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Erdmann Design explores circular economy concepts as trend in medical innovation
Product design agency Erdmann Design AG has applied its Human Centered Design methodologies to help world-leading healthcare companies incorporate circular economy concepts of building recycling and reuse into basic product design and development, along with marketing.
In its collaboration with Janssen and Johnson & Johnson, Erdmann HCD design team mapped out an end-to-end approach to sustainability opportunities, with innovative product design based on new ways of thinking about packaging and design for disassembly of devices after use for recycling.
End to end approach
HCD design team mapped out an end-to-end approach to sustainability opportunities, with innovative autoinjector product design based on clinical insides and new ways of thinking about interaction, packaging and design for disassembly of devices after use for recycling.
The program designed by Erdmann encompassed training, internal media, events and culture change initiatives to achieve total alignment of the sustainability vision across the organisations.
Aligning internal and external values
In meeting the challenges of extending the JnJ Safe Return program for medical single use devices such as pharma autoinjectors, Erdmann designers needed to consider the relationship between end-user needs (value need, expected value, perceived value) with those of the internal marketing dynamics of value proposition, designed value and consumer value.
This Gap Analysis made clear that the development for recycling program’s customer centered design needed to focus on the disconnects between perceived and customer value, in the implementation of customer value into the product design and in ensuring that the perceived value aligned with expected patient value .
Closing the Satisfaction Gap
In tangible terms, these needed to be addressed through effective product design (e.g. colors and recyclable materials), education and information, as well as closing the Satisfaction Gap through actions such as 100% reassurance on sustainability policies, eliminating oversized packaging and plastic waste and ensuring marketing was supported by trust marks, clear narrative storyline, using straightforward and simple wording.
Mapping the detailed changes and actions needed revealed that the overall sustainability and carbon footprint reduction program would need to extend into almost every area of marketing. Identified action areas includes ‘making the packaging speak for itself’ through creative product design, provoking changes in patient behaviour, including a smartphone app, and helping employees become influencers through focused e-training and events.
The resulting Action Map defined an end to end process from defining the Sustainability goal, through product design development (focusing on packaging changes) that would enable both external and internal marketing communications. The former would focus on content that would position J&J Janssen as sustainability experts while the internal communications strand focused on allowing employees to become influencers. The communications worked in synergy to align cause with commitment to change end-user perceptions and thus increase brand value.
The project was able to take advantage of the Erdmann Design Approach with its emphasis on human centered innovation is one of the central pillars of design innovation, combining strategic planning, experience mapping and market insights.