From scannable labels that unlock exclusive promotions to paper boxes that turn into hangers for your new shirts, interactive packaging is capturing the attention of consumers.
According to the 2017 Global Packaging Trends Report from renowned market research firm Mintel, one of the major emerging trends in packaging is packaging that is smart and interactive.
Currently, 3.4 billion consumers own smartphones, and that number is slated to double by 2021. Not taking advantage of smartphone-friendly packaging is a missed opportunity. So don’t get left behind and read on to learn how you can create a brand experience that is quality, unique and memorable.
Below are four reasons why interactive packaging is gaining popularity as an essential marketing tool.
1. Interactive Packaging Separates Your Packaging From the Competition
Often as your browse the aisle of your local grocery or department store packaging looks increasingly indistinguishable. Cleaning products are often a shade of blue or green, women’s cosmetics are pink and men’s toiletries a shade of grey or blue.” With so much clatter and chatter constantly vying for their attention, packaging becomes white noise – an often silent, but steady force in consumers’ daily lives,” states the Mintel packaging trends report.
When products look interchangeable, people purchase them interchangeably but creating unique packaging creates a meaningful connection with consumers. Your company will be far from white noise when you use best practices for creating interactive packaging such as packaging that can change patterns or packaging that transforms into an useful or beautiful object.
2. Interactive Packaging Gives Your Consumers New Information
Interactive smart packaging can let you know when your food has gone bad, confirm the authenticity of your expensive designer clothing or alert you about new promotions.
Consumers want fresh insights on the products they’re consuming, and interactive packaging can meet that demand. In fact according to Mintel 50% of U.S. consumers are interested in scanning food packaging to learn about the food’s freshness. Similar results have also been seen from consumer surveys across the globe.
Interactive packaging gives your consumers in-depth information and a food safety label is an excellent example of how you can use interactive packaging to create value for your customers. For example, some meat companies have created labels that change colour as time goes on to tell customers when products are losing freshness easily. For example, a yellow dot indicates a product is fresh, whereas a blue dot indicates it should be consumed shortly and a grey dot indicates the product is now past due. Similarly, companies have created labels that will give you details on the product’s expiry date, freshness levels, and safety notes within seconds when its barcode is scanned using a smartphone.
3. Interactive Packaging is Less Expensive Now
There was a time when creating multi-colored and multi-lateral packaging was exorbitant, but the evolution of printing and three-dimensional printing has eased the prices of packaging considerably. Second generation QR codes also have powerful, cost-effective capabilities such as code that is readable for smartphones. In addition to cheaper packaging technology, there are also universal QR code apps such as the QR Code Reader app available for Android and iOS. This means that you don’t necessarily need to create an app of your own just to make your product scalable, saving you tens or even thousands of dollars in developer and consultant fees. As long as you follow the protocol to make the label on your product mobile-friendly, you can create interactive packaging even if you don’t have the resources to create an app.
4. Interactive Packaging Boosts Consumer Engagement
The company Hanger Pack has created a paper box package for its t-shirts that folds into a hanger for use later. Who doesn’t need a new hanger for new clothing? Also, creating your own hanger is a fun, eco-friendly activity that is a value add for consumers. “ As a person who travels quite a bit, I love this idea as it won’t take up loads of space and is recyclable too!” says NikitaOtto a fan of the product in an online post.
Interactive packaging takes up many forms and does not need to be as elaborate as a foldable hanger. It could be as simple as a square paper label on your product that can later be turned into an origami shape such as a flower, or animal. These fun designs are incredibly cheap, and interactive labels that can be turned into crafts are particularly popular with female customers under 30-years-old.
The Bottom Line
Interactive packaging takes many forms today, and it no longer has to cost a fortune to create a memorable and fun design. From coffee mugs that change their design by twisting a button to labels that can transform into origami shapes to Smart Label tags that can give consumers more information about the product’s features, top companies are harnessing the power of interactive packaging to boost consumer engagement and brand loyalty.
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