C.O. Bigelow Chemists Launches New Branding for Their Innovative Meditrac Pill Service

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The Levinson Tractenberg Group Develops Complete Branding System for Startup Service From NYC’s Oldest Pharmacy

We knew we had to stay true to the heritage of the brand, even though this was a new service, based on modern technology

C.O. Bigelow Chemists has been dispensing prescriptions and expert advice since 1838. As New York’s oldest and most trusted pharmacists, they have been at the forefront of medicine for nearly 200 years. For their latest innovation, Meditrac, they use robotic dispensing equipment to combine customers’ pills (prescription, supplements and OTC drugs alike) into convenient pouches, divided into the proper doses.

The new service presented a unique branding challenge. How to show technology and innovation within the context of a 180-year old family-owned heritage business? For help, the team at Bigelow, led by Owner Ian Ginsberg and his son, Pharmacist Alec Ginsberg, turned to Levinson Tractenberg for solutions.

Levinson Tractenberg, based in the SoHo neighborhood of NYC, is known for their work with heritage brands and luxury clientele. They applied their proprietary brand assessment methodology to Bigelow and Meditrac, coming away with some key insights that drove creative development.

“Ian shared the company archives with our team. It was incredible to see the evolution of their logos and packaging through the decades, and seeing prescriptions filled for the likes of Teddy Roosevelt just really humbled us and instilled a sense of reverence for the history of C.O. Bigelow. We knew we had to stay true to the heritage of the brand, even though this was a new service, based on modern technology,” explains Joel Tractenberg, Partner at Levinson Tractenberg.

The creative teams also got an introduction to the robotic machinery that drives the pill sorting and packaging. The hands-on Bigelow pharmacists oversee every step of the process, making for an interesting juxtaposition.

“We saw your classic, lab-coated pharmacists who would have fit in quite well in the Bigelow of the 1800’s, working with this bleeding edge technology and we were just so inspired. Their dedication to serving customers has stayed consistent through the years, but the delivery system is going through a rapid modernization,” said Joel Levinson, Partner at Levinson Tractenberg. “The goal became how to say old-fashioned service with a modern twist, and to convey it visually in their branding.”

The team developed a logo based on the classic shape of pill capsules, to reflect the pharmaceutical nature of the service, and chose a modern font. After much discussion, client and agency agreed that they needed to retain the C.O. Bigelow vintage logo on all packaging to let everyone know that this was not some impersonal tech startup, but rather the evolution of the pharmacy brand that New Yorkers have come to love and trust.

The color scheme of blues and greens gives the branding a medical/clinical appeal, while the spot varnishes applied to select elements of the design provides both an eye-catching flash of color as well as upscale production values that are designed to inspire confidence the brand.

The feedback on the brochures and packaging has been extremely positive. “Our customers and participating doctors absolutely love the new design -- and the service. Levinson Tractenberg did a fantastic job of positioning our brand to both please and reassure our existing customer base as well as appeal to a whole new generation of C.O. Bigelow customers. We have always gone above and beyond for our customers, but I doubt our founders would ever have guessed that robots would eventually be helping us make our customers’ lives easier,” jokes Alec Ginsberg, who runs the pharmacy department for his family’s business. “In these challenging COVID days, we are so pleased to have innovated a way to offer old-world convenience and service, while enabling our clientele to stay safely at home.”

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Joel Tractenberg

Alec Ginsberg
@tractenberg
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