Employee Communications Launch

Helping a large global company announce big news.

Danaher is a Fortune 250 holding company whose portfolio of operating companies consist of global science and technology innovators that help customers solve complex challenges and improve the quality of life around the world. To best serve its companies and customers, Danaher decided to create a new holding company called Fortive and strategically split their portfolio of operating companies.

Our Assignment

To help Danaher and Fortive’s CEO strategically and creatively communicate the first announcement of Fortive to 80,000 associates, across the globe across with more than 40 operating companies and a hundred brands. Danaher hired a well-known brand agency to develop its new name Fortive and its public facing purpose statement, and then engaged Vignette to help introduce Fortive to its 80,000 associates around the world. Our challenge was two-fold: Danaher wanted a communication strategy that informed the associates about Fortive, but didn’t dive into the particulars (that would come later).  With an aggressive schedule we had to quickly develop a message strategy, editorial calendar, and develop tactics that made best use of existing communication channels and optimal vehicles for communication.

Developing an Employer Brand

Vignette began with a quick onboarding to understand Danaher, its culture, and the vision and brand essence of Fortive. We dug in to understand what internal communication channels were used to connect with each operating company, and also did our due diligence to understand what each operating company does and how they fit into the Fortive family. We used these insights to move down two parallel paths. The first path was to develop the key message points hierarchy (what order they should be delivered) to craft the messages we want to communicate. The second path was to develop the initial employer brand for Fortive by using the name and brand mark to develop a Visual Center deliverable meant to align Fortive stakeholders around brand styles, like typography, colors, photography, and graphic treatments. When combined, we were able to develop messages that were streamlined and adjusted for each channel and vehicle we used.

Internal Communication Channels & Vehicles

Now aligned on key message points and hierarchy, we began iterative rounds between Vignette and Danaher leadership to develop, review and finalize the copywriting, voiceover script, and the design of all vehicles that were being used introduce the Fortive. The initial internal communication channels and vehicles deployed were:
  • Email. We designed a single email template that was seen by all global leaders and associates as a letter from Fortive’s CEO. The email communicated the CEO’s and Danaher’s excitement around Fortive, explained why Danaher created Fortive, and closed with why Fortive was of benefit to all associates. The email closed with a Call to Action that drove associates to both a landing page on Danaher’s Intranet, or Fortive.com—a new landing page that presented Fortive to the external world.
  • Intranet. A single landing page on Danaher’s Intranet provided more information, including a short sizzle video introducing Fortive, exclusive content that takes a closer look at understanding the name Fortive and its brand mark.
  • Ad Units. Ad Units resided exclusively on the Intranet for promotional use. The first was a persistent promotional Ad on the homepage. The second was a “page takeover” Ad that existed for the first few days to call attention to the importance of this launch communication.
  • Website. A single landing page, Fortive.com, responsively designed, with similar content to the Intranet landing page, with a subtle different tone meant for additional audiences.
  • Video. A sixty-second sizzle video that used compelling Danaher brand imagery and narration to introduce Fortive and its brand essence.

Mission Accomplished

The email from Fortive’s CEO was sent on December 2, 2015. The Intranet, website, and video immediately received high traffic, and generated early excitement for Fortive’s launch. This initial launch communication also drove high traffic to Fortive’s career sites as the 80,000 associates across the world explored new career opportunities.


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