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Case Study: Bausch & Lomb Updates International Web Presence to Reflect their Master Brand

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In 1853, German immigrant John Jacob Bausch set up his modest optical shop in Rochester, New York. A few years later, Bausch’s close friend Henry Lomb invested $60 to keep the business of selling spectacles going, a relatively unknown endeavor during those days. They could have never imagined their company would end up producing over 650 products with offices in 20 different countries. Over a century and a half later, Bausch & Lomb has become a household name throughout the world. As the multi-billion-dollar company’s product line grew to include everything from eye-related pharmaceuticals to surgical instruments, Bausch & Lomb saw a new task at hand – producing a consistent master brand throughout multiple products, languages, and cultures.

One large piece of the overall program to update Bausch & Lomb’s master brand was revamping its Web presence-both domestically and internationally. Beyond creating a more consistent look and feel, the company also wanted to make the site more user-friendly for all audiences. “Before, the site was much more geared toward consumers,” says Bill Granville, Director of Brand Development at Bausch & Lomb. “Eye care professionals are a part of our audience, and we weren’t getting the resources out to them. We wanted to make sure that there was something for everyone at our Web site-as well as getting the educational message across.

Another challenge presented in building the new Bausch & Lomb site was to provide the company with an image that could easily translate-with ease and flexibility-to the Web sites used by its locations in different countries, such as Malaysia and Germany. “There is a need for Bausch & Lomb to maintain the look and feel and brand identity on a global level,” explains Dawn Sevene, Senior Web Developer for the company.

This is where the Blue Fish team stepped into the Bausch & Lomb picture. “At first we thought the redesign would go through a single design agency,” explains Granville, “but then we realized that we needed a team that had expertise with EMC’s Documentum.” Though Bausch & Lomb already was using an earlier version of Documentum-the content management system that manages volumes of valuable corporate data (think: towering sheaves of documents numbering in hundreds of thousands)-the company didn’t use the system efficiently. In fact, many of the Bausch & Lomb business users didn’t believe that Documentum was the right solution for their corporate needs. “Blue Fish took the extra step in providing comparative analysis in order to demonstrate how it would work for us,” explains Granville. “They didn’t need to do that, but they did.”

After the parameters of the Web site were defined, Blue Fish collaborated with a design firm, creating templates as well as an effective content management system. For example, if a business user within Bausch & Lomb wants to create a new page related to a specific eye care product, he or she can now easily create that page with a template provided by Blue Fish. After the page is created, the rest of site automatically updates-the site map, product listing, and navigation, among other site components-so that all of the content remains consistent throughout the entire Web site. “Now, users can publish their own content easily,” explains Sevene, who worked closely with the Blue Fish team on the project. “The difference is amazing.”

Within months, Blue Fish also provided global technology to support a range of Web site functionality that could be easily utilized by offices throughout the world. Currently, the new site has been launched in the United States and Canada (in both English and French). By the conclusion of the international rollout, an estimated 30 updated Web sites will be up and running, servicing 120 regions. Plans are in motion to launch other redesigned sites in European countries later in 2006, and the remaining areas throughout the world in 2007. “This will allow us to have same level of authorship and ownership with the international sites as we do with the U.S. site,” explains Granville.

“Blue Fish was an outstanding resource-their attention to detail, their knowledge of the Documentum system, their assistance in helping us with different situations,” Granville adds of his experience of working with Blue Fish. “Throughout the project, we felt like Blue Fish’s most important customer. Even though I know they have several other customers, it felt like we were the only one.

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