Path to Purchase

How and where can I shape my customers' buying decisions?

Customers used to behave in a relatively predictable way – businesses had a good grasp of how they made buy decisions, the channels they went through, and where advertising investments would be maximized based on the type of product alone. Now, this journey is more convoluted than ever; unexpected channels are redefining how, where, and why customers buy. At Recombinators, we believe that gaining a comprehensive and accurate understanding of these factors leads to smarter and more innovative investments along the customer journey.

Through our Path to Purchase service, we seek to understand all factors that affect the customer’s buy-decision. We look at what the customers’ expectations are around their experience before, during, and after they buy, how they educate themselves, and what influences them in both the physical and digital worlds- and use these insights to help your business craft a novel engagement strategy that attracts, converts, and retains today’s hard to acquire customer. To learn more about our Path to Purchase service or help you get more out of your customer journeys, please contact us.


Activate The Base


Launching a new product can often be a make or break situation for the success of an enterprise. In pharma this is especially true – products have hundreds of millions of dollars and years of development invested in them before they reach commercialization, and with other companies developing products with the same indication or class on similar or faster timelines – the market can quickly perceive a product as undifferentiated regardless of how innovative or breakthrough it truly is.

A global pharmaceutical client found themselves in this exact situation. In preparing to launch a product with an indication in the mature, competitive neuroscience space, preliminary market research indicated that prescribers and patients alike perceived it as a me-too. With the future of the company’s neurological franchise hinging on this product’s success, the company had to find a way to change how their customers perceived the value of their product.


To help maximize the chances of success for this launch, Recombinators took a focused, customer-centric approach rather than looking at the competition’s positioning to find a new space they could occupy. We helped our Client understand what was driving both physicians and patient’s perceptions of how this neurological disease ought to be treated. By deconstructing the “undifferentiation” challenge, we found that patients struggled to define what “well” meant for themselves. We also uncovered that physicians faced many barriers to prescribing the class of drug this new product belonged to.
Changing prescriber perceptions is one of the hardest challenges pharmaceutical companies face, and with the advent of patient consumerism in healthcare, patients and their families had to be convinced as well.

After breaking down the critical challenge to its challenge elements, by customer – we disassociated these elements from the pharmaceutical context.

This disassociation helped us craft questions to guide us in looking for anyone, anytime, anywhere who has solved similar challenges. For example, the patient challenge element of defining “well” transformed to “Who has helped someone figure out what they needed?” and “Who has created a new category by showing people a need they didn’t know they had?”

We also took the challenge head on – asking disassociated questions like “Who has made an incremental improvement to appear significant?” and “Who went beyond their product to deliver value (e.g. services, ecosystem)?”

These questions lead us to unexpected places – we found proven insights from Jet Blue to Listerine to the Mega Millions Lottery into similar challenges that, when recombined, inspired a portfolio of high-impact and market-appropriate initiatives that the Client could implement for quick & long-term wins."


Helped brand to achieve their forecasted launch goals by creating and developing an implementation plan for a first-of-its-kind beyond the pill platform with several novel service offerings targeting both prescribers and patients.