Unique inspiration and mission
Agency cofounders Lorna Weir and Frank Powers, both healthcare ad industry veterans, had an innovative agency idea in the specialty healthcare marketing space. It’s an idea that had been brewing between the two for years as various clients described the limitations of their brands and how traditional marketing and/or big network agencies had let them down time and time again. Either clients’ brands got lost among larger clients, or a generalist agency just didn’t understand or appreciate their unique challenges. The founders, along with their strategic, scientific, and creative leaders, began thinking of these clients’ brands as “healthcare challenger brands”—different from most mass-market brands and requiring a more innovative approach. And so, a mission was born.
From their outset over 7 years ago, Elevate was created with one key principle in mind: CHALLENGER BRANDS GUIDE BIOPHARMA AND MEDICAL DEVICE CHALLENGER BRANDS IN OVERCOMING MORE POWERFUL COMPETITORS, MARKET LIMITATIONS, AND INTERNAL OBSTACLES TO ACHIEVE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.
Healthcare challenger brands are challenged by circumstances and the environment. They may not have clinical advantage, first-in leverage, a unique mechanism of action, a breakthrough product profile, or the ability to outspend. But what they do have is the ability to look at those challenges as “beautiful constraints”—opportunities to differentiate and propel a brand by elevating marketing strategy, creating a narrative of change, and becoming a symbol of positive market disruption.
Lorna Weir, Elevate co-founder, and managing partner, puts it this way, “We are built to solve clients’ brand challenges, to continually find innovative and more effective ways to do that. It drives how we operate, how we function—and why we succeed.”
Journey to being one of the top 10 innovative brands of 2023
In just the past year, there have been multiple milestone achievements that have become typical for Elevate. Firstly, Elevate introduced a new, larger office in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, meticulously designed with a mix of technology and space that makes remote, hybrid, and full-time occupancy all work optimally.
Another major accomplishment from the past year—and really every year in their existence was how Elevate continued to attract top talent. In addition to their current all-star team, Elevate added the expertise of some of the industry’s most successful leaders and challenge experts, including creative veteran Sam Cannizzaro who joined as Executive Creative Director.
Yet another accomplishment for 2022 was how well Elevate maintained and built on an impressive roster of key clients who appreciate and value the solutions the agency brings.
Last year, Elevate’s recognition in the industry also soared. Two leading industry publications named the agency “Small Healthcare Agency of the Year”—with one giving Elevate that title for the third year in a row. Agency leaders are just as proud of Elevate’s perennial position as a “Best Place to Work” in healthcare marketing and one of the “Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania” for the fourth consecutive year. And for individual honors, Lorna Weir and Frank Powers were again recognized with several top industry awards; Account Management star Taylor Myers-Ackerman was named a “Woman to Watch” by MM+M, the leading industry publication; and two of their young stars were named as Medical Advertising Hall of Fame “Future Famer” honorees.
Innovative services and solutions provided to their clients
Elevate dedicates their entire effort to the power of finding innovative solutions for their clients’ biggest brand challenges in an increasingly demanding world. By focusing on their mantra of Challenge Accepted, Elevate does what they do best-helping specialty healthcare brands benefit from the challenger mindset.
Elevate’s position as the champion of challenger brands remains more relevant than ever perhaps even more so given their current business and healthcare environment.
Culture as key to success
As a creative business, it is important to foster the kind of environment where people feel connected to the culture. Introduced in the past year, Cultivate is a system that combines a focus on driving strong cultural development with elevating interactions and quality of work by identifying and applying 21 unique fundamental interpersonal, cultural, and work traits that make for a better company. The goal of Cultivate is to inspire even better engagement with clients, partners, and each other. It’s been a game-changing experience for many, and clients have commented that Elevate has taken their work and interactions to the next level.
Differentiated from other agencies in the industry
Elevate is a specialist in a world of generalists specializing in helping healthcare challenger brands marketing to physician specialists in the biopharma and medical device world reach their full potential, marketing to physician specialists.
Unique measure of growth and success
There are financial milestones like billings and growth to look at, but one of the other things that makes Elevate unique is that the agency is a 100% independently owned firm, which means they can measure success in ways other than quarterly profit statements and year-end numbers. In that sense, success is measured by how well clients do once they “elevate” their brands.
Biggest learning experience to date
It’s not just smaller brands that are healthcare challenger brands. The lesson is that every brand is a challenger brand at some point in its life cycle! Even category-leading brands face unique challenges from marketplace or internal dynamics that make them a challenger even if only temporarily.