Learn what smart packaging is and see examples of how brands use it to better connect to consumers.
September 25, 2023
“Think of Tiffany & Co. For most people, the iconic robin's-egg blue box is more recognizable than the jewelry itself.” Inc. magazine gets it right when illustrating that product packaging is as important as the product itself.
Originally purely functional, packaging has evolved to serve a variety of additional functions, including branding like the iconic Tiffany box color. Smart packaging continues that evolution.
See the Complete Guide to Smart Packaging to learn more about all the opportunities available to brands to transform their packaging into digital platforms.
Below, see examples of how the world's most innovative brands are implementing smart packaging today.
With reordering made as simple as scanning product packaging with a phone and tapping a “Buy” button, creating repeat and complementary sales — and therefore adding to lifetime value — is now frictionless.
“Italian olive oil brands Buonamici, La Ranocchiaia, SPO and Il Cavallino are integrating NFC tags into their product lines to enable authentication and enhance consumer engagement, by delivering product information and other relevant content to customers’ smartphones,” writes NFC World.
“eBay is now offering proof of authentication (in the form of an NFC-enabled tag) for select footwear in partnership with Sneaker Con as its third-party authenticator," reports Sneaker News, "adding a key level of security to the buying process and added ease to the selling process at the hands of a true authority in sneaker authentication.”
The “Personalized Prescription,” in this case, details the benefits of the very product the consumer holds in their hand. If they are in a store or salon and haven’t made a purchase yet, it provides additional information that may influence that purchase decision. If they’ve already purchased the product, the experience showcases product instructions and more.
When DJ Jordi Ruz launched Tuned Wines, he didn’t just offer great wine, he offered a new kind of wine experience. Utilizing his extensive DJ talents, he creates a special listening session to complement each wine; and it’s only available to those that have purchased the wine.
See our Tuned Wines case study for even more.
"As part of the promotion for Pepsi's 10th year as the sponsor of the Super Bowl Halftime Show, the brand unveiled a special website, PepsiHalftime.com, with behind-the-scenes videos and an augmented reality (AR) experience on Instagram," reports Marketing Dive. "QR codes on the website and specially marked cans of Pepsi can be scanned with a smartphone camera to see an AR selfie lens in the photo-sharing app."
“Differing from past Oreo releases is a digital singing component," writes Delish. "Sing It With Oreo encourages fans to send uplifting 'OREOgrams' to loved ones for the chance to win a special experience from Lady Gaga. From December 15, 2020 to April 30, 2021, fans can scan specially marked QR codes to record their very-own OREOgram.”
A look at early adopters shows an astounding 68% registration rate for users that have activated the Blue Bite digital experience. Incentivizing product registration, along with the practical application of the 'Reefill' maps and credits, connects Ocean Bottle directly to users. This creates a new channel to continuously update users on how they can stay involved for years to come.
Vita Coco added a custom branded QR code to highly visible in-store displays that were part of the “We dare you not to love it” guarantee messaging promoting the new Vita Coco Pressed product line. This playful incentive encouraged engagement directly in the store as consumers launched the Blue Bite-powered digital experience on their phone by scanning the QR code.
Mezcla’s vegan, plant protein bars feature a QR code in the center of their packaging. Simply scan it to view a collection of submitted artwork from people around the world. Consumers can also submit their own artwork for a chance to be featured on the brand’s packaging.
Stacy's launched its newest packaging innovation featuring a QR code that, once scanned with a mobile phone, will direct consumers to nearby female-founded businesses – making it easier than ever to support female entrepreneurs.
When consumers scan the QR codes on Funny-Frisch’s potato packaging, they activate a mobile experience designed to engage them and encourage additional purchases. For each new bag that’s tapped, users earn a new level. Once all three new chip flavors have been tapped, consumers can enter to win a year's supply of their favorite chips.
“A modern helmet has to accomplish a lot more than helmets from just a few years ago," reports VeloNews. "Poc's Ventral Air Spin NFC does exactly that, with incredible venting, a unique look that belies clever aerodynamic design, and an embedded chip that provides your vital info to medical professionals or bystanders should you crash. It's an impressive helmet in a crowded field of impressive helmets.”
“The codes, which are being introduced to tinned tomatoes sold in the UK this month, will enable users to access a dedicated webpage walking them through the journey of the product through the supply chain, from farm to supermarket,” writes Edie.