Building Brand Equity

Bringing Character to Life Science

Merge Healthcare is a leading provider of enterprise solutions to the healthcare market, including specifically imaging technology. Its subsidiary, eClinicalOS, is a software platform serving the clinical trials management market. The product enables customers to capture, manage, and analyze clinical study data with more control, convenience and confidence.

Merge was in a highly competitive market with this product, including platform solutions such as Oracle.

Brand Perception Discovery

We begin most projects with a research and strategy process, and the goal was to clarify the internal business vision for eClinicalOS and to measure it against external market awareness and perceptions. What the process highlighted was that Merge was in a highly competitive market with this product, including some powerful platform solutions such as Oracle, which had two clinical trial management modules. We identified that basic awareness was one challenge, and that each competing offering had its own USPs.

Penetration Strategy

There were consequently a lot of incumbency challenges, where it is difficult to maneuver prospects away from established platforms. Where prospects were looking for changes, they also need to be aware of the offering and its benefits. One of the advantages Merge had with eClinicalOS was that it was a modular product and single modules can be implemented alongside existing platforms. The product had two or three modules that were very appealing in their performance, so we worked on a strategy to build awareness of the brand and push the attractive modules, playing into the other market need, which is cost management.

More Memorable

Amongst a broad range of competing software platforms, we knew we needed to create better recognition and recall of the eClinicalOS brand. We went down the character route, developing a unique, eye-catching illustrated figure that we called eCOS, which was already the nickname for the software product. It was a winged figure, and tied in with a new tagline, “Have Trials Take Flight.” This was developed into a 3D model and was implemented across extensive marketing and media.


As the campaign was launched, initially at the DIA 2015 Annual Meeting and thereafter, it was coincided with a lot of internal content work to fuel an inbound marketing strategy to drive marketing-qualified leads to sales-qualified leads. The brand gained ground and Merge was acquired by IBM Watson in 2016. eClinicalOS has now been rebranded as IBM Clinical Development from Watson Health™.

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