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Accelerating Growth in the Pharmaceutical Sector: Effective Techniques for Developing a Thriving Connected Packaging Approach

by | Jan 9, 2024 | Pharma

With the myriad of channels, such as in-store experiences, social media’s visual content, e-commerce, and advertising, the purchasing path can present quite the challenge. All these channels must be individually tailored to various buyer personas as this cultivates stronger relationships between the brand and customer. However, for pharmaceutical companies to thrive in today’s cut-throat market, they need to identify novel ways of strengthening the connection between consumers, patients, and the company itself. One effective method is implementing a connected packaging strategy.

Fortune Business Insights anticipates growth in the global pharmaceutical packaging market, from US$90bn in 2019 to a projected $142bn by 2027. While overall, the fast-moving consumer goods sector and the food and beverage industry are more familiar with the application of connected packaging, for example through strategies like SmartLabel, it should not be surprising that the pharmaceutical industry is also learning how to incorporate a connected packaging strategy.

Given the unprecedented urgency to fast-track digital transformation efforts to adjust to the ever-changing market trends, connected packaging can significantly boost pharma’s digital economy. It plays a crucial role in sustaining business continuity and fostering a connected omnichannel consumer experience.

 Source : Horus Pharma, Technology : ARGO

Ultimately, connected packaging can help pharmaceutical companies foster a much deeper and meaningful relationship with consumers. Moreover, companies are given the opportunity to gather data throughout the product’s lifecycle, all while maintaining and enhancing patient compliance. Let’s outline four ways connected packaging can be utilized by pharmaceutical companies to engage, educate and inform users about products.

Leveraging Connected Packaging for deeper connections with consumers and patients

In the rapidly evolving direct-to-patient market, brands have a unique opportunity to create engaging narratives, initiate conversations and foster customer loyalty by proactively connecting their product packaging to digital platforms. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions on in-person interactions, pharmaceutical brands can utilize packaging in novel ways to convey messages usually reserved for face-to-face interactions like doctor’s offices and hospitals. By merging all customer touchpoints via connected packaging, brands can optimize their media spend and build customer loyalty – reallocating budgets from traditional channels into more efficient, targeted connected activities.

Impact of Connected Packaging Technology in Enhancing Drug Authenticity and Patient Safety

The World Health Organization reported that globally, fake drugs make up between 8–15% of all pharmaceutical and drug products retailed . With its potential to alert, educate and empower consumers in identifying counterfeit products at all stages, connected packaging technology plays a significant role. Outside of combating counterfeits, connected packaging can also address concerns about the interaction of different medications and their medical ingredients. Connected packaging transforms standard printed instructions into engaging experiences like videos and tutorials, thus promoting patients’ adherence to prescriptions and enhancing their safety.

Showcasing corporate initiatives

With the creation of an “always-on” digital channel for customers via packaging, companies can fine-tune and optimize messaging. Brands can share important corporate messages and initiatives in creative ways, continuously tailoring these communications based on data analysis and metric insights. Leaning into this new brand agility powered by data, pharma companies can extend beyond the pharmacy or shelf to deliver enhanced value to consumers and patients.

Tracking packaging materials

Under the mounting pressure to improve transparency of products and packaging sustainability, along with product sourcing, chain of custody and the supply chain, connected packaging can have a massive impact. It enables pharmaceutical companies to create pathways for tracking products.

It’s no longer just about the physical product, but the entire lifecycle of the packaging. This includes its journey from the point of manufacture, through distribution channels, and finally to the end consumer. Accuracy and transparency in this process are crucial to maintain trust and build robust brand-customer relationships.

In the world of rising customer expectations, transparency matters. Major players in the pharma industry are facing mounting pressures to improve transparency of supply chain operations. With connected packaging, you can monitor and control the journey of each individual package. This offers a higher level of transparency in terms of formula development, product sourcing, and the transportation supply chain.

Moreover, the demand for sustainable packaging materials is rapidly growing. By tracking packaging materials, companies can gain valuable insights into how to optimize their processes for better sustainability. The data can reveal opportunities to reduce waste, improve recycling rates, and create a more seamless, eco-friendly supply chain.

Beyond eco-friendliness, connected packaging’s track and trace technologies can also help combat counterfeit, ensuring product authenticity. Using blockchain or other digital ledger technologies, tracking systems can provide invaluable supply chain oversight, ensuring only genuine products reach the consumers. This not only protects customers but also safeguards your brand’s reputation.

In conclusion, leveraging connected packaging to track packaging materials allows pharmaceutical companies to work more efficiently and transparently, fulfilling the increasing demands for transparency and sustainability from both consumers and regulators, while simultaneously enhancing brand-customer relationships. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

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