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Winning Customer Loyalty Through Digitally Empowered Packaging

Posted By: SGK October 21, 2016

As technology continues to advance, mobile engagement in the retail space is following suit. In fact, while 97% of the GenY generation uses a smartphone in retail stores, 73% are willing to scan products to help them with their shopping choices. With the connected package, marketers have a new narrator for the brand and a new way to tell consumers their brand story, without limitation or constraints in the package design.

In a recent BrandSquare webinar, Digimarc’s CMO, Larry Logan, discussed the importance of digitally enabled packaging to communicate more information efficiently with consumers.

Watch the entire webinar here: Winning Consumer Loyalty Through Digitally Empowered Packaging 

With digitally empowered packaging, when consumers point their phones at a package and scan it, they can access brand-authenticated content. Below are 7 categories of communication brands can deliver to engage consumers, provide them more value, and achieve more loyalty and repeat sales:

Product recommendations. Upon scanning the package, consumers may be taken to a page that recommends a product that might go well with what was scanned. Product recommendations work very well for brands with several brand extensions, for example, toiletries for babies or small children. A consumer who scans a package of diapers might also explore products like baby wipes, baby wash and lotion, or other bathroom hygiene related products.

This gives the brand an opportunity to introduce new products that are relevant, and keep consumers interested in the product extensions, which gives the brand a longer life while building consumer loyalty.

Use guidance. If assembly is involved, brands can help their consumers by showing how to put the item together with quick tutorials. Keep in mind, consumers are also scanning products for inspiration and ideas, so for food and beverage products around the holidays, brands can upload videos of, for example how to better carve a turkey for new cooks. This type of content is value-added, and helps to create a rapport and trust with the consumers.

Brand story. What’s your heritage? With digitally empowered packaging, brands can easily answer that question by giving consumers the opportunity to see the people and the faces behind the brand. By telling authentic stories, consumers can get a ‘behind the scene’ glimpse – offering up something they can’t see anywhere else.

Here is a great example of showing a brand’s heritage through digital storytelling: Brown-Forman introduces new bourbon Coopers’ Craft 

Providing this sort of history to consumers enables a deeper understanding and ensures values align with the consumer.

Edu-tainment. The mix of education and entertainment is especially helpful for busy parents preparing their children for school in the morning.  

So, in this example, Fun Flakes delivers a different edu-tainment experience every day, week or month when the package is scanned at breakfast. This heightens engagement and invokes excitement for what the next piece of content will be the following day.

Social networks. Your marketing department currently doesn’t know who purchased that package, but the connected package offers a chance to bring those consumers together with a richer experience. An example would be enrolling in a patient support group where they could share their stories.

Re-ordering. Turn the package into a buy button. Here is an example from Allerpet:

Their products remove allergens for pet owners. Certainly the packaging can link to value-added information, such as pet training videos or a link to owner communities for various breeds.

It is not a medication per se, but one of the key challenges with vets or any doctor is patient compliance with prescriptions. So, the package can link to a scheduling program between doctor and patient to monitor use and re-ordering very easily.

Product transparency. With new regulations, like the SmartLabel initiative, many brands are concerned over the visual impact of QR codes. But an imperceptible code can enhance the SmartLabel logo, such that just the logo itself is all that is needed.

This solution also offers transparency for Nutrition Facts label and GMO labeling information. When the package is scanned, it will still take the consumer directly to the proper SmartLabel page, Nutrition Facts label, or information regarding GMOs or allergens.

Choosing ‘when’ to implement your product transparency initiative will be based on your own production schedules. But surveys show that participating will have benefits to brand loyalty. After all, 39% of consumers would switch to a new brand if it offered full product transparency, while 56% say they would be loyal for life if it provided complete transparency. And if you’re still not convinced, 73% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency in all attributes!

In essence, what we’re highlighting are opportunities for the brand to deliver meaningful information that will INFORM, ENTERTAIN or DELIGHT its consumers.

“To date we see primarily entertainment oriented content, and there will always be a role for that. But we believe there will be a significant shift to content and value that is authentic to the brand and is oriented to what the consumer needs to improve their lives or to have a more deeper relationship with the brand,” says Logan.

Digitally empowered packaging is a new marketing channel — a new broadcast medium — and the only one that the brand totally owns for ongoing engagement. It’s only natural that packaging plays this role as the brand narrator, as it’s the most salient touch point between a brand and its customers.