Packaging is changing. Smart and connected technologies are turning packaging into a digital key that adds value to both the business and consumer.
Packaging has always been vital for winning over new consumers and, in some cases, enhancing the functionality of products themselves. But packaging is changing. Smart and connected technologies are turning packaging into a digital key that adds value to both the business and consumer.
Consumer behavior is also changing. According to the Trivium 2021 Global Buying Green Report, 54% of consumers consider sustainable packaging when choosing a product. And consumers younger than 44 years old are leading this change, 83% indicate that they are willing to pay more for sustainably produced products.
To meet this consumer demand, companies are leveraging smart packaging technologies to save costs, be more sustainable and to create a new digital threads that entertain and enlighten consumers. These customer interactions are creating real value for brands by sharing critical data on product acceptance, use and sustainability upstream.
What is Smart Packaging?
Smart and connected packaging are solutions that are connected, interactive, and context-aware, meaning the information presented on a consumer’s device is usually contextual to the product in hand. Smart packaging solutions are designed to improve product quality, ensure safety, prevent counterfeiting, and increase product shelf life.
Smart packaging can also aid the consumer by enhancing ownership with how-to videos, care and handling, digital manuals and even a medium to present the stories behind the brand. There can be real benefits for both brands and consumers once the connection is made like… deeper relationships and better understanding of the product on hand.
Despite the pressures of the pandemic, sustainable packaging is enormously important for brands as consumers demonstrate interest in their own environmental footprint. As mentioned above, more than half (54%) of consumers take sustainable packaging into consideration when selecting a product and over two-thirds (67%) consider it important that the products they buy are in recyclable packaging.
What to Consider When Designing Your Smart and Sustainable Packaging
Smart packaging can be the most valuable communications channel your brand has and there are Here are a few factors to consider when designing packaging.
While the carbon footprint of packaging is almost always very small compared to the product it holds, it’s often a single-use item and discarded upon opening.
Creating sustainable packaging is more than just a package that can be recycled. Sustainability includes the sourcing, materials, utility, and the end-of-life of the package. Packaging that can be recycled can work well, but only if consumers take that step. Biodegradable materials might be what marketing would like, but they may not suit the utility of the packaging. Work to gain an understanding of what sustainability options are feasible for your customers then build off this end-of-life to create packaging that fulfills its utility, is made from safe materials and is sourced from reliable partners. You may even go as far as providing ‘how to recycle’ instructions on the inside of your packaging.
Accessible packaging can benefit a frequently overlooked audience. Make your packaging more inclusive by focusing on the opening mechanisms and verify that the typography, your logo, and any other visuals are legible. If possible, design packaging with multiple ways to open it. You want to give the customer as many options as possible to succeed.
According to a recent The Drum/YouGov report, 94% of consumers have scanned QR codes in the past year and 75% expect to continue using them in the future. This plus the fact that most people are walking the aisles with their phone in hand make digital content the most powerful tool to influence the purchasing decision. While crafting your message, we recommend appreciating the moment a customer has your product in hand to answer FAQs and build effective, business relevant, CTAs
Smart and sustainable packaging can entertain, provide instruction, and inform consumers while saving cost for printed inserts with digital content. It can also encourage deeper interactions with the physical product and digital brand presence.
A free guide on creating great smart packaging experiences
At Authentic, we focus on adding value to products by delivering actionable content to consumers at the point of purchase and throughout the life of the product. Real was made to deliver the brand impact information consumers want in an environment that allows brands to maintain control of the content and narrative. Your brand. Your message.
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