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!

Thermoformed Trays Add A Little Something Extra

When it comes to packaging, there’s a lot of emphasis on the outside. Think of a birthday present. If two presents are placed in front of you–one with a sleek, crisp package, the other in a paper bag–which do you want to open first? While the outside of the packaging might be what attracts customers in the first place, it’s what’s inside that retains them. This is where thermoformed trays take center stage…or rather, they provide the center stage. Thermoformed trays for the health and beauty products.

Thermoformed trays are essentially plastic trays, heated and molded into custom shapes and sizes to ensure that your products are held firmly in place. They create a veritable stage for your products. Trays can be placed inside nearly any kind of container, from the popular cigar box to a turned-edge binder.  It’s a versatile solution that many industries include in their packaging designs.  

Here are a few more reasons why this type of custom insert works well for so many different needs: 

Thermoformed Trays Offer Products: 

Protection

To go back to the birthday present example, the only thing more disappointing than a poorly-wrapped present is a broken one. Thermoformed trays are customized to your product, ensuring that it is secure within the larger package. 

Safety

Healthcare packaging and medical device packaging typically utilize thermorformed trays for safety reasons. This industry, focused on life-saving tools and equipment, needs to have their tools safely stored in place where it’s easy to find and use them. 

Organization

Whatever you happen to be packaging with your product, thermoformed trays can keep everything in order. Trays allow you to help customers move through products sequentially.Oor if there are other inserts, to ensure that the most important or relevant ones are easily accessible. 

Ready to Learn More?

Thermoforming is a highly-customizeable process. It starts with designing a layout for your product, selecting materials, and finally moving into the final stages of your custom packaging needs.  Whether you are looking for sustainable, economical, or something else, Sunrise has a solution. Get started today.

Redefining CD Case Packaging With Flashdrives

The reign of the compact disc has passed, but CD case packaging has a little more staying power. 

CDs made headway as more and more homes started buying their own personal computers. They were sleek and shiny, a big step up from the formerly prevailing floppy disks. But like anything, they’re prone to a host of inefficiencies. Quickly scratched. Fragile. Security easily overwritten.  Not a lot of real estate on the disc itself for branding or information. This made their packaging all the more important. Whether a company utilized the standard flip style, a sleeve or something else, this custom packaging protected discs from potential danger. It also created an attractive storage option, not unlike books on a shelf. 

Flashdrives and custom USB drives entered the scene next, and their ease of ease and relative durability have brought them to usurp the place previously held by CDs (and will the cloud trump the convenience of the USB drive? Not until Internet access is stable and accessible everywhere, methinks). But flash drives have more in common with CDs than you might think. While USB drives step it up in most areas–storage, security, accessibility–they can also be fragile with little space for branding on the device itself. That’s why Sunpack created something just for custom flash drives, similar to  CD case packaging: the FlashPad.

College Bound FlashPads for university recruitment, acceptance letters with hard turned edge binding and offset printingCD Case Packaging, Re-Imagined

The old adage holds true: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. FlashPads utilize the familiar CD case packaging style, down to the flip-open cover. But inside, users don’t find a reflective disc, but a foam insert molded to snugly fit a personalized flashdrive. The USB drive can hold whatever information you want to share. The packaging does the hard work of attracting the user in the first place. 

Your custom FlashPad can utilize nearly all the high-end elements we use in boxes and other types of packaging.  Virtually any aspect can be customized or personalized to your company, and any senses you wish to engage.  Let their fingers glide over soft touch lamination with raised embossing. Their eyes can take in the vibrant design and sleek packaging. 

…and that’s all we can really do from our end. If your organization really wants to find ways for taste, smell or hearing to be part of the package, dive in!

Something Old, Something New

While the FlashPad riffs off classic CD case packaging, it brings up to a new level of accessibility. Many newer laptops don’t have CD drives anymore. Flashdrives are becoming the de facto way to share information. 

And our options for packaging don’t stop with the FlashPad. There’s another, sleeker option that works well for more than just customized USB drives (business cards, bottle openers, and more are just a few things that the insert can be molded to fit): the FlashPad Wallet. Mimicking a bifold or trifold wallet closure, the Wallet is a slightly smaller and more compact option. 

Neither of these to your liking? Contact our sales team to start from the ground up for totally customized USB boxes

Creative Packaging Ideas

Think back to the first time you purchased a brand that you’ve come to love. What made you purchase it? Positive reviews? Personal referral? Great marketing? Creative packaging?

Chances are, it was probably a mix of all these things, right? As an organization, you can start to cultivate your brand advocates, generating referrals and reviews, after you nail the last two things. And creating great marketing comes along with creative packaging for your products. 

Packaging is what sells your product. It conveys a feeling, cultivating a longing in your customers. So what does that look like…exactly? Well, it looks different for every product. Which is kind of the point of creating custom packaging design. But we’ve identified a few common trends that are ideal for attracting buyers. 

Creative Packaging Trends

Integrate Patterns

Using patterns in packaging design is a simple and efficient starting point. It can add depth and the perception of texture without the cost of embossing or inlays. Additionally, patterns can be used to evoke specific emotions or ideas. Blue and red stripes will inevitably remind people of the US flag; plaid has rustic or lumberjack connotations. Think through your pattern picks with unbiased audiences to evade any unintentional meanings. 

Think About The CXcreative packaging

We’ve written about CX, or customer experience, a few times before. It’s one of the surest ways to reach the hearts of your customers and start attracting influencers. Customer experience happens on multiple levels. It’s a design aesthetic that’s appealing. It’s including little touches that enhance the product. Check out the note inside SW Basics of Brooklyn’s lip gloss kit.  It shows customers that they care about reusing materials and have a playful sense of humor. It appeals and delights, which is the heart of CX. Custom packaging options like this can include subtleties as well. Things like thumb holes, custom thermoformed trays, or nested turned edge boxes can add layers of pleasure for users. 

Make It A Gift

This is a common packaging design element used by liquor companies. Packaging products like a gift–regardless of whether the purchaser is actually *gifting* the product–immediately makes it more attractive on the shelf. This type of creative packaging doesn’t have to obvious, so halt on the bows and ribbons. Consider more tasteful elements, like an additional simple box or tissue paper inside the packaging. Some companies will even create complementary elements to go with the product, like branded lowball glasses with brandy. Or simply allow the idea of a gift season your creative packaging brainstorming sessions. 

Be Mindful of the Process

While brainstorming can generate many creative ideas, it’s important to bring your packaging producer into the fold early on. Everyone works within a budget, and working with Sunrise Packaging allows us to help frame options that are within the product means. Plus, we have a bit of experience in creative packaging, as you can tell!

Etsy Custom Packaging Tips

The market for handmade goods has never been hotter, and websites like Etsy are reaping in the benefits.  Etsy is an online marketplace specializing in handmade, craft or vintage items as well as supplies. It’s relatively easy to use for both sellers and buyers, and numbers attest to that. In 2014, Etsy had over 50 million registered users, and total sales reached nearly $2 billion through the platform. With that kind of bandwidth, it might sound challenging to break through the noise as a new seller. But that’s where Sunrise Packaging comes in (locally owned in Minnesota). Etsy custom packaging is one of the best ways to retain and attract customers. 

Etsy Custom Packaging Basics

healthcare packaging
This outlet as a seller recently came to my attention when I purchased a small ring from an Etsy seller. It’s not a particularly expensive item, not vintage or anything else like that. I was incredibly impressed by the seller’s attention to detail when it came to packaging, though – so much that I realized how important packaging is, and how that fact might escape the attention of new sellers. 

Apparently, Etsy thinks so, too. They provide a literal handbook to Etsy custom packaging.  Since packaging is, quite literally, our business, here’s our take on Etsy’s suggestions for custom packaging: 

  1. Label your labor
    Etsy hits the ground running with a primer on branding. It’s incredibly important to help customers remember your business in every possible way. Crafting creative labels not only helps your business stick in their mind but makes it more likely that they’ll pass your name on.  Utilizing finishing options like debossing, embossing and other features help ensure that this will happen, or utilize a sleeve box to add some labeling. 
  2. Make Your Packaging Pop
    I couldn’t find hard numbers on what percentage of Etsy purchases are gifts, but the number is probably pretty great. Packaging that is gift-ready takes one part out of the process for your buyer. Besides, even if it isn’t intended as a gift for someone else, it’s kind of awesome to make the customer feel a little indulgent, like they’re getting a gift for themselves, isn’t it? When it comes to classic gift style, a two piece set up box is perfect. 
  3. Get Into Shipping Shape
    The last thing any seller needs is to mess up an order.  Like Etsy reiterates: how inclined are you to return to a seller who messes up your order, or doesn’t package it correctly to withstand shipping? Probably not very likely. Take the time to consider if you need any custom inserts, and the protection products might need. Thermoforming or custom formed trays might be a great way to go. 

Make Your Package Shine

Ordering things online is like the grown up version of Christmas morning. You know packages are coming on a certain day, so the expectations are even higher when you know what to expect. Let every delivery of your product generate that kind of excitement! 

Brokerage Welcome Kits

Becoming a successful broker has a relatively simple foundation: clients. Not only attracting new clients, but retaining old ones at the same time. Providing customized customer service can be a lot to balance in addition to staying on top of new rules, regulations, trends and other business facets.  Brokers need all the help they can. By investing in well-thought out brokerage welcome kits, you can start to pare down on some of the work. 

Brokerage welcome kits help clients feel special while giving them the information they need to take ownership and feel invested (to a larger extent). Welcome kits can also function like a pre-determined follow up plan…the most important part of maintaining those positive first impressions that won their business in the first place. Empower Brokerage has some great tips for putting together a custom welcome kit that’s sure to help retain clients. 

Building Brokerage Welcome Kits: A Checklist

Create a checklist

It might seem a little meta that the first item on our checklist is for you to make a checklist. Making a checklist of the items you need to go over with a client is a great way to get your ducks in a row. It ensures that nothing is missed. Plus, it helps you see your collateral and business in a new way. You might realize that there are redundancies or more efficient ways to share information when it’s all laid out in front of you. 

Policy documents

Whether this means ID cards, literal documents, their application, etc, include copies in your welcome kit. Advise them to keep their copies in a safe place. Don’t forget to include information on what their policy includes…and any upgrades, updates, and possible changes they need to be aware of with a timeline.  Consider investing in some document holding, custom inserts to keep everything in place and in a presentable manner. More on that later!

Contact information

welcome brokerage kits

Hopefully, your customers already have your business card. Adding them to your brokerage welcome kits is a nice touch, as well as adding other people in the office. Front desk, if available, plus any other customer service numbers or websites that they might need to access.  It’s an increasingly personalized touch to include bios of the others in the agency. 

Access tips

On that last note, do you have an online portal or some other type of self-service set up? Include information and instructions on how to set up new accounts and where they can access FAQs.  You can also include information for how they can post online reviews, an increasingly important (and sometimes overlooked) strategy for bettering your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. 

Agency swag

Everyone likes freebies, and they like them even more when they’re useful and/or aesthetically pleasing. Invest in some calendars, pens, Frisbees, whatever you can work into a plug for your agency.  The custom box for your brokerage welcome kit will also help you in this area. 

Custom Boxes for Your Welcome Kits

Work with Sunrise Packaging to scope out specifications for a truly one-of-a-kind welcome kit design. There are multiple options, from a cigar box, presentation-style of packaging to crafting custom inserts for all your materials to utilizing gorgeous finishing options.

Human Factors in Healthcare Packaging

Human factors is the study of how humans behave and interact with objects or services within an environment. It’s existed under many different names over time, but human factors seems to be the one that has stuck. While the field has expanded widely in the digital age–understanding how humans interact with parts of a system essentially defines a great web user experience–it has chiefly been the domain of medical devices.  For obvious reasons, it’s necessary to know how a device that regulates a heart rhythm or helps someone hear needs to work well with the human body. But just as the study has taken on new life in other formats, so can human factors inform another key medical area: healthcare packaging. 

Healthcare Packaging Defined by Human Factors

The ultimate goal of human factors applied to a product is to ensure that it’s safe and easy to use in the real world. It’s a good guideline for any product, but especially when we’re talking about medical device packaging or healthcare packaging in general. In fact, it was made a regulatory requirement by the FDA in 1990 for healthcare. healthcare packaging

Human factors sets out to study and answer three distinct questions at the outset: 

  • Who is the user?
  • What are they trying to do?
  • What is the environment of use?

HealthcarePackaging.com frames some of the scenarios for how these questions might be answered. This line of questioning is known as contextual inquiry. It reveals the key points needed to determine packaging requirements. For example, a hearing aid will need different medical packaging than a set of surgical instruments. Human factors studies, and contextual inquiries, are best conducted with actual users and customers…AKA outside of your boardroom and employee pool. It’s impossible for those close to a product to have an actual consumer mindset. And chances are that the intended use of a product will vary from how it’s actually used.

Integrating the Findings

The study detailed in the article linked above focused on finding ways to make sure the packaging reduces stress for users and simplifies things. In their study, they timed things like how long it took users to open the custom package. They also created graphics based on their findings, like the actual environment where the product is used, and how it fits in, as well as storyboards detailing how the task completion played out for various test subjects. 

Armed with this research, organizations can start to refine their healthcare packaging model. Find ways to reduce complexity and increase understanding for how users should actually be using the product.  

The bottom line? You might think you know how customers engage with healthcare packaging, but you have no idea.

Influencer Marketing Kits for Retail

Influencer marketing kits can be used a few different ways. The traditional–well, as traditional as it gets in this age of flash-in-the-pan marketing strategies–mode is to send kits to targeted individuals. Research goes into identifying influencers in your market. Time goes into building a relationship with them. And finally, the money and effort put toward creating a custom, individualized influencer kit all adds up to quite the process. The return on investment for influencer marketing can be tremendous. It’s a worthwhile investment for your company.

But there’s another mode for influencer marketing that taps the market a little differently, and that’s to take a more mass marketing approach. Research and develop an influencer kit that can be sold as a retail piece.  It can include many of the same elements, like premium packaging and accompanying collateral, but without the exclusivity. Mass marketing runs the risk of being less targeted, but it can reap huge rewards as well. 

Scaling Influencer Marketing Kits to the Masses

influencer marketing kits

From Structural Graphics

The first question that might pop into your head is Who else is doing this? As you can see from the image to the side, liquor is one industry that has employed this kind of brand-building for ages.  These kinds of launch kits can double as influencer kits–if you start to tie your messaging to your brand in a way that positions customers as brand ambassadors.  

Liquor has long employed a kind of pyramid-shaped flow for their customers. Companies have products in the same category ranging from the low end to the high end. The customer journey usually brings them using the low end products, and once the customer builds an appreciation for the product, they’re willing to champion it and ramp up to the next level. Ultimately, they’re invested in the product to the point of purchasing the special kits.

Influencer marketing kit features include:  

  • Flasks or glasses imprinted with the product’s brand or some other catchy slogan. One example I saw was a liqueur that came with one lowball glass and a line in the middle. On top of the line, it said Optimist. Below it? Pessimist. It appealed to a wide range of people. And the best part? To have a matching set, people were willing to buy 2. Use this tool to increase sales as well as influence customers to showcase your product. 
  • Printed collateral, like recipe books, histories of the product, or other kinds of supporting information. These work well to upsell other products or to share out interesting facts that customers can then share out as well.
  • Premium packaging to hold all of these things together, as well as create a stage for the product itself. Customers love keepsake items for the brands they champion. Invest in feature like embossed typograhy and high quality graphics. Use tactile and and visual elements to appeal to their senses, and enhance the product itself. Turned edge boxes are ideal for influencer marketing kits, and adding premium elements like magnets, custom trays and other features for enhancement. 

Building Brand Loyalty with Retail Influencer Marketing Kits

Your company might call them product launch kits. Sales kits. Welcome kits. Whatever they might be, but their aim is the same: to develop brand loyalty and influence sales positively. That’s the heart of influencer marketing. It’s about reaching the people with whom your product resonates, and giving them a reason to champion it further. 

A Sales Kit for a Girl Scout

The Girl Scouts have been around for a hundred year, and they’ve been selling cookies for much of that time. Consistently and successfully. While data from the earliest of cookie sales isn’t around, we do know that since 1999, cookie sales have hovered around $700 million. Not too shabby for a longtime door-to-door operation. What many people don’t realize is that the cookie operation is fairly sophisticated, and every Girl Scout has a sales kit that could double as an arsenal. Minnesota organization Sunrise Packaging doesn’t deal in cookies, foods or this kind of box, but we have to give it up to this organization for a job well marketed.

sales kit

Tween Cookie Queens & Their Go-To Sales Kit Pitch

Any reservations you might have about taking sales advice from little girls should dissipate in the knowledge that these girls sell between 1500-3600 boxes every year. Find what tools they carry in their sales kit that you can apply to your own design:

It can pay to be a little daring

A New York Girl Scout uses an upselling tactic that appeals to easing the transaction for clients–in this case, when it comes to math. One box of cookies is $4, and the client wants to buy two…but they only have a $20 bill. The savvy Scout makes it easier to suggest buying 5 boxes. Fewer bills, more cookies (that are freeze-able, gift-able, etc), it’s a win-win situation. Find those opportunities within your own business to integrate into a sales kit.

Balance modernity with tradition

A Connecticut Girl Scout finds modern ways to connect with customers from beyond her door-to-door sales. She created a parody of Adele’s ‘Hello’, replacing the lyrics to reference cookie selling…and driving traffic to her own cookie-selling website. It’s the goal of any marketing tactic, but it plays on the current societal state of mind (i.e. Adele as one of the most popular artists out there) while driving traffic. It’s a testament to being current and having a grasp on the public consciousness, particularly what will resonate.

Know your product…and be honest

This has been one of the most popular posts in social media for a while, so you might already know about the New Jersey Girl Scout whose brutally honest reviews of cookies was shared by Mike Rowe. It might seem counter-intuitive to marketers, but it’s a smart tactic to acknowledge the flaws in a product. It shows awareness and, hopefully, intent to fix those flaws.

Building a Sales Kit With Intention

The goal of a sales kit is, naturally, to generate sales. What these Girl Scouts can teach us, when it comes to generating sales, is that having a little more intention, like fundraising, can add to the overall goodwill. It also helps that this is one of the most recognizable brands out there. Iconic packaging design that meets customer expectations is another part of the successful Girl Scout brand recipe. It’s an organization that has been around for a long time, and with this level of savvy sales ingenuity, could move into the future with ease. Although, we might recommend a more rigid custom box to stop those annoying broken cookies in the future!

Sales Kits To Attract & Retain Business

Swiping and scrolling on our mobile phones are the major methods in which we consume content these days. Whether your on Reddit or Tinder, it takes something pretty interesting to make you stop and look at it further. This is exactly what your sales kits needs to do. 

Ask yourself: Would my sales kit give a customer pause in the middle of all the other things demanding their attention?

If the answer is no, read on. Well, read on even if the answer is yes, because there's always room to level up, right?

Sales kits, or marketing kits, showcase your organization's products in a manner that makes them irresistible...or at least worth a more in-depth glance.  It needs to tell the customer that you are an ideal fit for whatever initiative they're targeting. It should attract new customers, educate existing ones, form new partnerships, and share information with media prospects. It's a tall order, we know, but it's very doable. 

Brainstorming Ideas for Upgrading Sales Kits

SmallBizTrends has some ideas for how to re imagine your sales kits in lean, mean, lead-generating-and-retaining machines. When you're ready to start designing custom packaging, Minnesota-based Sunrise Packaging is here to help. We know that even the most beautiful, most user-friendly packaging can't fix a sales kit that doesn't tell the recipient what they need to know or do, so take some time to answer the following questions to frame your sales kit revamp:

 

Sales kits

Who is your target audience?

Creating audience profiles is a great way to drill down on the "who" of who your customers are. Veer away from lumping them together by industry; it's usually way too broad. Think of them in terms of people, and by their roles. A CFO will probably respond to different messaging than an engineer. How can you address both, or what levels of differentiation can you include?

What issue or problem is your product or service addressing?

Start by recording the top frustrations of customers in the industry. Then figure out how your product solves those frustrations. Not sure what frustrates customers? Ask them!

What kinds of messages or statements speak to your audience?

Keep content focused on your customer by speaking to them. Write using 'you' in positive phrases building on the prior task of answering problems. Try to keep the message simple and action-based, but still focused on the benefits of what you offer. 

Go Beyond the Sales Kits Basics

This should give you a good frame of reference to start revising the standard sales kit materials (flyers, brochures, samples, etc). But what will really take your marketing kits to the next level? Consider leveling up to some interesting box features, like magnetic closure or a hinged lid, that guarantee your sales kit will make an impact. Create a unique first impression with custom finishing options debossing or embossing.  Take the step that will make your clients stop swiping or scrolling, sit up and pay attention. 

Sales kits