Getting Started in Smart Packaging – What to Do?
A Customer Connection is Exciting, but What Should We Do?
In today’s post of our Getting Started in Smart Packaging series, I will talk about what brands can do with the direct to customer connection. Please check the blog for our previous posts on getting started and an analysis of NFC tags vs. QR codes. Figuring out what to do with smart packaging could be the most important concept in our Getting Started series as the interaction with the customer will determine how they engage with your brand and the impact the interaction has on the consumer.
“I want smart packaging.” That is a good statement, but the question really is…. Why? What do you want to achieve? The goals that you have will determine the content that you need for your smart packaging interaction. The possible goals could include improving sales, getting to know your customer, tracking products, product authentication, offering coupons and incentives, installation or assembly help, product registration and many others. Based on the goals for your business, you will decide on what your smart packaging interaction will look like.
Smart packaging and the associated interaction represent a new marketing channel. It will borrow from others, but the smart packaging interaction is different because of relevancy. The interaction is triggered by an activator on or near your product and someone has chosen to begin the conversation. If I drive down a highway and see a billboard advertising a product, there would be one message targeted to a wide variety of consumers. If I chose to tap an NFC tag, the message should be different. The primary difference is that the consumer has expressed interest and one would imagine is considering a purchase. Based on the location of the tag, you will adjust your message further. If this tag is in a grocery store, you assume that other similar products are nearby, so your message could focus on the benefits of your product compared to others. If you think price is important, you could offer a coupon to make your product more economical.
For new product launches the message could be to introduce the new product and how it fits in with existing product choices, what the value proposition is, or whether it is a better performing compared to your existing products. Each of these interactions can be targeted to the consumer based on where the tag is placed in a store, where the store is in the country, time of day, etc. You can create a flexible interaction that is focused on specific customers.
A key component of any campaign is an incentive for the consumer. “Tap here for more information” might interest some people. “Tap here for a chance to win free groceries for a month” will interest more people. Whether the chance to save money, win a prize, get access to unique content or something else entirely, many consumers are driven by what is in it for them. Offering some benefit will get them to interact and offer their information which brands can use to improve the engagement. The rewards do not have to be purely economic, in the case of pharmaceuticals for example, getting to interact to determine whether a particular drug is right for me or my family can be priceless.
At Tapwow, we talk about the Hand to Brand™ experience between a brand and customers. You need to identify goals for your brand and then determine what kind of interaction will deliver on those goals.