Digital integration in packaging

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While the digital world is expanding uncontrollably,
packaging, in its most basic sense, remains almost
unchanged. Although both are fundamentally different,
there exists a massive need to seamlessly connect a brand’s touch points across all media. The question that remains is: beyond the base purpose of packaging, how do you integrate technology?

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Digital integration in packaging

  1. 1. Digital integration in packaging An offline to online fact sheet
  2. 2. White paper | September 2013 | Digital Integration in Packaging | 1 Shikatani Lacroix is a leading branding and design firm located in Toronto, Canada. The company wins commissions from around the world, across CPG, retail and service industries, helping clients achieve success within their operating markets. It does this by enabling its clients’ brands to better connect with consumers through a variety of core services including corporate identity, naming and communication, brand experience, packaging, retail, wayfinding and product design. About the Author Brendon Sargent, Account Manager at Shikatani Lacroix As an account manager at Shikatani Lacroix, Brendon oversees packaging projects for clients such as PepsiCo Food Canada. Brendon has extensive account management experience in the areas of design, digital (web, mobile and social media), print, retail, packaging, OOH, radio, sponsorship, sports marketing, and events. Prior to joining Shikatani Lacroix, Brendon managed accounts for top-tier brands, such as Stella Artois, Visa and P&G, at GMR Marketing and Grip Limited.
  3. 3. White paper | September 2013 | Digital Integration in Packaging | 2 Packaging and mobile: where the two intersect is where you’ll find the “sweet spot” While the digital world is expanding uncontrollably, packaging, in its most basic sense, remains almost unchanged. Although both are fundamentally different, there exists a massive need to seamlessly connect a brand’s touch points across all media. The question that remains is: beyond the base purpose of packaging, how do you integrate technology? The world is quickly becoming more portable and therefore more convenient. Smartphones, tablets, and wearable technology are all becoming extensions of our bodies, and consequently making our lives more mobile. We must consider where we most commonly interact with packaging: at the moment of purchase. It’s not likely that the average person will have access to anything but a mobile device in that moment. Where the two intersect is where you’ll find the “sweet spot.” There are several technologies that have come and gone, and several that are here to stay. Below I’ve outlined a few. The purpose of this article is not to explain how the technology works (I’ve included handy links for your own personal research), but more of a quick reference guide about integrating technology with packaging.
  4. 4. White paper | September 2013 | Digital Integration in Packaging | 3 #1 QR Codes You may have seen these around town. Then, all of a sudden, you didn’t. Unfortunately, QR codes simply did not have the wide adoption that was originally projected. While being able to contain information within a simple scan seemed convenient, in reality there were too many barriers that existed. Consumers are more predisposed to enter a URL in a browser they’re accustomed to, rather than opening a separate application. If you still feel inclined to use a QR code on your packaging, make sure you do so with the following in mind: • You’re asking the consumer to use their smartphone, so make sure the destination is mobile-optimized. • Despite what some might think, it’s not easier to scan, so make it worth their while. Provide additional incentive for using the QR code versus a URL. • QR codes take up a lot of real estate on packaging, so ensure you’re adding value to the consumer, something that can’t easily be accomplished via a URL. • Size matters. Make sure the QR code is large enough to scan.
  5. 5. White paper | September 2013 | Digital Integration in Packaging | 4 #2 Augmented Reality Like QR codes, Augmented Reality (AR) has fairly low penetration in the marketplace. It is, however, very cool. If done well, AR not only can add the “wow factor” to your brand, but it can even be interactive with the packaging. Lego has great examples of this, both in-store and at home. Some pointers: • Some people don’t understand AR—having an in-store demonstration really helps. • For similar reasons as above, instead of asking consumers to download an app on their smartphone, an Augmented Reality in-store installation can remove some of the barriers. • Don’t expect thousands of visits to your experience. Instead, plan some media and/or PR around it to get some of this “buzz” you always hear about. That’s where you’ll find the return. • Make the AR creative make sense. While it might be fun to have a gorilla climb your bottle like King Kong on the Empire State Building, it doesn’t exactly connect or add anything to the brand.
  6. 6. White paper | September 2013 | Digital Integration in Packaging | 5 #3 URLs While often underestimated, the URL is the easiest, most basic way to digitally integrate your packaging, and the technology isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Plain and simple, if you want consumers to know more about you, you need to direct them to your website. If you tout it, they will come. #4 Social Media There is no right or wrong answer to whether you should include social media mentions on packaging. It all depends on your brand’s goals. While it’s not always necessary, if your brand is actively using social media, and there’s enough room to include it without jeopardizing design, then add a Facebook or Twitter icon in there. Alternatively, there are some details to consider before blemishing your designer’s masterpiece: • Tell the consumer what you want them to do. A blue “F” or Larry the Bird (yes, that’s its name) can have many alternative calls-to-action: “Follow us,” “Tweet,” “Tell us...” • Don’t make the consumer jump through hoops. Usually one request is all you get. • Make sure to keep your fans or followers interested. After they complete whatever action you’ve asked them to do, they’ll be looking for something in return. • If you can, have some way of tracking those who have read and followed the instructions. Not only is it helpful in measuring your annual KPIs, but it also informs where the consumer is looking on your packaging.
  7. 7. White paper | September 2013 | Digital Integration in Packaging | 6 #5 Electronic Devices This category is a free-for-all. There are no rules. If you include an electronic device in your packaging, it’s almost always a win. Think about how much fun simple musical greeting cards can be. The key is to be new and different. Heineken lends a great example with their flashing light technology. While they’re not the first to have implemented this gimmick, they hit the nail on the head in terms of integrating with the surroundings. It has different flash settings for when it’s at rest, when you’re drinking, and when you cheers with another bottle. It can also be remotely activated to flash in time with music. With this wireless element, there are so many more possibilities for the technology.
  8. 8. White paper | September 2013 | Digital Integration in Packaging | 7 #6 NFC While it’s still in its infancy in terms of market penetration, there remains a massive amount of opportunity for nearfield communication. In time, this will require little to no effort by the consumer, and could ultimately replace the wallet as we know it today. So how could we integrate this into packaging? •We could have the product send pertinent information to our phones. •It could alert us when we’re nearby a product on our shopping list. •It could even record our purchase habits to provide us with a more personalized shopping experience. The future holds many opportunities. When technologies become standardized and cheaper to mass produce, the possibilities are endless and packaging will be a unique experience for each individual. Brands will only show us what they want us to see, and it will look completely different for the next person walking down the aisle. It’s both exciting and daunting. We’ll have boundless opportunity, but how will a single brand differentiate itself? It only forces us to be more creative and more innovative as we progress. So the questions is: where will it go next?
  9. 9. White paper | September 2013 | Digital Integration in Packaging | 8 Reference materials QRStuff.com - What’s a QR Code? http://www.qrstuff.com/qr_codes.html Wikipedia.org - Augmented reality https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality YouTube.com - Lego Augmented Reality Demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYNkVKKOxW4 DesignTaxi.com - LEGO Story Builder: Concept Augmented-Reality App For Kids http://designtaxi.com/news/356952/LEGO-Story-BuilderConcept-Augmented-Reality-App-For-Kids/ Mashable.com - Why Is Twitter's Logo Named After Larry Bird? http://mashable.com/2012/03/02/twitter-bird-name/ CNET.com - High-tech Heineken bottles light up when you say 'cheers' http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57579600-1/hightech-heineken-bottles-light-up-when-you-say-cheers/ TUAW.com - Apple is silently telling us to stop asking for near-field communication http://www.tuaw.com/2013/09/19/apple-is-silently-tellingus-to-stop-asking-for-near-field-commu/
  10. 10. White paper | September 2013 | Digital Integration in Packaging | 9 For more information contact: Brendon Sargent, Account Manager Shikatani Lacroix 387 Richmond Street East Toronto, Ontario M5A 1P6 Telephone: 416-367-1999 Email: bsargent@sld.com

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