Smart Packaging

Mar 3, 2021

Leveraging connected packaging for brand communication

Swiss milk processor, Emmi alongside Tetra Pak has partnered with creative technology studio, Appetite Creative, to promote the launch of two new products, Oat Milk Drink and Balance Drink, via interactive digital advertising and connected packaging. Here, Tetra Pak and Appetite Creative share their views on developments in connected packaging as well as opportunities for brands.
By:
Elisabeth Skoda

Swiss milk processor, Emmi alongside Tetra Pak has partnered with creative technology studio, Appetite Creative, to promote the launch of two new products, Oat Milk Drink and Balance Drink, via interactive digital advertising and connected packaging. Here, Tetra Pak and Appetite Creative share their views on developments in connected packaging as well as opportunities for brands.

Why did you decide to use connected packaging?

Susy McKinley, Marketing Manager at Tetra Pak for Mid Europe: We see using Tetra Pak® Connected Package as a valuable and additional trigger point on the consumer journey where consumers can engage directly with the brand. Emmi wanted to be the first in the white milk market to engage consumers digitally, whilst also educating their key audience on the benefits of their good day range and new SKUs.

Typically, white milk is an ‘auto-pilot’ choice for consumers. The Tetra Pak® Connected Package enables another channel and opportunity for Emmi to help consumer spend more time with the brand, educating the consumers on the USP of the brand, understand their consumers’ likes and dislikes and who are the consumers willing to buy and interact with the brand either in-store or at home. This helps Emmi create an accurate consumer persona of Emmi ‘good day’ buyers and make more accurate and personalised marketing communication.

After the output and understanding the value the first Connected Pack in 2019, working with creative technology studio Appetite Creative, we had some fantastic results, better understanding our customers and a direction of which key marketing activities to run, it was a natural succession to run another campaign.

Digitalisation is changing the role of packaging. The Connected Package allows food and beverage producers to turn their packages into full-scale data carriers offering connection to consumers more effectively and future traceability, and value for each stakeholder in the entire value chain. No longer is packaging only about product protection and functionality – it is about connectivity, engagement points and unleashing unlimited possibilities.

What is the value of connected packaging to brands?

Jenny Stanley, MD at Appetite Creative: It enables brands to understand their consumers better. Compared to conventional/traditional marketing activities they can put a ‘face’ to their consumer and better understand who they are, their needs and reactions to the brand. Conventional/traditional marketing activities are to the masses, but the digital campaigns via connected packaging is targeted to those interested in the brand.  It delivers earlier information/ real-time information compared to other systems e.g. Market data or sales data. So they can be proactive in communicating directly with their consumers.

How does it work? Can you talk me through the proprietary gamification technology?

SM: Tetra Pak® generate and print a secure unique digital ID (unique QR code in the Emmi campaign) on every select package for the Emmi good day campaign. Appetite Creative developed a customisable web app with four mobile-enabled games, each corresponding to one of the four milk products to engage and educate customers. They also created a dashboard for real-time results monitoring. By scanning the unique QR codes on the Tetra Pak packaging, consumers are taken to a jackpot wheel entry game, which users spin to randomly select a game to play.

What kind of results are you wanting to see by using connected packaging?

SM: The Connected Package becomes a gateway to exciting new digital product experiences, enables finely targeted and rapidly adjustable marketing campaigns using real-time feedback, supports

relevant information to engage consumers, build product awareness and build brand trust. We aim to get customers engaged and entertained through rewarding fun games, while educating them about new products or features such as the low sugar nature of the range. This helps getting consumers to spend time with the product and the brand. Understanding consumer preferences helps it responding better when it comes to product development. Another benefit is generating consumer profiles by product level.

What value has this connected packaging campaign delivered to Emmi?

JS: Emmi as a whole is exploring these new ways to interact and engage directly with their consumers and they see the benefit of moving their campaigns to real-time, data-driven in the future. It is a great way to be more accurate in promoting engagement and incentives with consumers. For example, in the past Emmi distributed coupons via sampling and in-store. Coupons were distributed to anyone that would accept them but there weren’t necessarily active buyers or even consumers interested in lactose-free milk. Now by integrating the coupon as an incentive within the digital campaign they are targeting this activity and can really see the impact of this type of activity. Digital campaign and connected packaging is part of a multi-channel approach. Emmi is able to trial and test different activities all with the same goal of digital interaction, engagement and communication to consumers. A targeted approach helps to bring consumers through the consumer journey in a succinct way and gives Emmi many data points to inform continuous improvement in its communication to consumers in the future.

How will it help you build relationships with customers based on data?

SM: Did you know that 40% of consumers want to buy from channels and brands that cater to their preferences and engage them? In the 2019 Connected Package campaign, Emmi ran an interactive online quiz featuring three questions related to the brand. 94% of users completed the quiz, which had an educational role to highlight the benefits of the products. However, surprisingly, about a third of the answers were incorrect, especially regarding the new product launch. The incorrect answers from many consumers revealed some gaps in their knowledge and the opportunity for Emmi to address these gaps and focus on more customised and personalise marketing and communication.

Why do you think smart packaging is having a moment in the current climate?

SM: Due to COVID-19, QR Codes and other digital enablers have become even more useful and much more visible in consumers’ every-day lives. The fact that anyone with a smartphone can scan QR Codes makes it super easy. National lockdowns have pushed consumers towards digital migration. While consumers were stuck at home, they turned to online platforms and increased screen time. Traditional marketing activities and channels have been on a downward curve with the pandemic set to continue this. Finding New in the Old: Connected Packaging / smart packaging is a vehicle which can direct interact with consumers, instore, at point of sale and in consumers’ hands at home, meaning food and beverage players can directly reach their intended audience.

From a food and beverage industry perspective - supply chains are being constantly controlled, there’s more transparency, improved quality control and new and more efficient ways of communication with consumers.

Have you faced any challenges in implementing the solution?

SM: Although digital enablers, and in this case QR codes have been around for decades, many consumers still did not realise that they could use their phones to scan the code and step into a whole new world of interaction. Educating that a brand using a Tetra Pak package can be fun, informative and have additional incentives like instant prizes takes some communication and active marketing. However, the fact that a brand can use Tetra Pak packaging as an additional trigger point on the consumer journey where consumers can engage directly with the brand is a massive opportunity.

But we have seen the rise of consumers getting more and more use to scanning QR Codes during the coronavirus pandemic. Consumers are now much more aware of how to scan, interact and use QR codes, from electric scooters to safety and social distancing in restaurants and bars. The Connected Package still allows ‘hands-on’ consumer engagement possibilities in a growing contactless world.

What do you think the future of connected packaging looks like?

SM: Packages are rapidly transforming into channels for information and interaction. It began with the codified package with a printed code but with limited connectivity. The connected package is the next step by combining our platform with the unique code printed on each package for end-to-end traceability and consumer engagement. In future, the intelligent package will become feasible based on a complete connection to the Internet of Things. This will enable packages and devices to talk to each other thus providing new levels of service and insights for customers and consumers.

Elisabeth Skoda

Editor of Touchpoints magazine, writer for Packaging Europe magazine and design enthusiast!

editor@packtouchpoints.com
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