GSK recently rebranded, retaining its iconic orange logo while featuring numerous curved forms that evoke the highly adaptable nature of the human immune system. This followed the demerger of its consumer healthcare business earlier this year which resulted in the formation of Haleon. Haleon will be listed next month and global CMO Tamara Rogers (pictured) has retained her role in the new company. 

Creating a new health brand altogether coupled with a new brand purpose and name is without a doubt a significant challenge but Rogers was undaunted. According to GSK, this is "the most significant corporate change for [the company] in the last 20 years], creating two new companies, each with clear targets for growth. Having been associated with GSK for a long while, Haleon as a new brand would have to double down on creating brand awareness and mindshare among consumers. 

The company shared during its  Capital Markets Day presentation in February that over 45% of the global media budget is spent on digital, although this varies by market. As of now, China leads in this category at 70%.  ECommerce has also been bullish for Haleon, with the brand doubling its sales as a percentage of total global sales between 2019 and 2021. By 2025, the brand expects eCommerce to grow to the mid-teens as a percentage of sales, Rogers told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE .

China, for example, is a market where Haleon has seen significant opportunity via channel expansion through eCommerce and data-driven increased consumer connectivity. ECommerce now contributes 20% of net sales in China and is still growing rapidly for Haleon, with its growth around 41% year-on-year, double the market rate, the company said during its Capital Markets Day presentation.

Moving forward, Rogers said that Haleon will identify its growth audiences and utilise the appropriate channels and platforms to reach them across their experience journey. In some cases, this includes channels such as TikTok and Snapchat. For example, in China, the team uses TikTok for both engagement and sales. "We have brand stores on TikTok for Sensodyne, Centrum and Caltrate. As the media environment evolves, so do we, where appropriate," Rogers explained.

She added: "We activate our brands and engage with consumers with full-funnel marketing from awareness to conversion employing media channels that deliver with efficiency and effectiveness, traditional and digital."

Plenty of thought went into Haleon's new branding and name. Rogers told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the name was merged from the words "Hale" and "Leon" which both mean "in good health" and "strength" respectively, grounding the company’s purpose of delivering better everyday health with humanity.  

"Beyond the linguistic, trademark, and domain hurdles, we had to create an identity that conveys our identity and purpose as well as resonates with consumers and healthcare professionals worldwide," Rogers said. Haleon thus committed to a robust process to test its thinking with its global communities of healthcare professionals and consumers. This resulted in interacting with both groups, to better understand what names were appealing and how they fit with the brand’s purpose. The list of names amounted to 2,050, but ultimately less than 20 made the final cut of going into detailed legal checks. 

Meanwhile, the creative concept behind the new branding focused on communication with its consumers and healthcare professionals and differentiating itself from its competitors. Additionally, it was important that the new identity reflect the business’ purpose and ambition. In addition to the Haleon team and its partner agencies, Rogers said the branding work was a joint team effort, and was informed by the communities of consumers, healthcare professionals and colleagues that had helped guide and inspire Haleon along the way.  

"For example, we worked with a group of colleagues from across functions and markets over a period of 10 months on Haleon’s purpose, design, photography, and tone of voice," she explained.

Haleon aims to be a world leader in consumer health, and was created from a series of progressive strategic moves by GSK, to develop its consumer healthcare business. According to the press statement by GSK, Haleon will be a platform to focus, scale and optimise many aspects of the business, such as divesting lower growth brands, implementing a new R&D/innovation model, rationalising the manufacturing footprint and optimising the supply chain, alongside continued investment in brands, innovation and capabilities .  

According to Rogers, the team has learnt over 10 months of consistent engagement with healthcare professionals, consumer and employee communities that its new identity is clear, bold, progressive, inclusive and responsible. "All these attributes are highly desirable in the everyday health category and for a new brand. This new identity provides us with the platform to drive everyday health for people and the planet," she said. 

At its core, Haleon is all about bettering the everyday health of all with humanity, which Rogers dubs its “driving force.” This mindset has been essential in the way Haleon has approached developing its new corporate identity and business operations. 

"We’ve got ambitious plans for the future! However, the demerger is not expected to happen until July 2022 and only at that point will we start using the new brand identity. Until then, we continue to be one company and go to market as GSK," she said. 

Rogers joined GSK in 2018 and worked as regional head, EMEA before moving into the global CMO role for GSK consumer healthcare in 2019, her LinkedIn said. In that role, she oversaw the  development of marketing strategies, strategic portfolio management, product development and branding within the categories of oral health, wellness, pain relief, respiratory and therapeutic skincare.

Rogers is also experienced with media, content, operations, experience design, operations and marketing capability, expert marketing, CBIA and digital commerce. Prior to joining GSK, she had been at Unilver for over 20 years, where she held leadership positions as SVP Global Deodrants, before moving onto becoming EVP Personal Care in North America.

Rogers identified client relations as a strong channel for sales. According to Rogers, approximately 10 million healthcare professionals globally address the concerns Haleon serves, and the capacity to make recommendations amounts to 52 billion. Haleon has directed relationships with some one-third of healthcare professional provides worldwide. 

Read the rest of the interview here:

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What was a major shift in the industry that caught you by surprise? How did you pivot? 

Rogers: The pandemic caught all of us by surprise, and it was and remains a challenge for global health.  In order to meet significant increases in demand, we had to rapidly simplify our range to support the supply chain, increasing line efficiencies and so capacity. We also had to pivot how we communicated about certain products such as Panadol to support people with information on how best to manage their symptoms. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: With markets opening up, how are you preparing your team and evolving your marketing? 

Rogers: We follow local legislation and guidance with respect to the need to work from home and when we are able to return to the office as the situation varies country to country. We believe there are benefits of returning to the office, seeing colleagues, being able to separate work and home life as well as getting back into a familiar routine and to learn from each other. We have adopted “performance with choice” an approach where each individual who is able to divide their time between the office and working from home agree the balance that best supports their ability to do their role and perform as individuals and teams. 

From a marketing perspective, we continually monitor consumer behaviour, habits, attitudes and purchasing patterns and ensure our plans evolve if necessary.  The significant increase in e-commerce during covid is a great example and we have evolved our capabilities, range and go-to-market strategies to enable and support continued growth.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What marketing trends and innovations are you looking forward to? 

Rogers: The continued rate of development of digital and developments such as the metaverse, blockchain, NFTs – it is incredibly exciting to think about how all of this can play a role to support health and wellness.

Related articles:
GSK retains iconic orange logo in brand refresh
GSK hires Elaine Ng as APAC head of comms

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