Boehringer Ingelheim

Evolving a traditional pharma company 
to an industry-leading brand of significance

Stepping up to leverage the power of a strong corporate brand

Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the leading pharma companies with an exceptional long history. For more than 140 years, Boehringer has played an important role in researching and developing groundbreaking treatment options in some very severe disease areas for both humans and animals, laying a strong foundation for a 
healthier society at large.

However, in a highly competitive industry, with rapidly evolving and diversifying stakeholder needs, the family-owned business from Ingelheim needed to create an elevated, more active and more present corporate brand. Looking forward to a significantly increasing pipeline and growing portfolio, Boehringer was looking to enable scaling the business, while staying connected to their century-long heritage.

More than ever, the business was in need of a clear brand to unify the portfolio, enable meaningful brand experiences and pave the way for a new era. Recognizing this, Boehringer Ingelheim took action and for the first time in 140 years, entered the realm of brand.

Unwavering optimism:
Bridging strategy and design with a compelling brand core

The newly established Boehringer brand team approached Interbrand with a clear brief: to leverage the new corporate brand to lead the health-discussion with a more positive perspective, building upon Boehringer’s first-ever brand slogan: Life forward.

While many pharma businesses primarily communicate around the treatment of diseases, Boehringer aims to put a more optimistic brand feel forward, focusing on health and well-being. A positive emotion that is deeply anchored in the new brand core: Unvawering optimism.

Based on this, a clear and compelling experience metaphor was derived that finds beauty and significance in even the smallest moments of life. This strategic foundation gave a strong basis to the following design work, and allowed for a specifically strong board involvement as well as testing the ideated prototypes within both internal and external focus groups.

While the logo was the one element that needed to remain, Boehringer’s new brand identity represents an evolution of the entire business, ranging from a new color palette, that is unique to the industry, to illustration, typography, photography, layout, icons motion, a dedicated brand hub, a new website, social media, internal learning offerings and e-bites, and merchandise. Even further, Boehringer is one of only a few pharma businesses that now also has a unique sound branding.

Across all of these digital and physical brand elements, inclusivity and color-blind safeness played a central role, allowing barrier free experiences by design.

Evolving an industry leader while honoring its century-long heritage

The launch of the new Boerhinger Ingelheim brand was celebrated with the biggest event in the long history of the business and quickly became a huge success, especially for internal engagement and identification of employees with the new identity.

At four major Boehringer locations (Ingelheim, Vienna, Bieberach and Lyon) the created brand experience was launched to the more than 52.000 Boehringer employees across the world. The Boehringer merchandise, that was sold at dedicated brand merch pop-up stores, sold out within just a few hours on launch day.

The newly designed brand enables a modern, digital brand experience that honors the long tradition of the family-owned company while strengthening its industry-leading approach to partnerships and emphasizing its commitment to sustainability.

“We have a responsibility as a company to take on these challenges,” says Médard Schoenmackers, Boehringer Ingelheim Head of Corporate Affairs. “There couldn’t be a better time to introduce our redesigned corporate brand – we have a pipeline that will positively change the lives of people and animals.”

“The new brand identity and the evolved understanding of the role of the brand for the business elevate all customer experiences as well as digital and physical touchpoints of Boehringer Ingelheim to a completely new level,” comments Jens Grefen, Senior Executive Creative Director at Interbrand in Central & Eastern Europe. “We are proud to have been involved 
in the development of this fantastic new brand direction and are eager to see how Boehringer Ingelheim will bring their new brand to life in the future.”

Media Response


Never Sit Still
Massive Music
Moin Motion
Photo & Film Mat Neidhardt / 
Emeis Deubel
Helmut Luck
cd. – Carrie Dennes
Martin Rupik

If you want to know more about this project, we would be happy to talk