Blue Latitude Health has landed in the USA

Blue Latitude Health|13th July 2016

For 13 years, Blue Latitude Health have helped our global clients navigate through the complexities of healthcare, implementing a diverse range of global, regional, and local strategies. And now, we’re bringing that expertise and heritage to New York City.

Our co-founders, Martin Brass and Fred Bassett, sat down to talk through the decision to expand across the pond, and what Blue Latitude Health are bringing with us as we start this new chapter.

Before we dive into the New York questions, can you talk us through Blue Latitude Health’s heritage a little? How did BLH get to be 58 staff across four capabilities in 2016 from a two-man team at a kitchen table in 2003?

Blue Latitude was set up as a strategic marketing consultancy, providing inspiration and direction to a range of clients. And our original name – Blue Latitude – is a combination of inspiration and direction. ‘Latitude’ suggests an understanding of navigation and an ability to see the whole picture. In essence, it says that we know where we’re going and how to get there. ‘Blue’ is a reference to creative thinking, or ‘blue sky thinking’.

Over the last 13 years, the company has grown into a creative marketing consultancy by bringing in new skills and capabilities as our clients’ needs have evolved. In 2010, we added customer experience to our capability set as our clients became more interested in customer engagement and service design. And in 2013, our creative services team was built from the ground up in response to our clients’ desire to have us take over the production of creative assets and campaign collateral.

Now, in 2016, a new two-man team is taking Blue Latitude Health to the US. Managing Consultant James Atherton (our US office VP) and Consultant David Cooney have that same entrepreneurial spirit that led us to create Blue Latitude back in 2003. They might have an office instead of a kitchen table, but they’re building from the ground up, and they’ll be growing the New York business in addition to supporting our existing clients in a more responsive way.

What is the Blue Latitude Health USA difference?

By combining the commercial vision of a consultancy with the creativity of an agency, BLH aims to combine the best attributes from both. We bring both logic and magic.

We have a boutique offering, tailoring our approach, helping our clients tackle the difficult challenges and make strategic decisions that help them win. 

For each client project we bring together a team from our four capabilities – insight, strategy, customer experience and creative services – that first define, and then solve, the client’s challenge. We focus on both effectiveness (increasing engagement) and increasing efficiency (saving costs).  We deliver results to the bottom line.

Because we’re fully independent - owned and run by our founders - we’re not tied to any particular technology or third party suppliers. We work under one P&L (so we can avoid the usual network agency dog and pony show routine) and are always free to do what’s best for our clients.

We also have over 10 years of experience working at the global, regional, and local level – we have worked globally and regionally and across all major territories - including Europe (M5, Nordics, Benelux), Canada, North America, South America, Australia, Japan and Korea. This gives us a unique, global perspective to take with us to the US, where we will be working on global and regional launches initially.

What challenges do Blue Latitude Health address for clients?

Although we can now offer a full range of services from research and strategy through customer experience and creative execution, opening an office in the US enables us to get back to our core competencies in healthcare. Initially, our primary offering in the US will be focussed on positioning and messaging as well as brand strategy and service design. 

Some of the practical ways we have helped our clients include:

One of the best examples of our work is Eli Lilly and Company’s medical cascade project, for which we won a PMEA Innovation award with Lilly’s global medical information team. We designed and delivered an award winning medical information service that has helped drive value and satisfaction for customers whilst also substantially reducing costs. Lilly is our longest standing client - we have worked with them at a global, regional and local level for over 12 years.

We have also done some great work in positioning, repositioning, and launching in-market products to maximise commercial potential, both at a global and regional level.

Why open an office in New York City, and why now?

We’re opening the New York office to better service our existing clients and to hopefully engage with new ones. We’re focussed on deepening and broadening existing contacts (as we have already worked with 15 of the top 25 global pharma companies), and building new relationships in both pharma and the wider life science and healthcare sectors.

We chose New York City as opposed to other US cities for a number of reasons – but one of the big reasons was the vibrancy and energy of the city itself. It is, after all, the city that never sleeps and where anything is possible. We will also have access to a wealth of talented people from research, strategy, and design – both as partners in innovation and as employees as our business continues to grow.

On a more personal note, the New York office brings Martin’s career full circle – he got his start working in the music industry there, and lived in the Big Apple for 11 years before returning to the UK and moving into digital and strategy. 

And last, but certainly not least, New York brings us closer to our key clients in New Jersey, New England, and the mid-west so that we are better able to work responsively with them.


To learn more about the dynamic duo heading up our US operations, read our interview with James Atherton and David Cooney here.

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