Category Expertise

Check out brief case summaries of exemplary projects we have completed over the years, organized by category.

Working with OTC, pharmaceutical, and health & beauty clients, we have explored a wide range of conditions and treatments from the serious (cancer, migraines, COPD, overactive bladder, etc.) to the everyday (skincare, shaving, feminine hygiene, etc.).

  • Diabetes. PortiCo helped a pharmaceutical company that produces diabetes treatments understand why patients resisted using insulin and made recommendations that directly informed their advertising, patient information, and HCP education.
  • Chronic Dry Eye. We explored the differing experiences and attitudes about eyecare for different age groups, identifying the key motivators and barriers they have for addressing their eye condition, helping the client tailor their messaging.
  • Multiple Sclerosis. We developed distinct profiles of different MS patient segments, including attitudes about their HCPs, influence of their caregivers, and involvement of support groups, to help understand how they obtain information and consider new options.
  • Hand Sanitizer. In a global study PortiCo explored the cultural beliefs and rituals around “germs”, uncovering that the client’s hand-sanitizing product was viewed as a sort of “spirit” that offered magical protection.

PortiCo has conducted automotive research for American, Asian and European manufacturers and their strategic agencies across all model types (sports cars, trucks, luxury, SUVs, sedans, etc.).

  • “Tuner” Culture. For a Japanese car manufacturer, we went out into the streets and garages to observe how “tuners” race and modify their cars with aftermarket products.
  • Millennial Parents. As part of a new minivan design initiative, PortiCo helped a major American automaker understand how Millennials operate as they become parents and look to “move their family”
  • Near Luxury Sedan. Our Japanese sedan manufacturer client commissioned us to tease out the delicate balance of their Near Luxury customer (who want to get attention for their life successes without “showing off”) in order to communicate a message of “grounded aspiration”.
  • Aging Drivers. PortiCo interviewed (and drove with) 65+ year-olds in order to understand the changing needs and frustrations facing older drivers, providing our client with numerous design challenges for their long-term vehicle development.

Some of our most meaningful work has been to help social service organizations (CDC, Chicago Public Schools, truth, etc.) better understand and serve their target population.

  • Childhood Obesity. We explored the day-to-day lives of preteens to understand the real-life dynamics of their physical activity – in their family, the school, their community, etc. – to help the CDC develop a program and message that motivates parents and their kids to be more active.
  • Teen Pregnancy. Through our research for the National Council on Pregnancy Prevention, we revealed how teens who get pregnant today are often pressured to have unprotected sex by their partners, shifting the conversation on how to reach these young women (and their partners).
  • Teen Suicide. We explored the network of social influencers within the daily lives of teens facing emotional/life challenges in order to identify the various relationships and to prioritize those people who can truly influence a teen in crisis.

From international travel to local hotels, PortiCo has explored the dynamic world of travel – why people are so driven to travel, what they want to get out of their experiences, how they record/share their trips and what processes help make for great travel.

  • Family Adventure Travel. Our client had recently introduced “adventure travel” for families and asked us to develop a detailed profile of this target family, including the nuanced needs/expectations of each family member.
  • International Business Travel. We accompanied seasoned business travelers on international trips (starting at their homes while they packed, checking in at the airport, flying with them, and ending at their hotel) in order to map out their “journey” with specific pain points that our global airline client could address with new products/procedures.
  • Multi-Brand Hotelier. An international hotel company with multiple brands commissioned us to profile their differing target customers in order to develop more unique offerings and messaging – balancing a global story with local culture and experiences.