4 (Reno, NV)
KSBY-TV NBC-6 (San Luis Obispo, CA)
KTNV-TV ABC-13 (Las Vegas, NV)
KTTC NBC-10 (Rochester, MN)
KTVZ-TV NBC-21 (Bend, OR)
KVIA ABC-7 (El Paso, TX)
KXLT FOX-47 (Rochester, MN)
KXLY ABC (Spokane, WA)
KXVO-TV CW-15 (Omaha, NE)
KXXV-TV ABC-25 (Waco, TX)
WAFB CBS-9 (Baton Rouge, LA)
WAVE NBC-3 (Louisville, KY)
WBAY ABC-2 (Green Bay, WI)
WBOC CBS-16 (Salisbury, MD)
WCSC CBS-5 (Charleston, SC)
WCWG-TV CW-20 (Greensboro, NC)
WDBJ CBS-7 (Roanoke, VA)
WDRB FOX-41 (Louisville, KY)
WECT NBC-6 (Wilmington, NC)
WFIE NBC-14 (Evansville, IN)
WFLX FOX-29 (West Palm Beach, FL)
WHBF CBS-4 (Rock Island, IL)
WISTV NBC-10 (Columbia, SC)
WKBT-TV CBS-8 (La Crosse, WI)
WKRN ABC-2 (Nashville, TN)
WLNS CBS-6 (Lansing, MI)
WMC NBC-5 (Memphis, TN)
WOI ABC-5 (West Des Moines, IA)
WOIO CBS-19 (Cleveland, OH)
WRIC ABC-8 (Richmond, VA)
WSFX-TV FOX-26 (Wilmington, NC)
WSJV-TV FOX-28 (South Bend, IN)
WTHR NBC-13 (Indianapolis, IN)
WTNZ FOX-43 (Knoxville, TN)
WTOC CBS-11 (Savannah, GA)
WTVF-TV CBS-5 (Nashville, TN)
WTVM ABC-9 (Columbus, GA)
WUPV-TV CW-65 (Ashland, VA)
WVIR-TV NBC-29 (Charlottesville, VA)
WWBT NBC-12 (Richmond, VA)
WWSB ABC-7 (Sarasota, FL)
WXIX FOX-19 (Cincinnati, OH)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Our Ethos: Learning

Learning and sharing experiences are at the heart of everything we do.

In our company’s first 5 years, I’ve learned about the importance of a culture based on the core elements of a:
  • Learning atmosphere: with mutual respect, diversity of ideas, and practical guidance
  • Learning channels: interconnecting media of information and development tools
  • Learning responsibility: personal strategic plans to raise expectations, knowledge, and performance
  • Learning partnerships: cooperating with clients, partners, vendors, and medical consultants.
Together, these elements make learning more stimulating, vibrant, motivating, fun, challenging, and rewarding. That’s why we feel so strongly in this Ethos – because it helps us support each other in the exploration and creation of new ideas. Having a positive, productive attitude to learning is crucial to success both as a company and as creative individuals. Recognizing we face challenging times, we strive to help our team members to be proactive and innovative about learning.

That’s the essence of our company’s Ethos.

Click here to read more about our company’s creative reflection in the latest issue of our company newsletter.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

2 sides of the brain -- and the battle between them

This blog post was submitted by Katie Pendlay, one of STINSON's graphic designers.

If you understand the differences between the functions of the hemispheres of the brain, you are scratching the surface to the age-old problem of why the left brain “Management” and right brain “Creatives” don’t always see eye to eye.

There is a real gap between analytical, logical reality-based Management and the creative, holistic, and impetuous Creatives. Management in business is in the application of the ideas, and Creatives in business is in the ideas themselves.

Compare and contrast these brain functions:

Traditional “ad agencies” get labeled as visual and creative, but not logical. However, many times their clients, who they are pitching ideas to, are the logical Management types.

So what is the solution? A Creative needs to learn to sell their idea to Management using management terms. Using analytical tools to explain creative solutions helps Management understand and buy into these conceptual ideas.

One tool that we could find beneficial in closing this gap, is Stinson Brand Innovation’s proprietary StrategicGPS®. It uses situation analysis and brand insight to develop strategy and tactical initiatives visual, focused, and executable. It helps to direct alignment and execution of tactics and resources. The tool plots relevant findings visually, so its memorable and enhances recall. And it allows use of metrics to track progress over time (time-oriented). It is the perfect blend of visual and logical process that helps Creatives and Management to meet in the middle to solve a problem.

While you’re thinking about this, why not take a Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... will you see the dancer turning clockwise or counterclockwise? Click here to take the test.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

60s-styled doppelganger inspired by Mad Men

I just created my own 60s-styled doppelganger using art from illustrator Dyna Moe - I'm using it on Twitter and Facebook.

Are you a suit or a skirt?

That's just one of the many decisions you can make with MadMenYourself, which lets you build your own character from the ground up. Besides choosing precisely how you will look (down to the shape of your body), you'll be able to decide what accessories (including bow ties for the gents, a fur stole for the ladies) you'll be brandishing, and what scene you'll be inhabiting (office, picnic or night out?) There's no end to the combinations you can put together -- and best of all, all the art was provided by Dyna Moe.

It's like being in a casting session with Peggy and Ken -- only better.

Click here to see for yourself.