1. Wide adoption of QR Codes
With the rapid and wide adoption of QR technology over the last 12 months, brands are increasingly recognising the opportunity and don’t want to miss out. We’re now using QR codes for everything from checking in at a restaurant or pub, to finding a menu and ordering food. This increased adoption and understanding of QR codes is universal and impacting all ages – everyone now understands how to use a QR code – and how quickly and easily it can deliver access to key information.
In certain markets legislation is changing making it easier to utilise this kind of technology. For example, the UK Government is reforming the UK Packaging Waste Regulations to help reduce environmental damage caused by the way we use and dispose of packaging. In March, China implemented mandatory traceability requirements for all food products transported via cold chain, including dairy products, fruits and drinks, in an expansion of its efforts to prevent Covid-19 from entering the country via imported foods. Connected packaging is a great way to comply with these new restrictions, track product usage and improve packaging sustainability practices.
2. Benefits of first-party data
The collection of first-party data and analytics is of course a major advantage for any brand, with connected packaging delivering this valuable information directly from the customer’s fingertips. Simply by scanning QR codes or barcodes on the product packaging, customers are led to a customised digital campaign. This could be a quiz exploring customer product preferences, education campaigns about health or the environment, to a game that offers discounts, vouchers or sampling. Whatever the structure, it allows for GDPR compliant data collection, and the consumer journey is simple, with no extra app installations required.
At Appetite Creative, we work with many different brands to help deliver customer insights and digital-first campaigns. Recently, we partnered with CurryKing to create a series of bespoke mobile-first mini-games, delivered to the consumer via QR codes on product packaging. The mobile-focused campaign offered an instant share button, highlighting the shareability of the content to the consumer. On the data side, a bespoke dashboard platform tracked every live engagement, allowing the brand to see real-time data from the campaign. The campaign recorded more than 420k users engaged with the gaming experiences, with an average game time of 3.5 minutes.
The different layers of data connected packaging can deliver to a brand helps build a unique and in-depth picture of consumer behaviour. This insight can be invaluable, assisting brands to better understand their target audiences, but also reach them more efficiently, building valuable engagement. Whether that is younger mobile-first audiences, or vertical-specific product fans, this data collection and analysis can guide both product and marketing strategies, harnessed through smart product packaging.
Other than delivering business advantages, connected packing can also be a force for good especially when it comes to sustainability. It can help educate customers and ultimately change their behaviour for the better. Importantly for marketers, it can also help align brands to be on the right side of the fight for the future of our planet.
This use of connected packaging to amplify the positive work of brands, alongside education, is growing in popularity. For example, Chiquita connected its famous blue banana sticker to an interactive user experience around its sustainability practices. There are also brands using connected packaging to deliver practical tips around sustainability; Ella’s Kitchen directs consumers to its website for information on how to recycle the brand’s different packaging and Cif’s refill pack also delivers recycling instructions via a QR code. With an ever-growing need for brands to act responsibly when it comes to environmental policies, connected packaging and the wider technology supporting it provides a smart solution.
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Connected packaging can deliver a raft of brilliant direct to customer experiences. Our work often utilises competitions, which can be very sticky and encourage customer loyalty and repeat visits, but there are so many other opportunities delivered by connected packaging. These include tutorials or virtual product testing for beauty products, market research using questions and polls targeted directly at customers, and also sharing product instructions for example how to take a medicine or how to use personal care products such as teeth whitening strips or face masks.
Connected packing is also a great way to share key product information, or inspiration in the form of product recipes and how to videos. It can also be used to share supply chain information for imported food or food safety details for food facing safety concerns. Marketing campaigns can also be carried out via connected packaging to inform new product development or help improve an advertising campaign. It can also be used as a loyalty card and to collect and redeem sampling vouchers. It’s an incredibly versatile media channel – as well as being agile, responsive and delivering customer data in real-time.
What is Connected Packaging?
These types of insights can play a significant role in decision-making when it comes to the evolution of product creation and its rollout, something that Swiss milk processor Emmi has harnessed effectively. The dairy company has teamed up with leading packaging company Tetra Pak to promote the launch of two new products, Oat & Milk Drink and Balance Drink, to their successful good day rang, via interactive digital advertising and connected packaging, in an attempt to be one of the first on the market to continuously engage with consumers digitally, whilst also educating their key audience about the benefits of their range and their new Emmi good day milk drinks.
More about the Tetra Pak campaign here.
In order to help Emmi achieve their goals, Appetite Creative came up with the implementation of QR Codes on the Tetra Pak packaging of Emmi good day’s recently launched products. Once consumers entered the experience, they would be randomly able to play any of the 4 interactive games.To support this campaign and raise awareness of the chance to scan and win prizes and discounts, our team of designers and video editors also developed social media assets. Video ads and animated graphics were created and posted on Facebook, YouTube and Google Ads. During the four months the campaign was live, the games were played a total of 45,897 times making it a huge success in the brand’s home country, Switzerland.
More about the Emmi campaign here.
Connected experiences can help understand the audience better. Market research style questions such as ‘Are you actively avoiding sugar in what you eat and drink?’ or ‘Is the sugar content of a product important to you?’ were answered more than 50,000 times, helping consumers to learn more about the natural ingredients of the Emmi Good Day products and providing the company with insights about the users making this connected packaging project one of the most disruptive and successful of 2020.
Another great example of connected packaging is a recent PepsiCo campaign which put gamification at the heart of its graduate recruitment programme. A web-based app experience was designed that connected the gamification experience to PepsiCo’s data platforms. Built around 10 key brands, including Pepsi, Doritos and Walkers, the app experience runs alongside PepsiCo’s Dare To Do More programme, which was shared through key social media channels across Europe.
PepsiCo wanted graduates to have a positive application experience and engage with their brands, while having fun during the recruitment process. The solution delivered by Appetite Creative was the Dare to Do More Challenge PepsiCo Games web app.
The app was a success among the candidates, within the first two months more than 500 users registered, with almost 300 page views and an average session time of more than 8 minutes.
More about the PepsiCo campaign here.
The different opportunities connected packaging can deliver to a brand helps build a unique and in-depth picture of consumer behaviour. This insight can be invaluable, assisting brands to better understand their target audiences, but also reach them more efficiently, building valuable engagement. Whether that is younger mobile-first audiences, or vertical-specific product fans, this data collection and analysis can guide both product and marketing strategies, harnessed through smart product packaging.