How to Turn CPG Products into Interactive Experiences: 9 Examples from Top Brands

See how innovative CPG brands are using smart experiences to stand out on today’s crowded shelves.

September 25, 2023

With many CPG brands losing their “must-have” status, and with it becoming harder than ever to stand out on store shelves, Deloitte has issued a “call to re-connect with consumers.”

“Change is hard, but change CPG marketing leaders must,” said Google’s Julie Krueger. “If we don’t, I fear I’ll see companies go the way of retailers who didn’t adapt.”

Innovative brands are incorporating smart experiences into their CPG marketing strategies to stand out and rebuild brand loyalty. Below are just a few great examples.

CPG Gamification

When Intersnack wanted to make a splash with the release of new potato chip flavors from their funny-frisch brand, they created a gamification smart experience. Because this gave the company a direct channel to announce the new flavors to consumers, they were also able to sell more products and stay connected with those consumers long after the initial purchase.

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Pepsi Uses QR Codes to Encourage Consumers to Pay It Forward

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Pepsi added QR codes to drinks that launched a digital scratch off game for a chance to win cash from $5 to $25,000. Winners had the option to send their winnings to friends, family or nonprofit organizations. As Pepsi’s VP of marketing says, using QR encourages engagement by making contests easier: "This just simplifies so many layers from how sweepstakes or promotions used to be run."

Read More About This Contest

Creating Real Community

Moët Hennessy created NFC-enabled Private Access Cards that activate a Blue Bite-powered digital experience that provides users exclusive access to events and product recommendations. These invitations and recommendations change within the experience, dynamically, depending on events available and the consumer’s previous engagement history to provide a personalized experience.

How Moët Hennessy Uses Digital Experiences to Create Real World Communities

Miller Lite Uses QR Codes to Encourage Consumers to Go Offline

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Miller Lite also uses digital experiences to encourage consumers to build real world communities. The company offered a free “blackout can” to consumers that scanned the QR code and then agreed to put their phone down for 30 minutes. This is yet another way brands are finding ways to connect the digital and the physical.

See How to Gamify QR 

Open Communication for Regulated Industries

Alcohol, cannabis and CBD all face advertising and other regulations that many other CPG brands do not, which may prevent them from communicating effectively with prospective and current customers. CBD brand TONIC uses smart experiences to connect directly with consumers, even before the sale. A potential buyer can tap TONIC packaging to not only confirm the product is authentic, but also be taken to a third party lab report of all the materials in the product they are considering. In an industry where counterfeit products can be extremely dangerous, TONIC provides reassurance their product is authentic.

Read the Additional Ways TONIC Engages Consumers

Jameson Uses NFC and QR to Let Consumers Design Their Own Bottle

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Jameson turned its annual limited-edition St. Patrick’s Day release into something new by allowing consumers that scanned an NFC tag or QR code to design their own labels. Once complete, designs can be entered into a contest and winners get a bottle featuring their own design. This is the second time Jameson has added NFC tags to its St. Patrick’s Day bottles. 

More on Jameson’s Gamification with NFC

Engage CPG Consumers in Sustainability

When consumers buy an Ocean Bottle, they fund the collection of 1,000 plastic bottles, stopping them from ever entering our oceans. Consumers learn this sustainability story when they tap the bottom of the bottle, where an NFC tag is embedded, before or after purchase. 

But Ocean Bottle’s smart experience goes beyond informing — it also provides ways for consumers to get involved in continuing that sustainability work. The experience lets consumers know where they can refill their bottles in proximity to their location, donate to sustainability measures, and much more. Ocean Bottle experiences don’t just tell a story about the brand’s sustainability efforts, they empower consumers to continue those efforts. 

How to Take Your Own Sustainability Beyond Messaging and Put Them Into Practice

Kraft Brings Authentication and Gamification to FMCG with NFC

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NFC chips embedded in Kraft Singles packages enabled Kraft to bring engaging, digital experiences to consumers that the brand didn’t previously have a way to communicate with directly. The experiences leveraged an NFC tamper tag to reassure consumers the package hadn’t previously been opened, and also featured a mobile game to incentivize interaction. 

As NFC chip manufacturer NXP puts it: “It’s a cost-effective, easy-to-use way to ensure that foods, beverages, medications and other consumer packaged goods remain in their original condition while traveling through the supply chain and are safe to use… [Kraft is] communicating directly with consumers, before and after the sale.”

Learn How Kraft Digitalized FMCG Products

Tracking Baby Formula with QR Codes

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Consumers that scan QR codes added to Friso Infant Formula access a digital experience telling the story of the entire product journey. Additionally, the experience provides a “360-degree view of each Friso farms environment, and real-time information on weather, temperature, and recent farm and health check audits.” 

See How to Offer a Better Consumer Experience to Parents 


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