What we did
A new industry model
Retail pharmacy giant Walgreens and pharmacy benefits manager Prime Therapeutics disrupted the healthcare ecosystem with their joint venture, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. A specialty and home delivery pharmacy, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime closes the gaps between pharmacies, pharmacy benefits managers, and health plans.
To support the joint-venture integration, Slalom worked side by side with the parent companies to stand up, govern, and coordinate the many moving parts—partnering on over twenty work streams, from finance to change management.
A creative turn
As the company launch neared, the partnership took a creative turn. AllianceRx Walgreens Prime began exploring how patients, payers, and providers would experience the new brand. Slalom saw an opportunity to collaborate further, this time creatively.
“When brand discussions started taking place, we were confident we could help,” says Andrea Hack, a lead for Slalom’s experience design practice. “Because Slalom had been working so closely with the business, we were able to make brand recommendations that were in line with business decisions, instead of in a vacuum.”
While developing the brand guidelines, Slalom leaned into the heritage and values of the parent brands. “It was important that the brand feel recognizable,” says Karen MacKay, a Slalom experience design lead. “When a patient or provider first encounters the new brand, it should feel familiar and like the trusted partner they’ve always known. That first moment can have a lasting impact.”
Agile paves the way
The countdown to launch was on. Now, it was time to take the brand guidelines and start applying them to everything from patient welcome booklets to trade show booths.
Slalom recommended an agile methodology from the start. “Delivering over 225 pieces of collateral in the final week would have been a recipe for disaster. Thinking through the sequence of business decisions, QA needs, and printing needs—we knew we couldn’t leave that all until the end,” says Hack. Two-week agile sprints provided stability and continuous progress in a complex, time-crunched environment. “Every two weeks new collateral was completed and ready for delivery.”
Collaborating at regular milestones helped the AllianceRx Walgreens Prime and Slalom creative teams build trust and reliability. The Slalom team “clearly explained the logic behind any change in the creative and were so responsive when we asked for changes,” says Melissa Pitsoulakis, Director of Brand and Patient Experience at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. “It really helped keep the momentum going so we could hit our deadlines.”
Slalom was so responsive that oftentimes they knew what we needed before we did. They were always a couple of steps ahead and made sure we didn't lose sight of where we needed to be.Melissa Pitsoulakis Director, Brand and Patient Experience, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime
Slalom’s ability to deliver strong creative in conjunction with a deep understanding of the business had tangible impacts for the new brand. “Our role as the creative team wasn’t limited to design,” says MacKay. “Even small copy changes can impact a patient’s experience, so we worked with our Slalom peers to ask the tough questions that needed to be answered before the company launched.”
A growing partnership
The partnership grew again when Slalom was invited to become the lead creative agency for AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. “We have never experienced anything like their commitment and understanding of what we needed,” says Pitsoulakis. “I have extensive experience working with agencies and project managers, and Slalom set a new bar that I’m not sure anyone can ever come close to reaching.”
Acting as lead creative agency for AllianceRx Walgreens Prime is a new experience for Slalom, too. “We love the mission behind this new brand,” says MacKay. “We’re excited to continue partnering with them in new and exciting ways.”