No More One-Way Streets

Here is a link to a video via Logic + Emotion about a little company called Adaptive Path. I am familiar with the organization via DiabetesMine.com who last year in a bold and creative move and a real sign of social media being a conversation, issued a challenge to Steve Jobs from Apple to design a blood glucose meter. While Steve Jobs didn't take up the challenge, Adaptive Path did and came up with a compelling design idea.

It is a strong signal that consumers can influence design and to me, a further sign that organizations of all kinds need to incorporate the voice of the customer into their product design. The product driven organizations who are steeped in R&D and don't elect to or choose to ignore the voice of their customer will do so at there own peril. The companies that are marketing driven and actively listen to their customers will in the end succeed.

For most health care organizations that means jumping on the bandwagon ASAP to at least understand what is being said. I've referred to a few ways in the past here.

With the rapid rise of bloggers in specific disease states I see companies partnering with them to develop consumer driven Key Opinion Leader (KOL) forums. This is common for health care organizations to work closely with physicians for consulting, research and influence. So, if there two spheres of influence are consumers and HCPs, it only makes sense that organizations will begin to embrace the consumer more in their product development and planning.

Embracing this consumer driven approach makes sense on many levels, however it will remain to be seen whether this is taken up. I would hazard to guess that consumer driven health related products and organizations will be doing this very soon. It makes for better products, better marketing opportunities and mitigates risk because you can have consumer input early on in the product development process and you develop loyal customers who leverage word of mouth to help with marketing. Win, Win, Win.


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