Jenny Stanley
Jenny Stanley 5 October 2022
Categories Advertising, Research

Beginners Guide to Connected Packaging

Many business owners and marketers believe that product packaging is simply a wrapper - a transient, throwaway object that buyers discard soon after purchasing a product. Is it possible to make that printed paper, card, metal, or recyclable plastic work harder for your brand? Can it help you engage customers more effectively? Can your product packaging connect with your consumers' demands and desires?

Yes, it very certainly can do more in this online world.

A combination of intelligent and intriguing technologies is transforming consumer goods packaging today. A connected package is created by combining technology with product packaging design.

But what exactly is connected packaging, and how will it change how marketers interact with their customers?

In this Ultimate Guide to Connected Packaging, we'll look at the many components of connected packaging, ranging from augmented reality to analytics and everything in between.

‍What is Connected Packaging?‍

The use of QR (Quick Response) codes, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), NFC (Near-field communication), and other digital technologies to turn packaging into a digital experience is referred to as connected packaging. When scanned with a mobile phone, these codes allow a business to create a narrative, keep customers up to speed on news and special offers, and even collect feedback and GDPR-compliant data.

Product producers, from large worldwide brands to small and medium-sized businesses, are turning to connected packaging as a vital communication route with their consumer base.

If you look at branding data, you'll notice that you only have a very limited time to capture the attention of customers. Giving them another type of engagement, another means to reach and keep them, is a game changer.

Packaging design has always been essential in terms of influencing sales and brand loyalty. There isn't much room or time to make an impact, so decisions like descriptive vs. non-descriptive logos and the colours, and materials to use are critical.

The next-generation tool for making packaging work hard for a brand is connected packaging.

Connecting Packaging supports sustainability or sustainable packaging by reducing paper waste and keeping everything on the QR code provided.

Many consumer goods sectors benefit from connected packaging, but some of the most prominent are:

  • Products for health and beauty
  • Food and beverage
  • Household Cleaning Products
  • Toiletries

Augmented Reality in Connected Packaging

Augmented reality is one of the most interesting technologies in connected packaging. Companies can use the packaging to show product information, brand stories, or even a personal greeting from the CEO.

The inclusion of Web-based Augmented Reality is a critical component that makes AR within linked packaging truly useful. Consumers don't have to spend time downloading applications to participate in brand experiences when using Web AR, resulting in a more seamless user experience and a significantly higher engagement rate with products that employ the technology.

This experience, built by Aircards for popular chip business The Good Crisp Company, is an excellent example of mixing Web AR into product packaging. The product packaging experience may be accessed through any standard mobile device and seen using the native mobile camera without the use of an app. Consumers are met with an animated Santa Claus and a pleasant brand message.

Packaging News UK recently mentioned in one of their articles “Many brands are recognising the advantages of using intelligent, connected packaging as many of today’s consumers, especially younger ones, become increasingly inseparable from their phones”.

QR Codes in Connected Packaging

QR codes are used to send customers to specific URLs. They're a terrific approach to engaging package experiences straight from the product within linked packaging. Contrary to common assumption, QR codes may be tailored to your business and therefore significantly enhanced aesthetically when compared to the conventional QR designs you're used to seeing.

The activation instructions, as shown, are provided within the QR code box.

This serves as a visual reminder to customers that there is something they may engage with, as well as assists in educating users on how to initiate the experience.

When compared to traditional, static print marketing, augmented reality and QR code activation have been shown to boost engagement in print marketing. This should be addressed in your future product design iterations if you want to boost product engagement. 

In terms of compatibility, iOS smartphones include QR code scanning capabilities integrated into the device's native camera, while certain Android phones do as well, though some require the QR code scanner to be switched on manually in settings first. As a result, it is critical to constantly display a shortened URL. Covering all bases is always ideal.

AR Gamification in Connected Packaging

Augmented Reality mini-games within packaging are wonderful tools for engaging consumers with creative tasks while also boosting brand recognition and further sales through incentivisation.

 A food delivery company, for example, may have an AR game activated by the scanning of a QR code on the delivery bag. Once engaged, users may be presented with a 3D basketball hoop and ball that have been augmented into their surroundings, to make three hoops in a row to gain a discount on their next order.

Associating share buttons with linked packaging experiences like this greatly expands the campaign's potential reach, allowing businesses to drive not just repeat sales but also new customer acquisitions. This is also known as gamification in marketing. Check out this case study of a Gamification created by Appetite Creative for KDD.

Using Connected Packaging to Collect Consumer Feedback 

Brands may use connected packaging to offer interactive quizzes and surveys that are digitally incorporated into the package. Because of the high engagement rates of Web AR, this is an excellent approach to encourage users to submit feedback in a non-intrusive and enjoyable manner.

Consumer feedback from Web AR experiences may be gathered and analysed to offer a clear picture of things like brand attitudes or product evaluations.

Connected Packaging Analytics

Connected packaging also entails establishing a digital channel where none previously existed. One of the primary advantages of this is that it allows you to apply performance analytic packaging tracking.

Aircards' Spatial Analytics is a sophisticated analytics function. It is available within client campaigns and enables companies to comprehend the physical contact points of exploration and engagement with their linked packaging experiences. This sophisticated analytics functionality lends itself to more complicated Web AR experiences, allowing for campaign performance tracking and analysis.

Combining capabilities like Spatial Analytics with more traditional web analytics, data offers you the ability to track consumer behaviour within and outside of the Web AR experience, resulting in a comprehensive picture of campaign performance.

About Appetite Creative

Appetite Creative connects brands to their audiences in today's digital world.

We innovate constantly to create unique tech solutions and ad-serving technology that generate eye-catching and engaging branding and marketing campaigns that drive global awareness and education, increase sales by an average of 20%, help brands collect GDPR-compliant data, and generate an average 3-minute engagement time with our digital experiences.

These packaging innovations will make your brand stand out and deliver the right message using the latest technology and advancements in digital marketing.

We are pioneers in connected packaging and digital advertising campaigns, which we can design, create, and deliver quickly without skimping on the quality of the results. We are the creative tech studio of world firsts, responsible for world-class liquid skins, Whatsapp ads, unique QR code experiences on connected packaging, and innovative lead capture ads that connect directly to a client’s CRM.

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