Diana Bradley
Feb 6, 2022

Behind the scenes of pharmaceutical giant Sanofi’s rebranding

The France-based company reemerged this week with a new logo — and a new way of thinking about its mission.

Behind the scenes of pharmaceutical giant Sanofi’s rebranding

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi tightened up its branding this week, rolling out a new logo and purpose.




Under the changes, Sanofi’s sub brands, which include Sanofi Pasteur and Sanofi Genzyme, will be united under the Sanofi brand. Internally, staffers will continue to work under one of four global business units: Pasteur is the vaccines business unit and Genzyme is the specialty care business unit. The other two units are general medicine and consumer healthcare.

The refreshed branding represents the integrated way in which the company will work to achieve its ambition to transform the practice of medicine. 

Sanofi embarked on these changes because it lost its stakeholders with multiple names, said Josep Catllà, head of corporate affairs at Sanofi. 

“This is the only big pharma company remaining that still has such a broad portfolio. We want to be in every space that goes from prevention with vaccines to the more extreme, rare diseases of the other side of the business to everything in the middle from oncology to [multiple sclerosis]. Our portfolio is the result of 50 years of more than 500 mergers and acquisitions.”

However, when Sanofi acquired a company, it didn’t change the culture, look and feel of that company’s purpose, with Catlla saying the company has been “very fragmented over the last few years in that sense.”

Sanofi wanted to find a theme that unites and connects all of its businesses and employees. The company listened to stakeholders both internally and externally, including healthcare and patient communities. Out of that, it came up with a new purpose, which is that Sanofi “chases the miracle of science to improve people’s lives,” said Catlla. 

Some feedback it received: using the words “miracle” and “science” together may be seen as provocative since science is rational and data-driven and miracles are more aspirational.

“Yes, science is very exact, but the effects of science can be super-emotional to the point where they are seen as a miracle,” said Catllà. For example, when paracetamol makes a bad headache go away, it can feel like a miracle to patients.

Sanofi used the word “chasing” in its purpose statement, because when a company chases something, it means it is determined and resilient to obtain it, said Catlla. 

Sanofi wanted to get away from typical pharma jargon that leans on outcomes and impacting patients.  

“Improving people’s lives is more genuine to what we do,” said Catllà. “In some cases, we cure, in others we bring better health or life extension, but in all the cases we bring hope to people.”

Sanofi has also revealed a new logo,, which was “inspired by the simple and motion-oriented codes of the tech industry,” it said in a statement. The two purple dots embody the scientific journey between a starting point — wondering “what if?” — and a finish line. In other words, the eureka moment where innovative solutions are unlocked to impact people’s lives. 

Sanofi started to think about itself differently when CEO Paul Hudson joined the company in 2019. That December, Sanofi launched its Play to Win strategy, which focuses on applying its platform for innovation to produce first- and best-in-class treatments and vaccines.

While business names are changing, the internal structure and reporting lines will remain the same and there will be no layoffs or people moves in relation to the changes.

“This helps to position the comms team in a much more strategic manner throughout the company,” Catllà said.

To promote the rebranding, Sanofi is launching a series of films internally and externally with employees talking about the company “to tell our own story,” said Catllà. Staffers discuss why they work at Sanofi and what they love about their jobs.

One employee is a scientist who had cancer, “so she can talk to you as a researcher and also as a patient,” said Catllà. Others discuss how personal passions for dance and boxing link to their roles.

“We have one single brand film now, but we will reveal individual stories of all the people in that film in the next few months so they can tell us more,” said Catllà.

Hudson sent a note to all employees on Thursday about the changes, including the brand film. Sanofi also rebranded all of its social media channels on Thursday.

Interpublic Group agency FutureBrand worked on the logo and Weber Shandwick and Jack Morton are aiding Sanofi with the launch.





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