Traditional brand management has grown obsolete with the rise of technology over the past decade, coupled with the evolution of consumer behavior.
Brands need to avoid the one size fits all approach and tailor their brand strategies to make room for dynamic consumer behavior.
To keep up with these changing times, brand managers should start thinking about the modern era of brand marketing. This requires implementing their brand’s message at every touchpoint of the consumer buying journey with the help of technology such as QR Codes, NFC, and RFID.
54% of CMOs say there is additional value to capture from advanced technology and platform investments.
It’s not just about having a great product or logo anymore; Your brand’s values fuel the CPG experience these days.
According to PWC’s study, 73% of consumers said a positive consumer experience is one of the key drivers that influences their loyalty towards a brand.
7 ways brand managers can improve the CPG consumer experience with smart packaging
#1. Share your brand’s story to instill trust
Storytelling has become one of the key phrases behind any modern marketing strategy and it’s clear that people want to hear and see more engaging narratives.
CPG brands need to create and deliver differentiated experiences to stand out from their competitors and keep up with the latest product packaging trends. This is where brand storytelling comes in as the key differentiator.
Incorporate QR Codes and NFC tags on your creative packaging to share your brand’s story. Consumers will be able to relate to your brand and discover its value from the convenience of their smartphones.
According to Headstream’s reports, if consumers love a brand’s story, 55% of them are more likely to buy the product in the future, 44% will share the story, and 15% will purchase the product immediately.
The Balvenie, a single malt Scotch brand, uses NFC tags on its range of whiskey bottles to share each whiskey’s detailed story and the people involved in its production.
The NFC tag on the bottle links consumers to a podcast that tells the story of the whiskey through conversations with the different people who crafted it. It also features a guided whiskey tasting.
This campaign aims to share the unique tale of each whiskey and the stories of the distillery workers that make it.
It captures the human nature and emotion that goes into each whiskey.
#2. Ease purchase decisions with in-store product information
Consumers heavily rely on their smartphones while shopping. They can find ample information on your products online while in-store.
According to a study by Statista, 74% of U.S consumers use a mobile device for in-store product research.
CPG brands’ websites are now the holy grail for product information. They’re a crucial digital channel for providing clarity and accurate information to consumers.
Use digital channels to not only tell brand stories, but provide up-to-date product information and connect customers to products.
Use NFC and QR Codes on product labels to share authentic and transparent information to consumers. Information such as the supply chain process and origin of your product go a long way in establishing brand transparency.
Label Insight’s study dictates that 94% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that commits to full transparency.
While consumers mull over whether to buy your product, let them access the relevant information they need via smart packaging with NFC tags and QR Codes. This will lead them to discover your product’s authenticity, key benefits and nudge them to make a purchase sooner.
Timberland, a U.S. footwear brand, uses NFC technology in their stores. Consumers use NFC-powered tablets to tap the tags placed on footwear to view product information and recommendations instantly.
They can also tap photos of products on the walls to view information. Before leaving the store, consumers can add items they liked to their wish lists and email it to themselves for future purchases.
Kate Kibler, Vice President of Direct to Consumer at Timberland, said that this technology helps consumers shop whenever and wherever they want, without downloading an app or talking to a sales associate.
Furthermore, this helps the brand understand consumers’ preferences in-store, online, and post-visit. These insights help the brand enrich consumers’ experiences and provide digital brand engagement.
Burberry, a luxury retail brand, uses QR Codes on its clothing at its Shenzhen store in China. The codes allow consumers to view pictures of models wearing the clothing items.
It also lets them book a fitting room with playlists selected by Burberry, coupled with the ability to adjust the lighting.
The incorporation of QR Codes helps the brand build stronger relationships with its young, tech-savvy customers.
#3. Gamify consumer engagement initiatives to foster brand advocacy
Consumer engagement is at the forefront of effective brand management. It improves the relationship you have with your consumers and transforms them into brand advocates.
63% of marketers agree that consumer engagement includes repeat purchases, renewals, and retention (Marketo).
Brand managers can leverage smart packaging with the use of QR Codes and NFC to increase consumer engagement.
Let consumers participate in interactive quizzes and games with prizes up for grabs. Incentivize market research surveys to gain valuable consumer insights.
For example, Kraft Heinz uses NFC smart packaging to engage and interact with consumers. The NFC-based product packaging directs consumers to a dedicated web page to participate in a contest, access recipes, coupons, and other incentives.
This initiative aims at interacting with consumers in-store before they purchase the product.
95% of loyalty program members want to engage with brands through a mix of new, emerging, and growing tech, including augmented reality, virtual reality, card-on-file, and more.
Do away with the traditional plastic card loyalty programs and gamify them instead.
Use creative packaging with QR Codes and NFC tags to attract new members. Use an effective Call-To-Action text to prompt them to scan or tap.
Due to this simplified experience, consumers can easily climb up the loyalty ladder, make repeat purchases, and receive valuable rewards.
You can leverage these digitalized loyalty programs to ask consumers to post reviews of your product online. According to Stackla’s report, 79% of consumers say that user-generated content highly impacts their buying decisions. This is a win-win situation for your brand and consumers.
These incentivized experiences lead to improved word-of-mouth CPG marketing and expands your loyal consumer base.
Dunkin Donuts, a coffee and donut brand, uses QR Codes as part of its digital loyalty program. To earn points with every purchase, consumers need to scan their DD Perks Loyalty ID QR Code before paying.
Stephanie Meltzer-Paul, Vice President of Digital and Loyalty Marketing for Dunkin’, states that they rolled out these innovative features to maximize utility and recognize loyalty program members. It ensures that consumers make the most out of the DD Perks program while also fueling digital growth.
The DD Perks Rewards Program now holds more than 12 million members.
#4. Collect and analyze first-party data to understand consumer behavior
Consumer journeys aren’t what they used to be. Due to the multitude of digital channels available for consumer interactions, the consumer buying process has grown more complex.
It’s now up to CPG brand managers to go the extra mile and understand their consumers, their needs, and the kinds of products they purchase.
92% of leading marketers believe that using first-party data to continuously build an understanding of what people want is critical to growth (Think With Google).
This clarifies the fact that monitoring consumer behavior through first-party data is necessary for providing top-notch consumer experiences.
According to SmarterHQ’s report, 90% of consumers are willing to share their behavioral data to receive a more seamless brand experience.
The first-party data will help measure your brand’s impact on consumers and will also aid in the planning for future marketing strategies.
Use QR Codes and NFC on product packaging to collect first-party data from consumers. Analyze the data to understand how consumers interact with your product at every stage of the buying cycle.
Details such as the number of scans or taps, locations, devices used, and so on help you measure which channel performs best and identify bottlenecks in your sales funnel.
Once you’re able to figure out at which point consumers are dropping off, you can implement the changes needed to maximize the quality of the CPG experience.
Optimize every touchpoint in the consumer buying process to eliminate consumer pain points and bottlenecks.
Create easier and hyper-personalized consumer experiences as a result of first-party data.
Customer retention is 14% higher among companies that invest in big data and analytics.
#5. Create a direct-to-consumer channel
nRelate’s study indicates that 48% of online shoppers trust a brand or manufacturer’s website for researching products.
CPG brands can establish one-on-one interactions with consumers with a D2C eCommerce channel.
By digitalizing their brick-and-mortar stores, brands can prompt consumers to shop online for products, providing an omnichannel retail experience.
Utilize smart packaging with QR Codes and NFC to link consumers to your online store. This lets you market to consumers online and influence their purchase decisions over competitors. Moreover, consumers can reorder their favorite products and be exposed to other product offerings.
All in all, the direct-to-consumer business model effectively cuts out intermediaries such as third-party retailers, distributors, and resellers. This will help your brand control how your products’ information should be displayed and lets you gain valuable consumer data for offering hyper-personalized CPG consumer experiences.
Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t.
Lancôme, a luxury cosmetics brand, launched the Lancôme Holiday Magic 2020 campaign at the Westin Sanya Haitang Bay Resort and the Intercontinental Sanya Haitang Bay Resort. Consumers can scan the QR Codes on the digital signage to visit the Lancôme e-store and view all the L’Oreal-owned beauty products’ festive deals and offers.
The collaboration between hospitality and beauty travel retail is indeed an important milestone. I am pleased to re-invent and usher in a brand-new travel retail consumer shopping experience by fusing beauty with digital innovations and services.
Stevie Wong, Lancôme Travel Retail Asia Pacific General Manager
Tesco, a UK-based grocery brand, introduced virtual stores in South Korea, a concept wherein products are displayed on walls of metro stations and bus stops. Consumers could use the Homeplus app to scan the QR Codes on the products, buy them online, and have them delivered on the same day.
This concept aimed to help consumers shop for products on the go while waiting for the bus or metro.
The virtual stores garnered massive success with over 900,000 app downloads in less than a year and increased online sales by 130% since its launch.
#6. Build campaigns based on physical world consumer behavior
CPG brands are highly focused on how consumers behave on their e-commerce platforms. But oftentimes, they don’t consider consumer behavior in their physical stores.
According to BigCommerce’s reports, 65% of consumers’ shopping budget is spent in-store.
To provide omnichannel retail experiences, brand managers need to observe how consumers behave in physical stores as much as online stores.
Track which aisle consumers are most drawn to, how much time they spend at each aisle, and which products they tend to pick up or drop off before heading to the billing counter.
Notice which type of product packaging they lean towards. Some consumers are interested in buying products with creative packaging; some prefer smart packaging with QR Codes or NFC stickers, while others prefer the basic packaging design.
Monitor consumers’ past purchases to get a sense of which products they require most.
Use QR Codes and NFC on product packaging to keep track of data such as location, time, and number of scans or taps to closely monitor how consumers interact with various products while they shop in-store.
Brand managers can utilize this physical world data to curate targeted campaigns and understand consumers’ shopping behavior from when they enter the store to the time they exit.
By balancing focus on both digital and physical worlds, brands can fully understand their consumers and provide exceptional consumer experiences.
#7. Personalize brand discovery on social media
According to Evergage’s research, 88% of marketers say their biggest driver in personalization is to deliver a better customer experience.
Consumers want to be viewed as individuals with unique needs. Leveraging personalization through social media is an effective way to get into their good books.
According to Hootsuite’s reports, 52% of all online brand discovery happens through public social feeds. This includes both paid and organic posts.
Use social media QR Codes on product packaging to track scans, location, and devices to monitor the consumer buying journey. Send targeted ads based on consumers’ physical and online purchase patterns.
For example, if a consumer purchases a shampoo for anti-hair fall, show ads only for your brand’s anti-hair fall shampoos upon scanning the social media QR Code. Through continuous visibility, brand recall increases, and repeated purchases take place.
Providing these personalized experiences to consumers is a surefire way to improve your brand discovery, image, and loyalty.
Smart packaging is a necessity for CPG brands
Smart packaging is a viable option for brand managers looking to modernize their CPG marketing strategies. Both QR Codes and NFC are agile technologies that cater to every CPG brand’s requirements and transforms consumer experiences for the better.
Beaconstac has worked with many CPG brands such as INI Farms, Pernod Ricard, Constellation Point, and Nestle to revolutionize consumer experiences.
Affordable, scalable, and equipped with in-built analytics, smart packaging with QR Codes and NFC changes the way consumers interact with your brand. These are mobile-first technologies that keep up with today’s times and will only become increasingly relevant in the future.
This blog was originally published on January 12th, 2021 at 12:26 pm