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Our work

Bayer Consumer Health - 400 sites, 1 platform

  • Efficiency savings of $15 million over 3 years
  • 460+ sites for 20+ brands migrated in 18 months
  • 1 Drupal low-code platform
  • Marketing enablement for brand and market teams


The Situation

With 170 brands globally on a platform coming to EOL, Bayer Consumer Health needed to re-platform in very tight timescales. And with search and user behaviour driving new expectations, Bayer needed a platform that would set each brand’s content strategies free.

How do you re-platform dozens of consumer brands, with unique visual identities, in 50+ languages, covering 400+ sites in 18 months, while creating an enhancement capability that allows the platform to evolve and maximise ROI?


A group of devices showing different web pages from the Bayer websites.

The Challenge

Bayer faced a change program of huge scale and complexity. Each brand has its own content strategy, audience profile, functionality, visual identity, regulatory needs, language and market presence. Meanwhile, consumer expectations drive the need to create consistent user experience, search visibility, accessibility and device support. Operationally, the business needs to be able to publish on-demand at market level, while managing risk and cost (security, technical debt, architecture) centrally

The Ask

Acquia and Coherence took the visuals for 23 brands and created a common design system using their underlying patterns. We then built this into a primary design system in Site Studio, using Site Factory to deliver a platform driving each market site from the central code base. All accessibility, user experience and responsive behaviour sit in the primary, with brand specific settings set in configuration at site level - centralising governance, and decentralising nuances and communication

Our Solution

    "coherence logo"

    We created a Master Design System that was composed of ready to use layout patterns alongside templates for different types of content. The Site Studio Style Guide Manager allowed multi-brand theming through a user-friendly interface allowing for flexibility within guard rails.

    The design system was thoroughly documented in a Functional Design Specification which was continuously kept up to date alongside every sprint to capture changes and new features.

    All design patterns were created within Sketch to use as a base for the documentation. The Sketch file was shared with design agencies to give them a head start on design work. This ensured agencies were set up for success and greatly limited deviations from the design system during rollout.

    Training and ongoing support for both design and build agencies was a priority throughout the rollout to ensure timelines didn't slip.

    "drupal 9 logo"

    Drupal  CMS
    The estate was migrated to Drupal which meant reduced licencing and technical management costs while allowing low-code editing to market level publishers.

    Our engineers worked closely with Acquia to ensure all back end solutions integrated with Site Studio and established a package deployment workflow allowing platform-wide updates to be delivered seamlessly.

    "acquia site studio logo"

    Acquia Site Studio
    The Master Design System was built in Acquia Site Studio to allow low-code editing for market-level publishers. Global teams are able to publish, build pages and edit when they wish, but with guardrails so they can't go off-road.

    This transformed speed to market as there was no longer reliance on technical or agency teams to make changes. It delivered real digital efficiencies and marketing agilities, followed by a global roll-out to global agency brand partners.

    430 +

    sites migrated


    unique brands


    increase in speed to market




    shift in organic traffic


    platform to manage

    and evolve

    We had a very aggressive timeline... ...and I have to say, Coherence really know what they're doing.

    David Addeo, Program Lead

    Success through partnership

    This program was about people as much as technology. Bayer created one team across Coherence, Acquia, the brands and their agencies, focused on a goal with huge ambition. They redefined ‘governance’ as the capability for flexibility, nimbleness and innovation for a diverse global community of brands, without losing performance. Communication was key as well as, training, enablement and commitment to working in partnership.

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