McNeil wanted Synecticsworld to create an insight-driven positioning and activation strategy for its successful Tylenol Arthritis Pain medication, but they needed a clearer understanding of the emotional context of the arthritis condition from the perspective of both new and experienced arthritis sufferers. The company also wanted a powerful articulation of the brand positioning to guide communication and promotion activity.


The Synecticsworld team determined that the first steps were:

  • Identify the main challenges to achieving the client’s goal
  • Explore the emotional and functional requirements of the disease
  • Gain a deeper understanding of what drives arthritis sufferers
  • Understand what solutions arthritis sufferers are currently seeking
  • Understand how sufferers are dealing with the painful and crippling disease

Synecticsworld held an Issue Determination meeting to clarify the challenge, then followed that meeting with a session that introduced the Synecticsworld’s process to the combined team. The session allowed the team to agree on all aspects of the task and review key pieces of research on arthritis. What followed were a series of team assignments, projects and consumer labs, which allowed the team to use their skills of observation, exploration and deliberation.

The team then met for three days of Insight and Invention, using Synecticsworld’s proprietary process of insight development to unlock hidden truths and wisdom. During the session, several compelling consumer insights were developed that formed the basis of six positioning statements. Those statements were later presented to two consumer groups for feedback and further refinement.


The Synecticsworld-led team was able to combine the consumer feedback and the most resonant elements of the six statements into one powerful positioning statement for Tylenol Arthritis Pain.

The client responded enthusiastically to the recommended statement, so much so that one member of the McNeil team was quoted as saying,

“I think we have some great learning and insights from the group. I love the positioning statement.”

This was done in consultations with the doctors at

Comments Closed