Welcome to our new site! We’ve had a busy summer working on a refresh of our brand and website; bringing together the elements that capture our business values and style. In corporate marketing speak we’ve “created a new look and feel that encapsulates our ethos and represents our goals and ambitions…” Or perhaps put another way, we liked the colours and thought it was time for a more modern style! Below are some thoughts on the journey we’ve undertaken, how our history has steered us, and why this change matters at an exciting time for our business.
At Gentronix, we’ve built a team of experts with decades of experience of applied genetic toxicology, enabling us to provide specialist contract research services to a wide range of global industries. 2019 will see our 20th birthday, and across those 2 decades we’ve grown and changed as a business; capturing this history and experience in a brand colour, feel and use, hasn’t been straightforward. It throws up all sorts of questions, worries and dilemmas…how do we make everyone in the company feel part of the process? Does going with a previous brand colour make it look like we’re going backwards? How does the world perceive us? How do we best reflect what we do, what we’re passionate about and how we can help our clients’ projects proceed better? Can history and expertise really be reflected in a colour scheme? When does a letter ‘g’ stop looking like a letter ‘g’?!
Looking back across the business from a brand perspective, it’s been an interesting journey. Gentronix was incorporated from Prof Richard Walmsley’s lab in UMIST, as a company focussed on the design and development of a yeast-based reporter system for the detection of DNA repair activation – GreenScreen GC. This gave us a focus on screening, and a distinctive black and green branding. In our review, we commented that it had a retro feel…then remembered it’s been around long enough to qualify as being retro!
Following on from our first reagent kit product, we developed our GreenScreen® HC technology. This new generation product shifted the test system from yeast to human cells, enhancing our capability to screen for DNA damage and its relevance to human hazard detection. At that time, we were assay developers; an R&D focussed company, developing innovative products to challenge the status quo in genetic toxicology.
As our business grew and our technology developed into BlueScreen™ HC and became more widely adopted, a landscape change was also underway within life science industries. The financial crisis in the late 2000’s, whilst not immediately impactful to our business, precipitated a shift within toxicology departments: work previously conducted in-house has increasingly been replaced by an emphasis on outsourcing. Facing increasing requests to perform testing for our clients, rather than provide them with reagent kits, we repositioned our business to reflect the need to deliver both innovative products and contract services. This led to the creation of a brand that has served us well for several years:
In late 2013, we relocated the business to Alderley Park, to increase laboratory space and add GLP in vitro genotoxicity testing services. Across the past 5 years we’ve built on this capability, recruiting experts in the field, expanding to larger premises within the site and increasing our service portfolio to deliver a comprehensive in vitro genetic toxicology service package. In 2018 we are expanding our capabilities further, increasing our current service capabilities to deliver a higher volume of studies, as well as adding the erythrocyte micronucleus test, in vitro gene mutation studies and broadening our focus to deliver predictive toxicology services within skin sensitisation. To deliver on these ambitions, we have added more expert resource to the business and will be adding an automated micronucleus slide-scoring platform to our service offering in autumn 2018.
To coincide with this growth phase, we felt now was the right time to refresh the brand. It turned out reaching this decision was about as far as our marketing skills went (we’re toxicologists after all), and we recognised we needed to do what our client base is doing – work with the experts. We brought in Zool, a brand and marketing agency based in Cheshire. Together with the team there, we set about the task of building on our existing brand to deliver a new look that captures who we are and the direction we’re heading. Working with a group of marketing specialists, it turns out, is easy. They bring ideas to the table, challenge your own thoughts and preconceptions, help you involve the company as a whole in the process, and do the work of turning concepts into the real thing.
Yes, a degree of this process is nothing more than colour preference, orange yes, purple no; image selection because it fits best and not because it encapsulates our mission statement; or choosing the headshot photo you dislike the least. However, having been through it, it is a journey we think every small business should go through more often. It gets you thinking:
- Are we portraying ourselves clearly?
- Is it easy for our clients to interact with us?
- Is our marketing relevant for our company as it is today?
- Could our website work better for us?
Not really, no, no and absolutely were our answers. We knew this in the back of our minds, but we’d buried it under the task of day-to-day business administration. Going through this process has led us to clearer and more concise messaging, which should now enable our clients to interact with us and enable us to start supporting their projects.
Together with Zool, we feel we’ve captured the ambitions of Gentronix to provide an increased array of services to our clients, delivered with the same high level of service excellence, effectiveness, efficiency and engagement. ‘Innovation and Service’ was the platform, but now we’ve raised the bar: ‘Predictive Toxicology, Expertly Delivered.’