The benefits of connected packaging

Packaging Innovations & Empack

The future of branded packaging and technology

16 & 17 February 2022 | Hall 1 NEC Birmingham

The benefits of connected packaging

There are many key challenges that brands face every day, from facilitating user engagement, to increasing brand loyalty and collecting customer insights. This is where connected packaging, defined as the integration of technology within product packaging design, can help.


Why connected packaging?

The benefits of connected packaging can be significant, delivering a unique and challenging blend of engagement and data, allowing teams to make better product decisions and plan more effective marketing campaigns. According to a report by Data Bridge, the global connected packaging market is expected to grow at a rate of 7.4% until 2027, giving the market a value of 30 billion USD by 2027.

The collection of first-party data and analytics is of course a major advantage for any brand, with connected packaging delivering this valuable information directly from the customer’s fingertips. Simply by scanning QR codes or barcodes on the product packaging, customers are led to a customised digital campaign. This could be a quiz exploring customer product preferences, education campaigns about health or the environment, to a game that offers discounts, vouchers or sampling. Whatever the structure, it allows for GDPR compliant data collection, and the consumer journey is simple, with no extra app installations required.

The Project

At Appetite Creative, we work with many different brands to help deliver customer insights and digital-first campaigns. We partnered with Coca-Cola owned fruit juice drinks brand Rani Float, which is distributed in the Middle East and India. The aim of the campaign was to attract new customers to buy the fruit drinks, by creating a contest to attract a young audience. They also wanted to educate new and existing customers about the drink containing real pieces of fruit, high juice content, low sugar and a real fruit taste.

The team at Appetite developed an augmented reality application accessible on a mobile phone via QR codes found on the cans. The customer had to scan all four flavours in the correct order to get access to the entry form, which entered them into a prize draw to win tickets to the final of a coveted soccer match. The web-based game encouraged customer interaction, educated them about the different drink flavours and showed them where to find the drinks on store shelves. Instant links to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were also shared encouraging customers to spread the word on their social networks.

The data collected directly from customers informed Coca-Cola about the times of day its products were purchased, as well as where each flavour was sold. This helped to facilitate personalised marketing messages, leading to greater efficiency and better planning, as well as improved understanding about the customer.

This campaign for Rani Float combined several digital marketing tools and techniques: augmented reality (AR), connected packaging and finally gamification. AR allows brands to offer their customers unique and engaging experiences that combine ‘real’ and virtual interactive elements. With this campaign, the physical can of Rani Float became ‘virtual’ by being scanned.

Connected packaging allows brands to be truly consumer-centric, with insights gleaned about product preferences, location and demographic information. It can also supply a direct-to-consumer channel to share product details, discounts and offers, as well as test and adapt marketing messages in real time. Through administration dashboards, it is possible to identify who redeemed which coupon, scanned which QR code, how long a user stayed on the platform, manage competitions and store data in an easy-to-access, real-time, GDPR-compliant platform.

Gamification is used in playful advertising, as a way to combine advertising with an interactive game or to incorporate game elements into a non-game context. The goal is to provide an immersive, engaging and fun experience with the brand. This helps customers build brand loyalty and affection – as well as encourage repeat visits and purchases.

The result

This campaign for Rani Float delivered an average session length of more than four minutes. Data including location and peak usage times were compiled in a fully GDPR-compliant way, with 120% of entry goals met, and almost all users completing the game.

The different layers of data connected packaging can deliver to a brand helps build a unique and in-depth picture of consumer behaviour. This insight can be invaluable, assisting brands to better understand their target audiences, but also reach them more efficiently, building valuable engagement. Whether that is younger mobile-first audiences, or vertical-specific product fans, this data collection and analysis can guide both product and marketing strategies, harnessed through smart product packaging. In the case of Rani Float, through this targeted campaign they were able to expand their customer base while educating customers about the product, collect first-party data and deliver a fun interactive brand experience.


Jenny Stanley is MD at Appetite Creative, for more information visit:

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