Brand Union


How do you dominate a category from launch?

In a nutshell

Brand Union partners with GSK and GSK Design, stewarding 9 brands within 4 consumer categories, across 5 global offices. After losing exclusive rights of fluticasone propionate, in 2010 GSK decided it was time to take Flonase over the counter. This presented an opportunity to improve accessibility and gain market share in a new category, but GSK knew that to effectively stake a claim in the crowded allergy segment the brand would require an overhaul.

Flonase® (Flixonase® outside of the U.S.) has been considered the gold-standard for relieving hay fever and airborne allergy symptoms, treating more than 30 million patients for over 20 years as a prescription drug. This was its largest-ever consumer brand transformation. Our mission was to develop a globally-relevant visual brand language for Flonase that communicated the brand’s superiority over antihistamines – emphasizing complete relief from all six allergy symptoms and triggers – and leveraged its trusted prescription heritage.

What we did

We began with an ethnographic study, visiting the homes of severe allergy sufferers to truly understand how allergies affect them. We observed that many people utilize a toolkit of products to treat symptoms, and that allergies are unique to each individual. Next, we conducted a comprehensive competitive audit of the global allergy category – and the adjacent cold and flu category – to identify conventions and make sense of regional nuances. With this information, we helped GSK identify a strategic platform that would defend the Flonase brand against current antihistamine competitors and future Rx switches.

The visual brand language we created utilizes a library of multi-colored icons that personalizes allergy relief. The icons visualize triggers and symptoms in a way that allows consumers to self-select based on their individual needs. The category-disrupting color palette is balanced with clinical white that points to the brand’s pharmaceutical heritage.


#1 selling cough / cold / allergy / sinus  liquid brand in the U.S during its first 16 weeks on shelf


100 million dollars in sales  during its first 16 weeks on shelf


10 straight weeks  at the height of the 2015 allergy season Flonase's 60-count and 120-count SKUs were ranked #1 and #2 in dollar sales for the entire Health & Beauty Care category

The Details

Around the world, we’re thrilled to still be winning awards for the work. While awards were far from the objective, it is positive affirmation that GSK’s ambitions are being realized.

Awards of note thus far include:

Gold Butterfly – North American Transform Awards

Gold – Shopper Marketing Effie*

Bronze – Design Business Association – Design Effectiveness Award

*Epsilon lead shopper agency, Geometry Global and Brand Union

"Brand Union's design unified Flonase as the new allergy leader across all communications from Day One."

Catherine Segal, R.Ph., M.B.A., Director, Global Marketing Lead, Allergy

The result

The success of Flonase and its full spectrum of relief resulted in a rare enthusiasm among users. “Flonatics” rally around the Flonase brand with a devotion enjoyed by no other allergy brand. In design concept tests, consumers were seen to quickly identify with the brand, giving high metrics to the proposition that Flonase understands them and their needs. Insight-driven, intuitive, and rich with unique assets, our design inspired all-agency teams to implement a cohesive brand story across all touchpoints and channels.

"Love the growth; world class activation."

Bill Spradlin, Walmart