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Case Study

Merck Sharp & Dohme

  • Chalfont, PA
  • Product Design
  • Product Naming
  • Digital Marketing
  • Print
Founded in 1950 as The Drug Workers Federal Credit Union serving employees of pharmaceutical manufacturer Sharp & Dohme, today Merck Sharp & Dohme FCU (MSD) is one of the largest credit unions in Pennsylvania serving over 28,000 members and more than 400 SEGs.
We’ve worked with MSD on an assortment of projects, including member-facing campaigns and landing page series development, since 2015. From messaging to product design, a diversified FOM, which prominently features Merck & Company employees, remains a key influencer in our work and how it’s crafted.
In late 2019, we were tasked with developing a brand and launch strategy for a custom Signature Rewards card to join their quiver of VISA offerings. From initial conception, to naming, product design and campaign strategy, every cue from their target membership was considered.
Certainly, a Signature Rewards card would be the perfect addition to their plastics suite, offering members in good standing with a top-tier option. But finding a similar credit card in the ever-growing sea of cards out there is extremely easy to do. It seems that every financial institution offers a competing card with somewhat similar benefits. And, of course, national players are tremendously influential and spend billions advertising their cards. Bottom line: There were multiple challenges involved for the successful launch of this card.
Establishing this credit card as a high-end card, with a brand that is completely proprietary to MSD FCU members, gave it the cachet ideal for the credit union’s FOM. Pair this branded card with offers such as bonus CURewards® points and 0% APR for 12 months on both purchases and balance transfers made within the first three months, and you’ve got a card that functions as beautifully as it is beautiful. You’ve got a card with vigor™.
By the numbers
One year goals


new cards


in approved credit lines


in balance transfers
Three month results


new cards


in approved credit lines


in balance transfers
Introduced in late May, 2020, vigor™ is just that—a truly vigor-ous card, full of strength (spending power), vitality (rewards) and energy (0% APR for 12 months). And, it looks the part, too. We designed vigor™ using deep saturated colors and a slight metallic coating, which gives it shine inside the wallet and out. On top of that, it’s a card that only Merck Sharp & Dohme FCU members have access to.
In a time when the credit card market is more competitive than ever, offering a truly special card to your members—one that provides both form and function—sends the message that this credit union truly “gets” its members and has its members’ backs.
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