The Adult Disposable Brief Market — Opportunities for differentiation

May 1, 2013 at 5:48 PM 2 comments


Objectives

In preparation for our proposal presentation, MedSpan Research conducted a brief survey to better understand the adult disposable brief market. In particular, the goal was to understand purchasing processes for incontinence products and opportunities for product improvement.

Methodology

To execute the study, MedSpan Research conducted a 5-minute Internet survey with nursing home administrators and directors of nursing. Respondents were located around the country.

Respondents were split relatively evenly between nursing homes that are independent, part of a regional chain or part of a national chain.  The number of residents per facility ranges from 50 to 200.

Caveat: Data was collected from a small number of nursing home administrators and directors of nursing.  Therefore, the data are not necessarily reflective of the entire nursing home market.  The survey’s small sample size means that statistically reliable conclusions cannot be drawn from the results presented below. The results should be considered exploratory and directional in nature.

Summary of Findings

Product knowledge: All nursing home administrators and directors of nursing consider themselves “knowledgeable” or “very knowledgeable” about incontinence products and their facility’s use of them.

Purchasing process: Most nursing homes use only disposable adult briefs.  One nursing home recently switched from reusable only to disposable only.  Another nursing home uses both reusable diapers and disposable adult briefs.  Therefore, both types of incontinence products are in use in the market.

“We just changed from reusable only to disposable only [adult briefs].  They provide better absorbency for those heavy wetters.” – Nursing Home, Director of Nursing

 

A mix of directors of nursing and administrators are responsible for deciding to use reusable diapers, disposable adult briefs or a combination thereof.  Purchasing is sometimes involved in the selection process.  At nursing home chains, corporate clinical staff may play a role in the decision.

Once an organization decides between reusable and disposable incontinence products, administrators and directors of nursing select the brand that they will use. Purchasing is sometimes involved in the selection process.  At nursing home chains, corporate clinical staff may play a role in the decision.

Product attributes that drive brand selection: Nursing home administrators and directors of nursing indicate that absorbency and skin dryness are the primary drivers of brand selection.  Price and fit are secondary drivers.  Less important factors include comfort, availability, and in-use discretion (i.e., low “noise factor”).

Brand awareness and loyalty: Most administrators and directors of nursing are aware of only one or two brands of adult disposable briefs.

Most nursing homes appear to use one brand of adult disposable briefs at a time. Once a brand has been selected for use in the nursing home, brand loyalty seems to be strong.  Almost all most nursing homes change brands less frequently than once a year.

Desired improvements for adult disposable briefs: The most common desired improvements are better absorbency and better tape or side closures. Some nurses also would like an improvement in fit.

“[Patients] need more durable side closures.” – Director of Nursing

“[I] prefer better tape, and a little more absorbency.” – Administrator         

[I would like to see improvements in adult disposable briefs that] “smooth out the elastic legs or pad that area to protect the skin”. – Director of Nursing

Conclusions

This brief study indicates that the purchasing process is relatively consistent between nursing home organizations and involves a number of organizational leaders.

This brief study indicates that there are opportunities to improve the designs of adult disposable briefs to differentiate it from the competition.  Such differentiation could encourage nursing homes to switch their preferred brand of adult disposable briefs even though brand loyalty is high.

We hope you find this summary informative and helpful. Thank you for participating in the study.

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Entry filed under: Healthcare innovation, Healthcare marketing, Niche marketing, Nursing Home Care. Tags: , , , , , .

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