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case studies

National Campaign to Drive Awareness and Expansion of Hospital Services


A leading regional physician partnership committed to grow its contract-based services on a national level. The first critical step was to identify, segment, and deeply understand their target market of hospital executives.


How We Worked Together

We provided strategic and tactical direction to develop a branded marketing and PR campaign to support the business development team. We delivered recommendations based on learning from:

  • Telephone depth interviews (TDIs) with Client's internal business development stakeholders (“sellers”) and hospital executive decision makers (“buyers”)

  • National, web-based qual/quant survey



  • Differentiated priorities and pain points by hospital market segment – what executive-level decision makers and influencers need and prioritize during their complex customer journey

  • Provided a segmented set of customer-centric perspectives and mindsets to optimize the Client’s value proposition, tailor messaging, and design a PR campaign to build awareness

  • Approximated the Client’s baseline level of national awareness and identified key benchmarks for tracking progress in meeting milestones for awareness and growth

Small City Is Positioned to Become a Branded Destination



To position itself as a vibrant destination attractive to residents, business owners, and visitors, a small U.S. city needed to deeply understand the experiences, perceptions, and viewpoints of a broad cross-section of stakeholder groups. Customer insights were critical to developing the City’s value proposition, marketing strategies, and brand collateral by the agency’s team.


How We Worked Together

Taking a design thinking approach, we partnered with the Agency team on various phases of research, which were mostly location based, including:

  • Client discovery session

  • Individual depth interviews (IDIs) with City and community leaders

  • IDIs with visitors and residents

  • Web-based survey of residents, business owners, and executives of nonprofit organizations that serve the City

  • Workshop with City leaders

  • Community leaders focus group

  • Social media content analysis


  • Identified and clarified diverse priorities, aspirations, perceptions, and touchpoints among multiple stakeholder groups

  • Provided clear stakeholder-centered perspectives to minimize risk of investing in high-stakes initiatives to drive future economic growth and quality of life

Engineering Firm Develops Digital Solution for Worker Safety in Manufacturing



An innovative engineer wanted to overcome design flaws and human obstacles to implementing OSHA-required safety protocols in a range of manufacturing environments. He needed to better understand the current practices, priorities, and pain points among diverse user groups–individuals who develop, review, administer, train, and/or interface with safety protocols directly or indirectly.  


How We Worked Together

We provided insights to guide the design and development of the new programmable safety system based on learning from:

  • A national, mobile-friendly, web-based survey



  • Validated some and challenged other hypotheses about current safety protocols

  • Differentiated priorities and pain points by user group

  • Clarified the importance and usefulness (utility and usability) of features and benefits of existing safety protocols

  • Identified areas to evaluate for fail-safe integration of people, process, and technology in the context of design thinking

B2B Barter Network Gains Traction in New Market after Initial Failure



After an unsuccessful attempt to expand nationally, the founder of an award-winning, web-based B2B barter network turned to his customers for feedback for the first time. He needed to understand the needs, journey, and experiences of customers in different markets before revising his plans to expand.


How We Worked Together

Taking a design thinking approach, we implemented several phases of research:

  • Focus groups with customers and prospects in the new market

  • Telephone depth interviews (TDIs) with customers in established markets

  • National web-based mini-survey on options for new company name

  • Web-based industry and competitive intelligence for a comprehensive review as context for SWOT analysis and strategic planning

  • Stakeholder workshop to prioritize key issues and actions

  • Stakeholder ideation session on a new company name



  • Validated some, and challenged other, hypotheses about lack of traction in a new market

  • Delivered a customer-centric view of perceptions, touchpoints, and pain points in established and newer markets as a guide to planning

  • Provided market intelligence and customer insight to support the Client’s successful bid for funding by a global investor

State Credit Unions Prepare to Grow Market Share in Personal Financial Services



A state credit union league wanted to help affiliates compete favorably with banks and specialty lenders in the market for personal financial services–auto loans, mortgages, checking, credit cards, and investments. The League also wanted to better understand how technology has changed the way top competitors attract, engage and retain customers.


How We Worked Together

We conducted a comprehensive review of current financial products and services available statewide to consumers, and how these are marketed overall and by top competitors in each district. We focused our analysis on learning from:

  • Web-based competitive intelligence



  • Delivered a benchmark of existing and innovative consumer-centered products, services, and marketing practices, noting the different supporting roles of technology

  • Provided customized, strategic road maps by state and by district that differentiated trends, highlighted innovations, and identified actionable opportunities to compete favorably in the current market

  • Provided scalable project and process insights to support the Client’s presentation to a national audience of credit union executives

Top-Tier Business School Repositions Its Brand in Changing Market



A top-tier, globally recognized U.S. graduate business school re-examined its value position and brand image relative to a selected group of top competitors in the market for world-class business education. The client first needed to understand the current perspectives of the diverse stakeholders, constituents, and communities it has served, such as MBA students, executive education sponsors, and recruiters. Could an authentic core belief exist among all customer segments regarding the value of this one top-tier school?


How We Worked Together

We partnered with the business school's marketing agency on the first phase of research, which focused on existing sponsors of executive education for employees. We designed and conducted:

  • Telephone in-depth interviews (TDIs) with global business executives who previously sponsored executive education for promising corporate employees



  • Provided deep insights into the journey of a key customer segment, which set the stage for successive research among several other customer segments

  • Developed frameworks to update the school's value position and to identify drivers of perceived differences between the school and its top competitors

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