Packaging Evolving to Engage and Measure Consumers

Packaging Evolving to Engage and Measure Consumers

custompackaginghomelinkThe 11/17 issue of Packworld includes an awe-inspiring recap of the amazingly creative ways companies are using packaging to connect with consumers emotionally and functionally.  The article summarizes presentations at Packaged. The 6th Global Summit. Among them are incredible ways that technology and creativity are changing the way consumers interact with packaging.

Shira Rosen, Packaging Development Manager for Strauss Group Global brands spoke to how Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon understand Generation Z is a digital native. The entire article is a mesmerizing read, but a few highlights are:

KFC South Africa created a campaign to use technology, usually a distraction at dinner time, to bring families together. The bucket sleeves direct consumers to a mobile app to unlock one of three original Suppertime Stories. The phone and bucket then work together to tell an interactive story using light, sound, and vibration.

UK-based company Novalia has come up with several disposable loT smart packaging solutions, like a Pizza Hut box that connects via Bluetooth to sync with DJ apps. Expect to see more of loT in packaging, in fact, to communicate advice or alerts to consumers as well as track things like usage. It’s the forefront of real-time data about consumers.

Not every idea included such advanced technology. Strauss increased consumer engagement by replacing its red Parra Chocolate candy bar wrappers with 1 million different designs that form a large mosaic. Additionally, the papers could be folded into one-of-a-kind origami cows, each marked with an ID number, like artwork. Strauss encouraged consumers to photograph the sculptures creatively and post the images to social media for a chance to win an iPhone.

An even simpler and extremely successful packaging campaign belongs to Coca-Cola Turkey. You’ll recognize the Share a Coke campaign where phrases and names were printed on bottles and cans to connect people with each other and enrich a relationship with the brand. That led to a limited-edition release of a two-can package that was wrapped in shrink film perforated in the middle to let users share.

These are two examples of five that the company used to create an emotional connection with consumers and excitement around the brand. Gonul Bolukbasi, packaging and Graphics Manager presented the examples and summarized the packaging strategy as this:

  • Emotional connection is key
  • One creative idea leads to the next
  • Find partnerships with others that create mutual value (pairing with another company on a campaign)
  • Repurpose creative works
  • Challenge the status quo


What does this mean to you?

You may not be in a position to be as creative or technical with your packaging as the examples above. However, these companies are changing people’s expectation of what packaging does. They prove that even packaging can be used to promote engagement, social responsibility, and emotional connection. This won’t just impact expectations of consumers opening one product, but also companies opening a shipment of products. Industrial packaging will be influenced by this evolution as well.

Industrial packaging does already use technology for various purposes. For example, there are numerous types of handling indicators that track, measure, record, and store environmental elements during shipping. They’re generally used for damage prevention, but who knows where the technology will go from there?

Think about the ways your packaging makes an impact on your customer. Consider everything from sustainability and environmental impacts to how it makes the consumer feel. Ponder the bullet points above as you think about who your consumers are.

If you need help with industrial packaging options that send a message about your brand’s quality or social conscience, talk to Packnet. Our engineers are experts at standard and custom packaging that meets your goals. We also carry ShockWatch® handling indicator products. Call us at 952.944.9124 or request a free assessment.

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