What Is Connected Packaging?
Product packaging is persistent, and will most certainly outlast what we know as “marketing” today. How we sell products will change, societies as a whole will change, but the need to “contain products” will not. It is quite simple really, no one will ever want to buy a handful of wine, or a pocketful of shampoo.
Connected packaging leverages NFC, QR, RFID, or even image recognition through a mobile app, to connect consumers to relevant content and experiences. Candy wrappers, wine bottles, and shoe boxes will be enhanced with direct connections to mobile apps and technology to encourage customer engagement. Framed within the broader idea of the Internet of Things, the Internet of Boxes supports the idea that every physical package ought to have a complementary digital footprint.
Still a new concept, several brands have begun experimenting with connected packaging to delight their customers. Even more brands and retailers are planning in the future to not only connect with generations consumed with mobile, but also to create a dialogue between consumers and brands.
The Power of Packaging
Facebook, search engines, TV commercials, billboards, print ads, radio spots – the media and medium we use to promote products are always changing, and brands must constantly adapt to new forms and technologies. One thing has and will continue to stand the test of time, and though rarely thought of as a form of media, product packaging has a transcendent strength and longevity that comes from the simple fact that it contains the product.
As long as goods have been traded between persons, they have needed to be contained. Even throughout history, the makers of these products have found ways to identify themselves, and their “brand”. Referred to as “silent salesman”, the properties of the package can suggest elegance, practicality, style, strength, and so on. The product package affects how we perceive the product inside, and in a way that consumers themselves must decipher from their own unique perspective. And while the product packs from today are a far cry from the clay pots of yesterday, the idea of the product pack and the necessity for it is not going away.
A smarter, trusted ecosystem
From connected packaging, brands and retailers can create new media networks for communicating with their customers, and with a greater focus on post-purchase. NFC (Near Field Communication) and QR (Quick Response) codes are the most prevalent ways to deliver connected packaging experiences and content. NFC is the newest and most promising technology for Western brands, Quick Response being far more popular in Asian markets. Both allow consumers to tap or scan the product pack to gain a direct connection to the brand, as well as any content that might be relevant and helpful.
A few examples have already popped up in the market. These are early precursors to what we will come to understand as connected packaging have only skimmed the surface of what is possible through the a fully connected package. As brands are seeking a less divisive and more purposeful way to communicate with consumers, a connected package can do just that. By providing a trusted ecosystem from which consumers can derive value, brands are able to rise above the noise to develop authentic one-to-one relationships.
There are also many supply chain benefits. It is becoming increasingly affordable to incorporate additional sensors into packaging using NFC. These sensors can provide real-time location tracking and help to prevent theft. Customers can scan their package to find out if the product is authentic, or if it has spoiled. A brand or retailer can help save themselves and their customers billions each year.
Join the Internet of Boxes
Product packaging is much more than a basic commodity, and it’s evolving. New designs are appearing to accommodate online ordering, or the need for “Instagrammable” packaging. In a world where we experience the physical world as augmented, annotated, and then share it all digitally, connected packaging lets products assert their identity and be endowed with greater agency than previously possible.
The TUKU ARCC platform provides end-to-end consumers for each stage in the customer journey – before, during, and after they buy, to leverage the power of each meaningful moment. Providing unique experiences based context, we have the only IoT platform designed specifically to meet the needs of brands and retailers. Contact us to discuss how to build a connected packaging ecosystem for your brand.