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!

Medical Packaging For Boomers

Nearly 27% of the population of the United States was born between 1946 and 1964. Termed the Baby Boomers, this generation has stampeded its way through the decades and are now arriving at retirement age. While aging typically indicates health decline, this generation is bucking that trend (or segments of them are). They're eating better, exercising more, taking preventative measures designed to help them not only live longer, but have a higher quality of life as well. Their expectations are higher than previous generations; baby boomers also tend to have more money and are generally wealthier. They want the best--and they can probably pay for it--in their products, and that includes medical packaging.

Medical packaging presentation packaging for baby boomers

How Baby Boomers Affect Medical Packaging

The enormous influence of the baby boomer generation reflects its size and spending power. Their needs regarding medical packaging are unique to the industry; they love new and innovative styles, but still need to have ease of opening. Think of a bottle of aspirin. It's a common joke, but sometimes the childproof lock defeats adult logic. Add in arthritic hands and possibly declining mental state, and pill-sized pain relief becomes an insurmountable task.  

For the product above, Sunpack created a box with light magnetic closure. This ensures that it won't open accidentally but is easy enough to slip open when needed.

The design of the medical packaging is important as well when it comes to the user's ability to remove it from the package. In the aspirin example from above, it's easy to shake out too many and lose some of the medication. It's not a huge factor with something relatively low-cost, like aspirin, but becomes exponentially more important with the medicine itself. Being able to package an actual device, such as the Axionics device in the picture, securely is step one. Step two is creating a tray which can not only securely hold the device, but allows for semi-easy removal. The thumb holes around each part of the device help ensure a firm grasp prior to lifting.

Vision is another consideration for medical packaging designed for baby boomers. Naturally, as we age, our vision tends to decrease. Medical packaging needs to be clear and concise in design as well as content.  Devices need to be easily identifiable, but that doesn't mean devoid of creativity. For Axionics, you can see the design is deceptively simple, elegant, and with simple fonts to aid comprehension. While white is the dominant color within the design, choosing a bright, single accent color reduces visual clutter.

Karten medical packaging custom tray

Keep It Simple

When it comes to baby boomers and medical packaging, HealthcarePackaging.com said it best:

This consumer segment is looking for brands that will help them take care of themselves and better their lives, without constantly reminding them that they aren’t actually as young as they think they are.

Packaging is great way to connect with an audience. It not only entices people to try it, but if it offers a pleasurable experience, it guarantees referrals and repeat business. Sunpack can help design products that meet this need for your products.

Temperature Controlled Packaging

More and more health care companies are in need of temperature controlled solutions as their businesses are shifting and entering new markets. We need safe methods of storage for certain medical and pharmaceutical products because many need to be stored at specific temperatures. This also is required during shipment. FedEx Express has found a way to cater to the medical and pharmaceutical industries by finding a way to provide temperature controlled shipping and packaging options. This includes having dry ice capabilities and re-icing facilities at major hubs and ramps.

FedEx is always looking for ways to innovate their offerings and provide solutions to health care customers. They want these businesses to flourish by offering them the best possible technologies so they can continue to manage their supply chains and grow with the changes in the industry. FedEx is keen on improving the quality of life around the world and connecting with customers and providing them with the best experience possible. They continue to thrive everyday by creating ways to better their business and help others do the same.

Case Study: Turned Edge Medical Packaging

Brain Tunnelgenix Medical Packaging

Brain Tunnelgenix Corp has an unmatched portfolio of proprietary products, including the revolutionary Brain Temperature Tunnel™ product line. Recently the company was rolling out their new Abreu btt™ 700 Thermometer and was looking for a packaging solution that would help protect and market their investment. Further, they wanted a packaging that would “secure all of the pieces and look too beautiful to discard”.

An upscale product needs an upscale package. Account Executive Nick Rude worked with Brain Tunnelgenix Corp to come up with a stunning custom turned edge package that is not only displays the product beautifully, it is extremely durable and holds the medical devices and disc media securely in thermoformed trays.

Our custom tooling capabilities allow us the flexibility needed to design packaging for components of various shapes and sizes. The turned edge wrap around the outside is digitally printed and laminated making the graphics pop and catch the attention of the market that this product is intended to serve.

Brain Tunnelgenix was very pleased working with Sunrise Packaging. They specified their delight in the fast production and turn-around time as well as the fact that they actually did end up with a package they believe is too beautiful to discard.

Read more about turned edge packaging
Watch a video on how turned edge products are made

Clamshells


What is clamshell packaging? If you don’t know it by name, it is almost certain that you’ve seen it. It’s the clear plastic packaging that showcases an array of products from retail, food, medical, etc. The word clamshell indicates that the formed plastic package has one or more hinges. A single hinged clamshell usually includes a hanger tab so the product can hang from store pegs. Multi-hinged clamshells allow for the packaging to have a flat base so the product stand upright.

There are many benefits of clamshell packaging. It’s a wonderful way to showcase a product while being very cost effective. The clear plastic packaging provides great visibility for the consumer to see the product as it sits protected inside the clamshell. The header card can be printed and placed inside the clamshell to provide more information for the consumer to make a purchasing decision. Clamshells also allow for great display versatility. They can be hung from pegs or sat upright on a store shelf giving great flexibility for retailers to position the products to sell.

Clamshells are plastic and cause some concern about the environment. Manufacturers are using different types of plastics to overcome this. PETG is a type of PET plastic that is fully recyclable after its use. RPET is previously recycled PET plastic. Both types can work together to promote the global recycling effort.

More info:
Ask Sunrise about clamshell packaging