Pharma Ingredients: Convincing your boss

A New Product Blueprinting Case Story



This Fortune 500 supplier of excipients (inactive pharmaceutical ingredients) had talked about entering a certain pharmaceutical market segment for years. But they lacked confidence they could win against tough competition, so they had never “pulled the trigger.”


When a new marketing manager joined the company, she targeted this market segment almost immediately. She and her team began by conducting qualitative Discovery interviews of key potential customers. With Blueprinting methodology, the interviewing team’s notes are projected on the screen: Customers were able to correct their notes and became highly engaged.

The team then conducted Preference interviews, getting importance and satisfaction 1-to-10 ratings on ten customer outcomes. Because the properties of the finished pharmaceutical product were strictly regulated, these outcomes were all process-related, not product-related. Some outcomes were of little interest to customers in this market, but fortunately some scored high Market Satisfaction Gaps.


The team uncovered four process-related outcomes that scored Market Satisfaction Gaps in excess of 30%… indicating the market was eager for change on these. This was the “hard” data the management team needed to see… because it came directly from the customers without filtering or bias. The team was given the green light to proceed into the development stage, and went on to launch a highly successful new product.


New Product Blueprinting interviews help you convince two key stakeholders. First, they engage customers in the process… essentially “priming” them to buy your new product when it is developed later. And in this case, the unbiased, hard data from Preference interviews were used to convince management to proceed into the product development stage.