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Engaging teens with PKU for Nutricia

The Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition division offers a wide range of specialized nutrition products and services for the health care sector. Nutricia develops science-based innovative nutrition to address the needs of patients for whom a normal diet is insufficient or unsuitable. Nutricia wanted a deep dive into the world of teens with Phenylketonuria (PKU). PKU is a rare condition – a baby is born without the ability to properly break down an amino acid called phenylalanine. Nutricia’s challenge to engage with these teens led to 3 objectives:

  • Understand the day-to-day reality of teens with PKU
  • Understand the drivers and barriers for compliance with the diet
  • Learn how to communicate and engage with teens with PKU

What did we do?

InSites Consulting set up a 3-week Consumer Consulting Board (also known as online research community), based on an extensive multi-channel recruitment strategy, to engage these busy teens wherever they were (e.g. through their smartphone, on Facebook, on PKU forums, at annual patient days, etc.)

  • Mixed methods for rich feedback: we included 1-on-1 interviews with teens, 1 online Discussion Group method to evaluate communication concepts, 7 personal blog assignments and 11 group assignments to get rich feedback about the daily life of these PKU teens.
  • Intensive interaction leads to engagement: during this intense process we used regular ‘feeling reports’, invited Nutricia brand managers to participate in the research and ran an interactive workshop to prioritise insights exploration half way through the community.

Nutricia PKU & You community

The results

PKU teens are as busy teens who want to live a normal life, but they are not normal. Many insights have been shared with Nutricia recommending a full engagement strategy.

How did the client experience it?

“We learned that engaging with these special teens is emotional and how they think about diet is much more complex and less clinical than we had realised before. This has been a big learning for us – and immediately changed the way we engaged with these consumers in a multi-channel way”
Sarah Manley, Marketing Manager Metabolics at Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition