German drugs giant Merck launches makeover to differentiate from US competitor

Sarah Spickernell
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The drugs company has changed its logo
The drugs company has changed its logo

German pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA is re-branding itself in order to stand out against competitors.

By re-designing its logo and altering its business structure, it hopes to have a greater claim over the “Merck” brand.

Everywhere outside the North America, where US company Merck & Co has dominance over the Merck name, it is ditching its two subsidiary companies, Serono and Milipore, so that all parts of the business will fall under the main company “Merck”. In the US and North America it will continue operating the two subsidiary companies.

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It is also positioning itself as a “global science and technology” company rather than a traditional pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Chief executive Karl-Ludwig Kley said the overhaul was intended to “communicate this new direction vis-à-vis our customers, partners and applicants”.

We want to be recognisable and remain visible as Merck worldwide so as to strengthen our well-known brand name. For this we have deliberately rid ourselves of outdated features and will be focusing on a young and eye-catching image.

The company has grown significantly over the last 10 years, with revenues almost doubling from €5.9bn (£4.4bn) in 2005 to €11.3bn in 2015. R&D investments increased from €700m to €1.7bn during the same time, and its global presence has expanded from 54 countries to 66.

The re-brand comes a day after Merck announced its appointment of Stefan Oschmann as its new chief executive. Oschmann will begin in the role in April next year, succeeding from Karl-Ludwig Kley, who is retiring after nine years as head of the company.

Investors have not reacted positively to the news, with shares in the company currently down 1.2 per cent at €75.79

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