Smart Packaging is becoming the wave of the future in the manufacturing world. Businesses all across the globe are reinventing product packaging. Smart packaging has become an interactive customer engagement tool. It’s brilliant marketing.
The packaging material includes sensors, microchips, and other tech. This allows it to share information over the internet.
Imagine food cans that alert you that the product is about to expire. Or a smart fridge that tracks buying habits. Imagine if it could create a list of what to buy next week. And even order it for you?
How about a pill bottle that tracks a patient’s medicine intake? The possibilities of smart packaging seem endless.
It all begins with something that has become known as the “Internet of Things”. According to Forbes, “Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of”.
This would also include your Amazon Alexa or Google Home, connected security systems, thermostats, cars, lights in your household, speaker machines, vending machines and more.
By using NFC technology (Near Field Communication, essentially a way for your phone to interact with something in close proximity), smart packaging is combining connectivity into our daily lives with the Internet of Things. In just one year alone the amount of IoT devices connected in homes has gone from the millions into the billions.
A brilliant example of innovative smart packaging was done recently at the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia. Anheuser-Busch created a collectible Budweiser cup that lit up in response to cheering and crowd noise. This was done by integrating circuitry into the beverage packaging that responded to changes in sound level. This was connected to LED lights that flashed, which in turn helped to build on the energy of the fans in the building.
The value comes in the direct-to-consumer applications that will enhance the consumer’s shopping experience as well as build brand loyalty and engagement well after the sale. It seems as if more and more businesses are taking advantage of this new technology and trend.
Not only is it brilliant marketing, but it is also excellent for gathering data to further enhance your retail packaging strategies.
Kirsten Crisostomo is a freelance copy and content writer based in Vancouver, BC.