eLabNext – The Next Big Step in Life Science Lab Automation
Ten years ago, two PhD students, at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, realized that they needed software to make their life science lab work faster and more efficiently, and that together they had the IT skills and the experience of biological research to develop the software themselves. Their software worked very well and kept getting better. They called it eLABJournal, and soon founded a company called Bio-ITech to bring it to market. It is now popular with many thousands of scientists around the world. In 2017, Eppendorf, a leading life science company, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, bought a majority stake in Bio-ITech, and helped us establish another office in Cambridge, Massachusetts to serve the North American market. It has been a wild and exciting ride, and the growing team has been running hard just to keep up.
Our first challenge was confusion between the company name of Bio-ITech and the very strong product names built on the eLab root—eLabJournal, eLabInventory, and eLabProtocols. The majority of organic search traffic used “eLab” among the search terms—clearly eLab was key to the company’s identity, not just to the products. We needed to clarify and strengthen the brands, thus to rebrand the business!
In April 2021, we will begin doing business as eLabNext. Many people know us as eLab, and our products harmonize completely: eLabJournal, eLabInventory, and eLabProtocols.
Next stands for innovation and the coming generations of products. Along with the new naming goes a resonant new brand identity, including a common hexagonal icon for all the products, with unique identifiers for each product in particular. The hexagonal icon shape is common to the eLabNext logo and each of the product logos, attesting to the interoperability of all our products, while the conspicuous circles and links in the eLabNext logo confirm that the entire system operates in a secure network, assuring users: Your data is safe and secure with us.
The new brand architecture is future-proof in that it embodies the foundation for future growth. The brand hierarchy is both simple and flexible, allowing us to improve our products, develop new products and add-ons, and create new integrations, all under the eLabNext umbrella, which will expand with growth of the company.
Over the course of time, we had developed several standalone websites to introduce the company and describe the products. That was confusing, and we clearly needed to develop a single, concerted new website, enabled and enlivened by the rebranding. We hired an expert in life science marketing to work with us on the brand strategy and the new website. Together, we analyzed the life science laboratory markets and listened to our customers—and our own customer account managers—about their needs, experiences, and ideas for our products and services, and about the way we communicate.
The new eLabNext website and mobile apps will launch our future brand architecture, enhanced by a vital, resonant brand identity. eLabNext users will have simple, seamless, safe, and secure access from any device to any authorized lab and project. It will also provide a focused but comprehensive trove of information and assistance on all aspects of life science lab digitization, from product help and implementation advice to videos, webinars, white papers, case studies, and journal articles.