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What is connected packaging?

Have you seen a QR code on a milk carton, wine bottle, or yoghurt container before? If you scan it with your smartphone camera, you’ll be taken to a connected experience where you may discover product information, discount codes, competitions, and other interactive activities.

Effective packaging

This article is included in the WARC Guide to Effective Packaging, a collection of articles on the packaging.

QR codes, barcodes, or picture recognition may be used in connected packaging to connect customers to relevant information and experiences. It might be a survey or a simple game, for example. This innovation allows companies to expand their conversations with consumers via the package and develop a stronger brand presence while also gaining important insights into their customers’ needs.

The overall connected packaging market is expected to grow at a rate of 7.4% each year from 2020 through 2027, according to Data Bridge, reaching $31.94 billion in 2027. The connected packaging industry is expanding due to the ability of brands to improve brand value and connect them with their customers directly.

Connected packaging aims to make simple packaging into digital experiences using a single mobile phone touch on a QR code. From educating customers about a specific product or brand and encouraging loyalty, to amusing and engaging them, connected packaging is able to provide measurable results. It gives businesses the ability to collect rich data and interact directly with their consumers in order to shape future marketing efforts. We’ll go through why connected packing is significant and how brands may benefit from it in this section.

Connected packaging can provide brands with valuable customer data

First-party data is critical to businesses. Consumers are becoming more concerned about their privacy, and major browsers have restricted third-party cookies. Supermarkets act as intermediaries between food and beauty companies and their customers. Connected packaging has allowed marketers to engage directly with consumers through digital experiences while also collecting data throughout the transaction. This allows brands to obtain a broader perspective on their clients, allowing them to optimize marketing communications, target them more precisely, and personalize them based on individual preferences.

Remove all barriers to entry

Have we linked the packaging together? Gamification? You’re probably thinking about apps that aren’t cheap or hard to use. Customers are less likely to download a brand app, which needs data to download and takes up space on their phone, no matter how long or costly it is to make an application.

Connected packaging is open to everyone. Creating a series of QR codes and hosting a virtual experience on a browser may be as simple as creating digital experiences, depending on your goals. There are no lengthy downloads required.

Boosts education and brand awareness

Connected packaging allows customers to learn more about the companies and their items, resulting in a brand recognition increase.

Appetite Creative has worked with Tetra Pak, the multinational food packaging and processing firm. The activity teaches customers about Tetra Pak’s environmental impact and sustainability efforts, from QR codes on the package to an eco-themed mobile quiz. Customers not only understand Tetra Pak’s approach to sustainability and the environment, but they also learn more about the company through this campaign, including where QR codes were scanned, when, day of purchase, size of package purchased, as well as where they shopped.

Furthermore, we may link together data to gain insight into which companies are more recycling conscious, where in the country or countries as a whole people are more knowledgeable about sustainability, and how these insights might be utilized. These events not only educate the audience but also teach businesses how to frame their messaging.

Boost engagement and brand loyalty

Customers are entertained and rewarded with connected experiences ranging from games and quizzes to films and recipes, all the way to pledges, thanks to connected packaging. They get discounts on future purchases as a result of their involvement. Customer engagement leads to a stronger connection between customers and companies, as consumers like being involved and understood and returning for more goods. In reality, according To a study in 2018, customer brand engagement does have a positive impact on brand loyalty.

Heinz, the Ketchup company, is also an early adopter of connected packaging. It launched its “Join the Growing Movement” campaign in 2012. Customers could scan the QR code on the bottle to join the movement – a hydrogenated polyunsaturated vegetable oil (HVGO) bottle with a biodegradable label that was composed of up to 30% sustainable material from sugar cane.

They were then directed to a special program that invited them to make minor modifications to their everyday routines and encourage more environmentally responsible behaviour. For each promise pledged and shared on social media, Heinz would aid in the planting of a tree. Not only did it demonstrate that Heinz was becoming more ecologically aware, but it was also highly engaging and client-centric. As a consequence, Heinz planted 57,000 trees and the movement was a resounding success.

Drive revenue

Connected packaging is a digital world, and the digital experiences within it, such as quizzes or games, are frequently accompanied by coupons as rewards. Customers are encouraged to spend more using coupons or discount codes, which leads to greater income for businesses.

Bacardi, the well-known rum brand known for its white rum, was searching for some extra assistance in making a lasting impact on customers in 2019. Appetite Creative created a beautiful-looking rum shack experience with Shazam in response to Bacardi’s request. The app included a variety of interesting activities that allowed users to win a bottle of Bacardi or receive a voucher to try one of Shazam’s mojitos at participating bars.

Over 900 mojitos were given away as a result of the promotion, and 12 bottles of rum were distributed. Users experienced the Bacardi brand throughout the entire customer journey on both line and off-line. People had free drinks while consuming other Bacardi products, resulting in increased sales as an “unexpected side effect.”

The essentials: How to make the most out of connected packaging

Link to the right audience with the right gamification strategy

Different connected experiences appeal to different target audiences. To guarantee they pick the appropriate approach for the target group, businesses must be clear about their consumers’ demographics, psychographics, and behavioural segmentation.

In 2019, Starbucks ran a campaign specifically aimed at people between the ages of 18 and 35. The cup flip game was created by Appetite Creative following analysis indicating that when individuals consume coffee, they prefer to drink with one hand. A user may attempt to flip an instantly recognizable Starbucks cup with one hand using this game.

The campaign was a success, with a 30-second dwell time, a 90% engagement rate, and an average of 60 secs engagement time per user. More than 110% of the voucher download objectives were surpassed.

Use the right technology to deliver your message

According to a recent study by Pew Research Center, one-third (32%) of older people in the United States own a tablet computer.

That is to say, when brands pick an audience to target, they must also consider the technology and users of that technology, as well as the screen size to target – mobile, tablet, etc.

Set clear objectives

Personal information, such as age and gender, as well as dwell time (such as location), peak hour, and duration of the interaction, can all be collected during a digital campaign. It’s also feasible to collect product-related data like favourite products and or flavours, as well as social media preferences.

However, businesses need to be certain about the data they want to collect from customers at the start, which necessitates having a clear purpose and adhering to relevant data rules. It’s possible that late modifications might require tough trade-offs once the digital experience has been built and implemented.

Ensure you use supporting social media

Before proceeding with a campaign, it’s important to remind consumers about the existence of digital campaigns and how to use them. This is where social media comes in handy. Customer-generated social media content, such as a short instructional film, can show how connected packaging works and offer step-by-step instructions on scanning a product and beginning the digital experience. Customers will be able to take the first step into the digital campaign without even realizing it by seeing something from their friends’ feeds (or vice versa).

Brands must enable the social media sharing option, as well as provide incentives for consumers to share their experiences on social media. Customers will be inclined to talk about it with their friends and family if you offer rewards like coupons or discount codes after they’ve shared it.

Connected packaging considerations:

  • The trick to creating a successful gamification program is to pick the right audience and gamify your product or service appropriately. The first step is to define your objectives and target audience, after which utilize technology and create a gamification strategy suited to these requirements.
  • Don’t be fooled by the term “connected packaging,” which may imply app-based experiences; it might be basic and inexpensive.
  • Make sure you’re crystal clear about what you want to know about your consumers before the digital campaign goes live, and make sure everything is agreed upon. There’s no going back once it does.
  • Take advantage of social media. While it serves as a means of communicating with the public, the number of digital campaigns necessitates those thousands of items be shared on social networking sites, neither can be neglected.

If you’re looking for a company to assist with your connected packaging experience, why not try Appetite creative?


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