THE FUTURE OF PACKAGING
Packing and Augmented Reality used for good.
Packing has one role, although depending on the contents, possibly two.
It’s raison d’être is to protect whatever is sitting inside. Be it food or drink, clothing, farm machinery or precious gems. The perfect container should ensure that when the contents arrive at their final destination, they’re do so in the manner intended.
However, there are numerous contents that also need to use packaging for self-promotion.
The subtle gold logo on black that whispers exclusivity and urges you to buy. The detailed instructions and screaming headline that explains just how powerful and effective the latest drain cleaner is.
The story of a traveller who ventured far and wide in search of unique ingredients so that today you can be one of the select few, lucky enough to be nibbling on luxurious chocolate.
Packaging doesn’t just help protect, it promotes and projects a desired image. And with Augmented Reality (AR), the opportunities for this projected persona have never been so beguiling.
No longer are clunky Quick Response codes needed.
Now, once the consumer has opened the required AR app, the packaging itself can open a channel of seemingly hidden content for the consumer. Films, games, social media – whatever is achievable digitally can now be conveyed through the packaging.
The circle has been closed.
Packaging and digital content are one and have become the smart marketers’ dream.
Consumers can be engaging with your brand not simply because of what you’re selling, but because of the content that you’re providing.
An edge that will see the brands that embrace AR seeing sales that outstrip their competitors.
One of our clients, JuiceBurst was named the second most ‘Blipped’ brand that year (Blippar figures, January 2014), beating all other FMCG (Coco-Cola’s slim cans came in ninth).
However with growing awareness and concern for the environment, should the responsible brand also be looking to use this marketing channel to endorse their green credentials?
The answer to this is three-fold; understanding the target audience, relevance and technology experience.
If your target audience is 20-something builders whose biggest concern is how their team did on Saturday, then content about the environment is unlikely to be consumed by them. If however the chosen consumers are young parents who are likely to be thinking about environmental issues, then your messaging is relevant and you’ll be talking to a receptive audience.
But all this hard work could be wasted if the experience is a let down.
According to research from Deloitte, 72% of the UK now own a smart phone. But while they may own it, are they using the AR technology and if they are, is it useable where your product is?
While 4G has been heralded as the answer to all our prayers, its reach is still poor. So historically the AR experience hasn’t been what it should have been, and this has put a lot of consumers off.
But, get it right and in the sweet spot between technology, understanding and relevance, you’ll find fertile ground where your brand will prosper and grow.
More than that, consumers will share the experience with friends and family, becoming advocates for your enlightened attitudes and use of technology and you should see an exponential growth in sales.
So embrace the new. Start to think of your product and the packaging that it comes in, not simply as that, but as another channel to communication and another way to connect with your content hungry consumers.