CASE STUDY

Patient Advocacy Organization Receives a Human-Centered Brand Refresh

FORWARD
The National Databank for Rheumatic Diseases

For the Sake of Research

FORWARD (formerly the National Databank for Rheumatic Diseases, or NDB) is the largest patient-reported research Databank for rheumatic disorders in the United States. As its name implies, FORWARD exists to advance research and discovery in Rheumatology with a strong track record of important research publications and major interests in treatment, social medicine, work disability, and the social consequences of illness.

Strategic Foundation

  • Design Thinking
  • Ethnography
  • Strategic Co-Creation & Design

Deliverables & Tactics

  • Human-Centric Brand Audit
  • Creative Identity and Brand Story
  • Custom Publication
  • Collateral & Web Design
  • Experiential Design
  • Documentary Filmmaking
PROGRAM OVERVIEW

FORWARD’s emphasis on human connections and deep insights brought them together with LIFT, where the partnership has strived to grow its Databank, brand, and impact.

OBJECTIVE

To grow and retain patients and sites participating in its Databank for rheumatic diseases. To implement a long-term growth strategy determined by ethnographic research and insights derived from RA patients, physicians, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies. 

Stakeholder engagement, DESIGNED.

From a comprehensive suite of site recruitment materials to human-centered and empathic participant communications, all of FORWARD’s brand touchpoints were thoughtfully re-crafted to maximize effectiveness and cohesion with its new identity. From a comprehensive suite of site recruitment materials to human-centered and empathic participant communications, all of FORWARD’s brand touchpoint were thoughtfully re-crafted to maximize effectiveness and cohesion with its new identity.

GOALS
  • Acquire new sites to participate in the study by promoting a multi-faceted value proposition 
  • Activate and retain current and future participants by employing a human-centric content strategy 
  • Create a research-based growth strategy for the Databank in years to come
TARGETED AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Stakeholder Outreach and Engagement (Site Recruitment)
  • Patient Education and Activation
  • Ethnographic research and design thinking partnership
CHALLENGES

Growth and attrition are challenges for any patient registry, and FORWARD is no different. This reality, combined with the economics of operating a not-for-profit research organization and an increasingly competitive (and, in some cases, profit-driven) landscape has forced the organization to take a critical look at how it can advance its business objectives without compromising its core mission and values. 

METHOD

Lift has leveraged the insights we uncovered through research with Rheumatoid Arthritis patients to design patient education, messaging, and content in virtually every project undertaken with FORWARD. From quarterly participant publications (FORWARD Magazine) to data tracking and a comprehensive site recruitment program, LIFT has applied what we have learned about the RA patient to all messaging and marketing efforts initiated by FORWARD.

Capturing the Brand Story

LIFT’s team of anthropologists was deployed into the field to conduct a series of ethnographic interviews that would become the foundation for short documentary films showcasing the FORWARD brand. The “Moving FORWARD” series encapsulates the patient, researcher, and clinical point-of-view as well as the overarching history of the organization and its leadership.

Outcome

LIFT has leveraged the insights we uncovered through research with Rheumatoid Arthritis patients to design patient education, messaging, and content in virtually every project undertaken with FORWARD. From quarterly participant publications (FORWARD Magazine) to data tracking and a comprehensive site recruitment program, LIFT has applied what we have learned about the RA patient to all messaging and marketing efforts initiated by FORWARD.