Walgreens Boots Alliance


Formed by the combination of US pharmacy giant Walgreens with Europe-based Alliance Boots GmbH in late 2014, Walgreens Boots Alliance celebrated its first year as the only global pharmacy-led business by increasing sales 29% and profits 24%. The pending acquisition of Rite Aid pharmacies for $9.4B will further expand its US network to 12,800 locations, easily overtaking its main rival CVS.


Constructing and calibrating a global brand from two of the world’s leading retail pharmacy names, each with a robust wholesale and distribution network, presented unique logistical, cultural and strategic challenges. Straightline was tasked with authoring a new visual identity and accompanying brand system for building allegiance and a sense of common purpose between all employees and WBA, while enabling individual companies to maintain their distinct sub-cultures – all on an extremely aggressive timeline.


Directly partnering with senior management teams from both constituents, Straightline embarked on three key phased workstreams: defining the name and visual identity; articulating the strategy; and rationalizing the brand architecture. Led by a logo using a networked globe, and a fresh wellness and beauty color palette, a full brand system was in place for Day One – including guidelines, website and internal and external launch support materials. A custom approach was simultaneously developed to align business strategy with the new WBA brand rollout, and a streamlined brand architecture was engineered to simplify the company components and ensure a more intuitive portfolio strategy.