Healthcare Marketing Packaging Strategies

2017 has been a volatile year when it comes to healthcare, and that has repercussions on healthcare marketing as well. Just as the customer experience, or CX, has become a major factor for other businesses, healthcare has proven to be no exception. Consumers are empowered to shop for the best care and service, and they aren’t shy about letting others know when they’ve had a negative experience. Additionally, the healthcare model in the US is transitioning to one based on transparency, quality and patient satisfaction.

Every change brings challenges and opportunities. DMN3 has identified some of the key marketing trends that could affect custom packaging decisions for the medical industry.

Healthcare Marketing Trendshealthcare marketing

One of the key factors influencing these shifts is the focus on the consumer. In previous years, doctors acted as the key decision-makers. They prescribed treatments or medications, made referrals and acted as the end-all, be-all when it came to health. 

While doctors still serve in that role to a degree, there’s been a shift of power when it comes to decision-making. Here’s what’s happening: 

  • Hospitals are buying up individual physician practices and forming bigger systems. While this allows them to coordinate care more efficiently for patients, it turns doctors into employees. They become part of an integrated system that has to work through channels and people. Doctors can still advocate for things, of course, but they may not make the final purchasing decision.
  • While WebMD might convince you that you have a terrible, terminal illness every time you look up symptoms, it’s a gamechanger for healthcare marketing. Consumers can do a ton of research prior to even setting foot in a doctor’s office. They see a visit as something more akin to a collaboration than a consultation.  This gives both parties responsibility for treatment. 

These factors support the shift originally noted in the MM&M /Ogilvy CommonHealth Healthcare Marketers Trend Report 2016.  While doctors are still the primary audience for healthcare marketing, payers and consumers are increasingly targeted. These are the new decision-makers.  Additionally, digital marketing and digital content is becoming more important than traditional channels.

Effects on Healthcare Marketing Packaginghealthcare packaging

Medical device packaging and healthcare packaging is subject to a lot of requirements. Not the least of which are the requirements of a changing market. As the audience for healthcare marketing changes, so do their expectations. As consumers take increased control over their health and making purchasing decisions, the desire for better packaging is sure to follow. 

In the example on this page, Minnesota’s Sunrise Packaging used conventional techniques to design custom boxes that are unique and user-friendly. Magnetic closure is easy for hands of all strength to use while keeping contents secure. The decorations are also kept to a minimum, not detracting from the product but adding to it. Additionally, the custom foam insert keeps the product safe and padded. 

Users want packaging that meets their needs and expectations. The best way to do that is creating a style that is recognizable while innovative. We’ve got the tools to make this happen for you!

Bespoke Boxes

Creating packaging isn’t so different from creating clothing. Both industries are subject to fashion and fads, with new trends drifting in and out. We watch things that were old become new again, things that were passe become trendy with enough time. Whether we’re talking tailoring or bespoke boxes, some features are just continuous classics. 

The word “bespoke” has a history tied to London, England. In the 16th century, “bespeak” meaning to order or arrange in advance. That evolved to refer to clothing or other things that a customer orders before creation. Traditional techniques are still in use on Savile Row, where making clothes is still seen as an art and not a science. 

Automation is increasingly a larger part of any enterprise, and custom boxes are no exception. However, while the manual parts of the process are less, well, manual, the artistry still exists. It takes time to craft truly bespoke boxes. Here are some examples: 

21st Century Bespoke Boxes

Custom magnetic boxesbespoke boxes

Sunrise Packaging’s Netbox, or customized magnetic boxes, reflect a true packaging classic: the cigar box. With an overlapping hard cover, magnetized for closure, ‘t’s ready for customization in any number of ways. These boxes are perpetually striking and can be further personalized through embossing, foil stamping, screen printing, and more. 

Prince Two Piece Setup Box and bespoke boxesTwo piece setup boxes

As a Minnesota-based company, we can’t have a post tying fashion to bespoke boxes without using a Prince example! This box to the left is an example of a two piece setup box.  They’re popular for luxury packaging, game boxes, and gift packaging. The turned edge corners ensure perfect fit from top to bottom. The strong chipboard can be wrapped in material that appeals to the senses, from a soft touch to glossier finish. Whatever you want to convey with your packaging can be done. 

ThermoformingThermoformend trays for the health and beauty products.

Thermoforming is truly one of the best ways to create bespoke boxes or custom packaging. Plastic molds are created to the exact specifications of your product(s) to ensure a snug, comfortable fit. It adds layers of protection and security to boot. Sunrise can create the perfect tray, clamshell, or blister pack to meet your requirements. 

Where Past Meets Present

As you can see, bespoke boxes and customized packaging take what’s best from the past and make it better with the present. Cigar boxes are a timeless style, but thermoforming ensures that the products inside are safe and secure. Using innovative practices paired with a respect for the past, Minnesota custom box creator Sunrise is ready for any challenge you can bring to us.

Contact our reps today to get started!

Custom Boxes & First Impressions

We all have ideas for new board games. Okay, maybe not all of us. But who hasn't sat through a long game of Monopoly or Risk and thought "This game would be way better if..." After taking that first step away from a base game, it's only a few more to determine rules and objectives, maybe even moving to designing a game board (or whatever you would call the set-up for "Cones of Dunshire").  You might be ready to commission custom boxes, but hold one second.  How do you know what the box needs?

Yes, the box needs to fulfill the basic needs: holding the game contents safely and securely, providing a pleasant experience for the user, things like that. But the cost associated with custom boxes usually doesn't rise to the top of the list. It's admittedly less interesting than choosing player tokens or designing a game board. But it's arguably one of the most important parts of launching your original board game. 

Custom Boxes: Your First Quest

New ideas for board games can come from any source of inspiration. It might be, like we mentioned above, a new take on an old tradition. It could be something entirely new and original, educational or strictly fun, or any other variety of elements. But in the early planning of the game, keep in mind how this needs to be packaged. Not just from a business or marketing sense, but from a practical and logistical standpoint as well. 

custom boxes
  1. Pare down what's necessary to play the game
    From an imaginary perspective, designing an intricate game with lots of player pieces and tokens, cards and chips, might come off like a great idea. But a game doesn't need to be upward of 100 pieces to be fun (well, unless we're talking about a literal puzzle).  Think of it this way: the more pieces your game has, the more it will cost to produce, and the more it will cost in stores. Additionally, it will affect your packaging requirements. 
  2. Using your pared down model, start to think through what style of packaging is necessary
    Custom boxes need to be able to provide protection for fragile game pieces or simply provide a home for the collective pieces and board. If these pieces are heavy, then a sturdier material, like chipboard, is going to be needed. If they're breakable in any way, consider foam inserts or plastic molding trays to keep them safe. Or, if there are other things that need to be kept from rolling around (like dice), that's another kind of tray. At Sunrise, based in Minnesota, we've helped many gamemasters think through their packaging. Bring your needs to us, and we can work through them. 
  3. Make a list of the things necessary for the box
    And not just art. People who pick this thing up off the shelf want to know a little bit more, so give them a little teaser.  Provide a statement about the game and any other relevant information. Does it include small, possibly choke-able pieces for little kids? Add that a caution might be necessary.  Is there a recommended age range for the game? Add that too. Add anything that might be necessary from a legal perspective, but don't forget that this is what needs to sell customers. 

Sunrise Packaging has been helping gaming auteurs in Minnesota and beyond to create their masterpieces for decades. We know how to prevent expensive errors and miscalculations, and how to help you think through what elements your custom boxes need to be effective. Contact us today!

Recyclable Boxes: Reusing Gift Boxes

(This story won’t sound relevant to recyclable boxes or setup boxes, but I promise it’s getting there)! Last December, I received a glass tumbler from Starbucks that I absolutely loved. Although it technically *just packaging,* I also loved the box it came in. Starbucks does a great job creating attractive packaging, and their two-piece setup boxes for the holidays are durable and always feature rich colors. Each year has a different color: last year was red, this year was green, and so on. They also design a brand new series of tumblers every year, so when they sell out, they’re gone forever.

Starbucks recyclable boxesBut I used the setup box to package another gift, keeping the lovely tumbler for myself. However, maybe as a lesson regarding growing too fond of things, I accidentally dropped the tumblr at a gas station in sub-zero temperatures. It shattered. I was sad, and I must have mentioned the fact to my mother (we bought the tumbler together).

Lo and behold, this Christmas, I took the wrapping paper off a present. I recognized the red box, but in the back of my head, I knew that the gift boxes from Starbucks this year were green. I opened the box, and there it was. My shattered tumbler, which she had found online, whole again. Added bonus: I got to keep the box this time around!

As the major December holidays pass, most households are left with a lot of new things which need to find homes as well as a lot of boxes and wrapping paper. Recyclable boxes aren’t a problem (wrapping paper is another story, since the majority of it isn’t recyclable).  There are plenty of ways to take sturdy gift boxes and repurpose them around the house. 

Tips for Reusing Recyclable Boxes

  1. Re-gift
    The easiest thing to do with when you receive a nice gift box? Reuse it for its intended purpose.  The wrong attitude is to think of it as someone else’s problem; rather, think of it as spreading the joy of a nicely-packaged custom gift box. 
  2. Use it as a desk organizer
    Full disclosure: This is how I’m using my own Starbucks setup box. My workspace at home has drawers with organizers, but I’m always looking for something to help me out on top of the desk that doesn’t look like it came from an office supply store. The red box is colorful and not too big. It’s made of sturdy chipboard with sharp edges, so I know it won’t look battered in a few weeks. It’s perfect to hold my oh-so-necessary supply of Gin-Gins, lip balm, favorite fine tip marker pens, and other random necessities, all in one place. 
  3. Holiday storage
    It’s nearly time to pack up all those holiday decorations. Use the sturdier of the boxes you received to switch out any older packaging that’s starting to wear, or to keep any new items safe. In my house, the holiday decorations are pretty secure, in one spot, but occasionally there might be some jostling. Keep your memories safe and secure with an updated custom gift box. 

And When All Else Fails

Break them down and put them in the recycling. Reasonable sentimentality can only go so far. But next year, keep in mind how someone might get some enjoyment out of a nice setup box for their gift. 

How do you upcycle recyclable boxes from the holidays?

DnD Custom Game Box

If you’re watching Netflix’s Stranger Things, take note: no spoilers appear below, but there is minor discussion on plot points.  The introduction to the main characters features a scene that would convey very different things just a few years ago. They’re sitting around, playing Dungeons & Dragons (or DnD).  Since the show takes place in 1983, it’s clear that they’re being depicted as classic 80’s *nerds,* so to speak. And to drive the message home, they’re also part of the AV Club, get picked on by bullies, and are general outsiders. However, with the relatively recent rise of “geek chic,” these kids are endearing through our 2016 lenses. Also, DnD is experiencing a resurgence of popularity due to all this attention. Since Sunrise Packaging is in the business of boxes, it seems appropriate to turn our attention to making a custom game box for the new wave of DnD-ers.

DnD Needs Assessment

Although online versions exist, this is a game best played in person with a group. It’s a group effort. As the OG of fantasy role playing tabletop games, the custom game box needs to be as iconic as its contents. Color schemes typically fall on the darker end of the spectrum, highlighted with fiery reds, oranges and yellows.

The party of adventurers might always meet at one person’s home, or the set might travel around. This means the box needs to be both durable and easy-to-move. Light, built in handles of some sort, but rigid and strong enough to withstand  transportation. DnD game boards usually fold up, but a custom game board might need more room to lay flat. Some kind of rigid insert might be necessary. Partially for presentation, but also to keep the pieces and dice intact. It’s kind of like using a peg board for tool organization. When they’re outlined, you know exactly which one is missing. Same goes for a custom box insert.

DnD Custom Game Box

So what have we arrived at when it comes to a custom game box, specifically for DnD?

For starters, a custom two-piece setup box is the classic game box style.* The turned edge style is also ideal for the design and strength components. Turned edge boxes are made of chipboard, which is extremely durable. It also lends itself well to a variety of wraps which can best display dynamic DnD graphics and colors. Further custom options can include foil stamped linen or embossed fibers for a slightly Medieval-like feel.

To keep the innards and gaming items in place, the set up box is perfect for multiple types of inserts. Think custom die cut foam, thermoformed tray, insider liners…the options vary as much as DnD gameplay. Add in some sort of handle and you’ve got a party in a box. Literally.

Get in touch with our sales department to start work on your custom game box!

*Did you know Sunrise Packaging has established a reputation for custom game box and game board packaging?

Nifty Netbox PopUp Palettes

In honor the recent release (and soon-to-be sold out) Urban Decay Through the Looking Glass eye shadow palette, I decided to revisit the original Alice in Wonderland palette (though note that these are not Sunrise products). What I love about these palettes is, first and foremost, the eye shadow selection. Urban Decay is super pigmented without feeling heavy or weighty, making it easy to vary the intensity. Secondly, the packaging for these palettes is always fun and interesting. The magnetic closure, or netbox, as Sunrise calls them, adds an interesting element. It helps ensure that what lies beneath that top flap stays secure and accessible for days to come. The drawer feature is one of my favorite features. It’s great to pull it out, see all the colors at once, and formulate your blending plan.

alice in wonderland netbox urban decay

Courtesy of Urban Decay

Alice in Wonderland vs. Through the Looking Glass Netbox

The obvious precursor to Through the Looking Glass. The original Alice palette netbox takes obvious inspiration from the original illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Whimsical mushrooms swirl around the mirror in the pop up portion, the caterpillar looms over Alice, and it’s basically a must-have for literary Alice memorabilia fans and collectors. This was one of the first palettes for which I popped the $60, and the one that made me a convert.

As one of those people, the fact that there are no original shades in this palette isn’t as much of a bummer as it would be others.  That might sound surprising, but Urban Decay is notorious for re-purposing older shades in palettes. But it can be frustrating, so it pays to do your research prior to investing in a palette. From a purely financial standpoint, it’s a steal to get 16 eye shadows, two mini eyeliners, and a mini primer potion for that price. Buying each individually would run around $200. Granted, these are smaller than you would buy individually, but still it’s still a better deal.

through the looking glass urban decay netbox

Photo courtesy of Bustle.com

On the other hand, Through the Looking Glass makes up for it. With 20 new shades and a great design, this netbox delivers in more ways than one. One frequent offenses of the pop-up palettes is that they tend to skew toward the glittery-shimmery side of things, but there’s a good amount of matte shades for change. Another deviation in this palette is the organization of colors. They’re organized into columns according to character. Depending on how creative you are, this might make blending easier or feel limiting. I tend toward the former.

What’s your favorite palette and why?

Box or Not: The Next Big Thing in Hybrid Packaging

Magnetic Flap BoxGate Fold Box

When you think of a box, what do you picture?

A perfect cardboard cube? A hinged cigar box that opens from the top? Maybe you’re picturing a pizza box?

If you’re picturing that last one, you might just be hungry. But the others? Well, you make a fair point. What is a box exactly? How does one define a box. With so many styles, varieties, textures, and purposes, there’s probably only one working definition of a box–something that you can put something else into. Something that holds something.

This question is always on our mind. As we’ve often said, we prefer to think less in terms of custom boxes and more in terms of packaging solutions. The question shouldn’t be how do we shoehorn a product into a four-cornered cavity, it should be what can we create? What can we design? What’s the “box” nobody has seen yet?

Operating in this “gray area” of presentation packaging design has allowed us to create some unique products. Display kits with handles and magnetic closures. Rigid boxes with unique openings. Trays and inserts that secure products some considered unsecurable.

Of all these hybrid boxes, none stands out more than our custom pad packaging.

They’re built like a box, but open like books. Most popular of these is our FlashPad™. Designed to hold a personalized flash drive, the FlashPad has the same rigid walls, turned edges, and foam inserts as a lot of our custom packaging products, but…is it a box?

Custom Pad Foam for hybrid packagingAudio-Machine

If you go by the working definition listed above, then yes. It holds any number of objects and includes several of the elements of a typical box design, right down to the chipboard! It opens, displays, organizes and does so all with style. Presentation packaging at its finest!

What people don’t realize is that this pad isn’t just for flash drives. This box hybrid can be made to any dimensions for holding a variety of products. Makeup, iPads, pens, books–you name it! If a large, handled display kit isn’t your thing, then perhaps a custom pad can be a mini display kit. It’ll have the same rigid heft, stunning visuals, and high quality custom inserts but at a smaller size (and a distinctive opening). Substitute the flyers and pamphlets for a USB drive loaded with images and videos. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, imagine what a flash drive-full is worth! Load it up with software demos, links, or mp3s. All the while rewarding your potential with a memorable gift.

That’s just one of the big ideas coming out of Sunrise Packaging. Whether you’re looking for custom boxes, presentation pieces, or hybrid packaging–we’ll have the solution for you.

Packaging Trends Appear at Biggest Pack Expo Yet

Instant Rigid Box_packaging trends Flatfoldup-Box

Reports are calling Pack Expo Las Vegas a ‘record breaker.’

Modern Materials Handling breaks down the numbers from Pack Expo Las Vegas, showing an increase in just about every statistic from 2013’s show. The expo brought nearly 29,000 custom packaging fans to Nevada the final weekend in September. Showrunner PMMI, the Association of Packaging and Processing Technologies, says that’s a 6% increase from 2013.

This might have been due in part to the joint effort with the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering, which allowed Pharma Con to take place within the same convention area. Either way, more sets of eyes were on current packaging trends than any year prior.

These trends ranged in topic across quite a spectrum. While advancements in robotic packaging devices stole the show, the biggest topics were (of course) medical packaging, environmentally friendly packaging, and food packaging.

More than the usual presentation packaging side, the medical packaging trends were aimed at sterility and proper dosage. Additionally, according to Packaging World, packaging design seemed to be answering the call by the public to be more environmental. The most interesting element may have been the push from rigid packaging to flexible packaging, or rather packaging designs that could be converted from one to the other. Some kind of of hybrid of corrugated and rigid packaging? In a way, we already have a product like that, but it will be curious to see what comes next.

But whatever comes next in popular packaging, the same high quality of standards and design will have to be present. No matter what trends or inventions come along in the world of presentation packaging, retail packaging, and luxury packaging, we know that packaging in general is still a necessity. Without custom boxes for security, thermoformed trays and foam inserts for storage, and the visual marketing provided by custom printing, products will have a very unfortunate presence on shelves and in meetings.

Whatever trends are coming down the pipe, you can guarantee we’ll stay on top of it.

Add Depth With Custom Formed Trays

This box is a prime example of how custom thermoformed trays can add depth to any packaging solution. The tuck-tab box displays custom graphic design and is opened to reveal a well organized and fulfilled package. By using an experienced thermoforming manufacturer with custom tooling capabilities, purchasers are able to save on large quantities and create a unique tray, clamshell or blister with a perfect fit!

New Packaging Represents High-End Tequila

One of Mexico’s most renowned tequila producers, Casa Herradura, has refined its primary and secondary packaging for their high end añejo Selección Suprema tequila. This packaging is intended to reflect the craftsmanship and authenticity of the product. The earth-tone gift box has a bi-fold opening and represents the tequila brand’s iconic horseshoe. The bi-fold panels of the box displays the written story of the tradition of handcrafted, aged tequila in American white oak barrels. Along with the box packaging, the glass bottle include small label additions that also demonstrate high-end appeal. The new packaging was designed by Johnny Cardenas, design director for Brown-Forman. This new package recently began to ship out to distributors and is currently available for purchase.

Sources: PackWorld