Fueling Healthcare Innovation through Venture Design

“The Design Collaborative extends Pfizer Consumer Healthcare’s innovation capabilities by tapping into the creativity and design expertise at frog.”
Suneet Varma, president and general manager, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare
Leveraging our corporate venture building capabilities, frog partnered with Pfizer Consumer Healthcare to rapidly develop new, scalable consumer healthcare businesses, well outside of their original core offering.

Beginning in March 2016, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (PCH) partnered with frog to establish the Design Collaborative, an innovation accelerator for the consumer health space. frog’s Venture Design principles, derived from many years of experience working as founders and with other entrepreneurs, guided the creation of the Design Collaborative. The joint initiative accelerated the development of new health solutions for consumers in the areas of sleep tracking and improvement, stress and energy management, nutrition and aging, among others. PCH and frog worked together to identify a range of opportunities within these target areas, select those most useful for empowering consumers to take health and wellness into their own hands, then structure both the offerings and business models around them.

The Design Collaborative was jointly staffed by frog and PCH, with key members co-located to ensure continuous engagement, strategic alignment and creative intensity. PCH team members rapidly adopted frog’s venture approach, favoring dynamic progress over rigid process, and leveraging customer insights to support accelerated decision making.

In nine months, the Design Collaborative delivered six new, refined and scalable business concepts that advanced Pfizer’s organizational goals and served as a beacon for innovation throughout the company.

A Venture Design Approach
When frog and PCH partnered to launch The Design Collaborative, the team drew on frog’s Venture Design practice. First, they got to work identifying the target areas for innovation. They then tapped into design methodologies proven to achieve rapid, scalable business impact, leading to informed decisions about potential new opportunities.
Simulating Customer Experiences
The Design Collaborative used ‘experience simulation’ prototypes to validate opportunities with target customers. These empirical tests kept designers and developers tangibly immersed in the product experiences, and ensured customer needs stayed at the center of all decision making.
Making It Real
After developing over 40 product & service concepts—each delivering new value in key consumer-focused areas—the Design Collaborative brought forward six new business opportunities to key stakeholders. Each was anchored in a large, unmet need, and presented with a clear business case for bringing to market.
The Design Collaborative demonstrates the value of corporate venture building in enabling even the Fortune 50 to step beyond their prior boundaries and begin shifting their center of gravity to a next generation of core businesses.
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