credible science. incredible therapeutics.
A clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, Sophiris Bio Inc. (formerly Protox Therapeutics) is focused on developing innovative products for the treatment of urological diseases, specifically benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)—commonly referred to as enlarged prostate.
Protox Therapeutics, as it was called at the time, approached us with a real dilemma—the company name was actually hurting the brand. It was too closely aligned with a familiar therapeutic product, Botox, which could also be used for the treatment of BPH. Brand differentiation was vital. In addition, Protox needed a strategic alignment that reflected its corporate brand attributes and its value in the field of prostate therapeutics.
To build a radically differentiated brand, we developed an identity around what the core product stands for. We took our inspiration from nature and created a leaf design with high levels of detail to symbolize sophistication and specificity. We then explored the use of a fan of leaves to symbolize comprehensiveness and comfort. The name itself expresses sophistication and science. Green became a primary color to support the theme and to differentiate from the competition. All these choices were made to support the newly developed brand positioning.
The work delivered on this project exceeded expectations. “We felt the Audacity team truly understood our brand and listened to our specific needs, distilling them down to the vital elements that would set us apart. We were impressed with their thorough research methodology behind their suggested direction. And the final result was a branding solution that was vastly different from where we were, building a much stronger brand for us.” — Allison Hulme, COO & Head of R&D
By using genetic engineering to transform naturally occurring proteins into novel targeted therapeutics for the treatment of prostate diseases and various cancers, Protox was offering an alternative to traditional oral medications. Typically most men with BPH treated with oral medications discontinue therapy due to low response rate or negative side effects. From there, the available options include surgery, which can be painful and could have potential long-term sexual side effects. Protox provides a safer, more convenient and less invasive option.
While it was not an old brand, Protox was in dire need of a revitalization. The name, the brand identity, the brand visual expression and the brand positioning were dated and not adapted to take the company where it wanted to go.
We built a new strategic brand platform by deploying our proprietary Brand Revitalization solution. From there we built a messaging platform that expressed the new positioning of the brand, including the development of a new, more engaging tagline: “credible science. incredible therapeutics.”
dive into brandmark creation
Next came the multi-step corporate naming process development. The final name, Sophiris, was a natural choice and a winner. Derived from the word “sophistication,” it’s defined as “the better way to alleviate distress or discomfort.” Lastly, we moved to the visual expression, starting with a fresh brandmark that symbolized sophistication, specificity, comprehensiveness and comfort.
Now comes the fun part. After the foundation of the verbal and visual expression was in place, we could extend the Sophiris brand in multiple directions. We chose colors that would separate it from the competition then expanded the brandmark and assets across all touchpoints including a new corporate identity system and other collateral to be used internally and externally to tell the story of this amazing new brand.
To further sync Sophiris’ newly developed positioning we designed a simplified and compelling online presence. Utilizing leading technologies that ensured the highest quality user experience, we streamlined the brand story. Customers can find what they’re looking for quickly and are presented with a clean yet comprehensive site.
To get the internal team on board with a new brand expression, it’s important for the “old look” to disappear completely and be replaced with an immersive brand experience. By updating the work environment, Sophiris team members could absorb the new branding, letting it sink in, which ultimately cultivated a group of ambassadors for the brand. Using space planning, furniture selection, custom signage and displays we brought the Sophiris brand to life.
The most important next step was to shift the market’s perceptions and behaviors in Sophiris’ favor. We needed to introduce the brand to the target audience and convince key opinion leaders and financial markets that Sophiris mattered. The imagery and messaging needed to communicate the benefits their patients would experience by choosing this alternative prostate therapeutic. This visually striking design reinforced the Sophiris branding while selling its valuable therapeutic benefits.
No touchpoint goes untouched. Every piece of collateral, including product brochures, were evolved and aligned to ensure brand expression on every level was in sync and impactful. Even details like card stock, size and shape were carefully considered to ensure these aspects directly reflected the positioning of the brand.