Changing Perceptions During a Product Launch: ARROW® EZ-IO® Case Study

ABOUT TELEFLEX

Teleflex is a global provider of medical devices and equipment intended for practitioners in a variety of specialties. Their ARROW® Vascular brand offers cardiovascular and heart-focused devices and solutions for treatment. The company had acquired the ARROW® EZ-IO® Intraosseous Vascular Access System. This device uses the medullary cavity of the bone as a non-collapsible vein, hastening the route medicine takes to the heart by utilizing central venous catheter performance.

Able&Co. worked with Teleflex to integrate the EZ-IO product under the ARROW® brand, and to develop and implement a brand and product launch strategy, targeting providers and hospitals. This resulted in a campaign with a very specific objective: use the strength of the ARROW® brand to change perceptions of the intraosseous vascular access technology and expand the customer base for the product.

Situation Overview

Able&Co. had worked with Teleflex on several ARROW® product launches and projects, and our long-standing relationship allowed us to quickly identify obstacles, pain points as well as short-term and long-term goals. The shortened timeframe for discovery proved to be beneficial due to the compressed timeframe requirements for the EZ-IO product launch and brand onboarding.

When Teleflex acquired the EZ-IO product, the product came with a unique marketing challenge. While early adopters of Intraosseous Vascular Access Systems in the medical professional community quickly understood the benefits of the product, some providers, specifically ER nurses, feared that this type of treatment would be extremely painful for patients. Our goal was to present the product in a way that would allow the medical community to see the product in a more positive light.

Rapid Onboarding

We employed a parallel path strategy to deliver both immediate and long-term success. With several key trade shows in a matter of weeks, we focused on brand compliance as the immediate need while maintaining lead generation and steady sales.

The short-term goal was to conform the EZ-IO branding to the ARROW® branding while ensuring minimal impact to the long-term strategy and re-working materials created during this phase. To address immediate needs, we identified the key assets needed to support an upcoming trade show. Although these key assets affected show graphics, packaging, collateral, photography, copy and web materials, this strategy allowed us to reserve major changes for the long-term rebranding strategy we were working on at the same time.

We ensured brand compliance to the existing ARROW® brand standards, including visuals, color palette, voice and messaging. This was essential because the ARROW® EZ-IO® was joining a family of several other products. During this short-term product introduction phase, the ARROW® sales team experienced no downtime or lull in leads.

Changing Perceptions

Our goal was to have our audience adopt the new technology. Our message was designed to address two issues: overcome the belief that IO technology was painfully uncomfortable for patients and introduce the product to other parts of healthcare. Because the audience consisted of physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers, we created an evidence-based approach focused on conveying three messages – the product’s speed at delivering medicine, the efficacy of treatment in saving lives, and that there were documented proven results.

Able&Co. developed the core message “Proven. Fast. Effective. For vascular access, think outside the vein”. This core message became the underlying theme and structure. This allowed the key selling points to be easily understood through these three simple concepts. The core messaging drove organization of evergreen pieces suchaas brochures and websites and inspired the direction for our disruptive campaign.

In order to create an emotional connection that would resonate with nurses, our strategy was to create a new movement around intraosseous access in general and the EZ-IO in particular. The EZ-IO already had a dedicated following among early adopters with clinicians often posting videos challenging each other to drill as many holes in an egg as possible. This excitement let us know that there could be significant energy behind this device. By creating the feeling that this was the latest technology that more and more clinicians were turning to, it would give comfort to those who were interested but on the fence. They could be not only part of an effective treatment option, but also be assured that it was becoming an accepted practice.

To begin this, we utilized three simple words “I AM IN”. This statement had a triple meaning – first, it expressed that these providers were “a Our goal was to have our audience adopt the new technology. Our message was designed to address two issues: overcome the belief that IO technology was painfully uncomfortable for patients and introduce the product to other parts of healthcare. Because the audience consisted of physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers, we created an evidence-based approach focused on conveying three messages – the product’s speed at delivering medicine, the efficacy of treatment in saving lives, and that there were documented proven results.

IMPLEMENTATION, TACTICS AND RESULTS

Trade show and marketing efforts called to clinicians to join the movement with the question “Are You In?” This also gave rise to a series of testimonials each ending with the I AM IN slogan. Visually this was also depicted by a yellow sign, banner or button signifying clinicians who were relying on EZ-IO for simple and effective IO access. To give the feeling that it was a movement, we incorporated images of clinicians declaring that they were part of the movement. This was utilized across strategically chosen advertising and show materials for the product.

To further create connection, we developed two testimonial videos featuring clinicians who had experience and trust in the ARROW® EZ-IO® product. One video featured the clinician’s testimony that she herself had been saved after a pulmonary embolism, in part, through the use of an EZ-IO. This was supported by additional training and demonstration videos.

The I AM IN message enticed and challenged clinicians to take another look at Intraosseous Access, driven by the core statement. Once interested, deeper marketing materials following the Proven—Fast—Effective structure gave details of the device’s benefits to a much more willing audience. Other deliverables included landing pages, brochures, collateral, flyers, packaging, and more.

The campaign was well received, building buzz about the I AM IN concept and attention to the product, which translated to sales. By softening the audience and giving a clear way to quickly understand the benefits,we were able to overcome the initial fears many had. After the launch, these same tactics were used to break into additional uses for the IO, other than trauma and ER, such as sepsis or treatment of patients with difficult vascular access.

CONCLUSION

By strategically selecting the most necessary goals within the first 100 days of acquiring the campaign, we were able to rapidly onboard this new product without causing a dip in the sales process. This was done while developing a memorable campaign that created emotional buy-in and an organized messaging system that quickly and effectively communicated the product’s benefits. This combination of strategic positioning with the right emotional draw set up the client for success.

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