Competitive intelligence on a ICU/CCU product’s new feature

November 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM 1 comment

A client’s competitor recently introduced a new feature for a medical device commonly used in hospitals’ critical care units (CCUs).  This feature enables nurses to quickly and accurately verify proper insertion of the device, saving nursing time, improving patient comfort and enhancing outcomes.  The device’s manufacturer controls the lion’s share of the market and has leveraged its market strength and the benefits of its new feature to convert many customers over to their new product.

We were asked by our client to gather competitive intelligence on this new feature to:

  • Determine whether adapting the new feature to fit their own device is a customer requirement
  • Assess how our client should best position its device, modified to mimic the competitor’s features, to gain market share
  • Identify the sales and marketing messages that will most effectively convey the benefits of our client’s improved version of the new feature

Using our RapidAccess® database, MedSpan Research quickly recruited and gathered feedback from CCU nurses.  We first conducted a few in-person dyads with CCU nurses.  In-person dyads enabled the nurses to visually and tactically explore the competitor’s product.   The in-person dyads enabled MedSpan Research and our clients to watch how CCU nurses use the new feature.  The dyads also enabled those CCU nurses who have not used the competitor’s product to handle it and provide unbiased first impressions.

MedSpan Research followed the dyads with a series of one-on-one telephone interviews with other CCU nurses.  The telephone interviews economically added depth and breadth to our data collection and analysis.

We discovered that almost all CCU nurses have a positive perception of the competing product’s new feature.  The CCU nurses appreciate the device’s reliability, improved safety, ease of use and comfort benefits.   As a result, almost all CCU nurses support a small price premium for the new feature.   To encourage conversion to the new device, our client’s competitor provided free educational in-services and offered the new feature at almost no price premium compared to the current product.

Based on the study, our client adapted its competitor’s new feature to their own device to remain competitive.  To stay ahead of their competitor, MedSpan Research advised our client to incorporate several improvements recommended by the CCU nurses.  In addition to a clearer strategy, our client now has a solid foundation of user-generated product strengths they can emphasize in future marketing campaigns for their product.

MedSpan Research frequently conducts competitive intelligence studies for medical device manufacturers.  We have exceptional access to senior executives, key decision makers, and experienced clinicians at hospitals and alternate sites of care, which helps us deliver expert insights.  Through the results of this study, our client now has first-hand intelligence from primary users of a competitor’s new product.  They can now respond by incorporating the feature into their own product, improving upon the feature’s weaknesses and crafting their marketing messages to capture a greater share of the market.

Author:  Ken Chiang


Entry filed under: Hospital Care, Medical Device.

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