Boston Scientific just spent 27 billion USD on Guidant, and in a classic horror-movie move, they’re going to erase the memory Guidant altogether. In the wake of their recent troubles, the Guidant name carries a certain stigma. That stigma has taken a chunk out of sales. The Boston Globe has some analysis on the marketing move:
“Guidant has made some mistakes, which they readily acknowledge, and we need to repair our credibility with our customer base,” said Boston Scientific chief executive Jim Tobin.
…The company’s billboards have been posted in the vicinity of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Within the hall, the green Guidant logo, which in previous years flew high over the floor of the convention, will be reduced to appear in small signs beneath a Boston Scientific banner. By the next series of major cardiology conferences later this year the Guidant logo will have vanished altogether.
The program is part of a carefully orchestrated, yearlong campaign to stuff the Guidant brand into the attic and replace it with Boston Scientific. The plan reaches deep into the company — the Guidant executive in charge of the heart-rhythm devices was replaced even before the deal closed. It covers aspects of the business as small as the way receptionists answer the phone. The official greeting will change from “Guidant, a Boston Scientific company” to “Boston Scientific.”
Although Guidant’s recalls were triggered by short-circuiting problems in its devices that could be dangerous for patients, many heart doctors say they do not consider Guidant’s technical issues more significant than those faced by its major competitors, all of which have reported problems in recent years.
…The campaign to phase out the Guidant brand is also driven by a bigger “master brand” policy Boston Scientific instituted a few years ago. After spending several billion dollars on acquisitions and keeping the original brand names of the firms it acquired, it found that doctors were becoming confused about which products it made. “We were a coat of many colors, and people didn’t understand that all the patches added up to one company,” said Paul Donovan, senior vice president for corporate communications, who has orchestrated the company’s overall branding strategy.
As a sign that this is probably the right move, 4/5 of the Google Ads running next to this article are for lawsuits related to the Guidant recal fiasco. The question remains: as they dissolve the Guidant brand, will they completely re-brand Guidant’s products, or keep the original names, but with a Boston logo on them? How long until guidant.com redirects to bostonscientific.com?
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