Case Study

McNeil Consumer Healthcare

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Treating common ailments can feel like adding insult to injury.

Objective: Enhance the treatment experience for consumers who suffer from a common ailment.

Result: Key Learning about experiencing and treating ailments, and 9 new delivery and usage solutions that make treatment more pleasant.

Background: This project began with a client's vision. Dr. Steve Wiet is a Consumer Psychologist and recently-retired Global Director of OTC Consumer Sciences at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Inc.—McNeil Consumer Healthcare. Prior to retirement, he was responsible for leading R&D activities that enhance consumer understanding, translating consumer insights into new healthcare products, and optimizing the aesthetic features of these products. He also was a leader in developing and sustaining an innovative R&D culture responsible for driving the generation and commercialization of new healthcare solutions.

Dr. Wiet has participated in a more than a dozen Ideas To Go projects—15, to be precise. His deep understanding of the creative process provided the spark for their latest project—an effort to make the treatment of a common ailment more pleasant. And because Johnson & Johnson Consumer Healthcare knows they offer an experience, not just a product, Dr. Wiet envisioned an iterative project with ideas and feedback from creative and articulate consumers throughout the concept development process.

To make this vision a reality, he came to Ideas To Go to collaborate on a design that wove consumer input throughout the session. So, we used a collaborative process both to design the workshop and to execute the objective. The process looked like this:

  • Creative Consumers® associates, all of whom suffer from and treat a common condition, prepared a homework assignment to get the project off to a strong start.
  • This assignment revealed 4 Target Opportunity Areas for enhanced delivery and usage experiences.
  • Clients and Creative Consumers® associates worked together in small teams to design devices that met the needs and wishes of the end user.
  • As each idea was developed, it was sent to an online team of Creative Consumers® associates from across the country. These consumers, who also live with and treat the ailment, gave a Forness® response to their favorite ideas, detailing what they liked about the idea and suggestions for making it even better. These responses were returned to the development team to inform the device optimization.
  • 3 artists worked to sketch the devices, as directed by the small teams.
  • Client team members then used this consumer feedback to optimize, select high interest ideas, and write 9 Concept Outlines.

The clients walked away with a deeper understanding of their consumers’ needs and 9 illustrated, insight-grounded concepts for R&D with detailed descriptions, key consumer benefits, notes on design options, and rationale for development.

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