In Europe, 9 out of 10 consumers (1) juggle between the different distribution channels. Ultra-connected, unpredictable and highly educated, when they buy something they are not only looking for a meaning but also for a differentiated experience. In a market where omnichannel has become the standard and where the digital store is a spreading reality, brands must reinvent themselves in order capture the attention and engage with consumers. How can packaging become an asset to improve the overall experience and reconnect brands with consumers?
Connected packaging and augmented reality: the keys to a better brand experience
How to go beyond the ordinary trade promotion? Is customisation the answer? How to provide with a positive, consistent and engaging experience? Packaging is today a brand communication vehicle driving meaning and experience to become a great asset in the process of reinventing the buying process and offering a useful experience. A new tool is being deployed: connected packaging.
In the United States, thanks to a QR code system, Heinz ketchup bottles give access to an augmented reality cookbook. This is how a brand can engage and be present in consumers’ daily lives: providing new ideas for using the product and offering a pleasant experience, even causing surprise. Connected packaging is the perfect technology to play the surprise card. The most emblematic example is the campaign launched by the polish brand Mila frozen: thanks to Wi-Fi connection and motion sensors, the packaging makes a series of jumps as shoppers approach. A very clever way to call to mind the freshness of their products. Another great advantage of investing in connect packaging technologies is the fact that it can capture the attention regardless the generation. Indeed, even X-Gen, born between 1965 and 1980 and for who packaging has only one primary function, considers those campaigns attractive and memorable.
Phygital takes a new momentum
Some brands capitalise on fun and pedagogy. This is the case of Tetra Pak which, thanks to augmented reality, creates a children-friendly environment to raise awareness around forest and biodiversity preservation as well as recycling. In an environment where the search for useful experience, exclusivity and authenticity prevails, brands are mixing many differentiation levers.
Let’s take Danone, for example, whose partnership with Copenhagen Airport provided an enriched and customised travel experience. A limited edition of connected bottles of the Aqua d’Or brand called #Pure gave access to fun and historical content about the city. Via an app, travellers discovered at the right time, information on the most emblematic places in town and were invited to take part in a contest. With 3 million bottles on the market and over 15,000 people engaged, this operation has reconnected the brand to its consumers. Thus, by combining new technologies, storytelling and promotion, connected packaging pushes the boundaries of the physical world and promotes an enriched brand experience. These assets are attracting more and more retailers wishing to transform the physical store into a real digital store for playful and sensory experiences. The phygital is definitely the new black!
(1) Source: PWC Study, 2015