Transforming Experiences with Technology How Innovative Packaging Breathes Life into Brands
By Dave Chaffey, technology leader and co-founder of Immertia
In an era where technology pervades nearly every aspect of life, the role of packaging in the consumer journey has transcended its traditional function of containment and aesthetic appeal. The packaging of today is a dynamic touchpoint that can captivate, inform, and foster an emotional connection with consumers.
Two technologies playing a pivotal role in this transformation are Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Decoding AR and AI
AR is a technology that overlays digital content on the real-world view via a smartphone. In the context of packaging, pointing a smartphone camera at a package could trigger digital enhancements, such as visuals, interactive animations, or product information.
AI, including subsets like machine learning and natural language processing, allows computers to mimic human intelligence. In packaging, this could mean an AI interface that provides information for consumers as well as answering any product-related questions.
Unleashing the potential of AR and AI in packaging
When combined, AR and AI are set to disrupt the packaging sector and redefine the consumer experience. Here’s how:
Elevating Consumer Engagement: AR and AI can transform packaging from a static vessel into an interactive platform that engages consumers on a whole new level. AR can bring to life everything from product backstory to usage instructions, while AI facilitates two-way interactions, answering consumers’ questions and even offering personalized suggestions based on past usage patterns.
Empowering Consumer Decision-making: AI has the potential to democratize information access, giving consumers the power to make informed decisions right at the point of purchase. A customer wondering about a product’s environmental impact, for example, could receive detailed information on everything from the sourcing of ingredients to the carbon footprint associated with its manufacturing and distribution process.
Revolutionizing Branding and Promotion: AR opens up new avenues for creativity in branding, turning packaging into a canvas for digital storytelling. Consider the case of 19 Crimes, a wine brand that used AR to share the intriguing histories of the convicts featured on their labels, leading to a remarkable 70% increase in sales volumes in the US.
The power of data in consumer packaging
The advantages of AR and AI in packaging go beyond enhanced user experience and engagement. These technologies provide brands with a treasure trove of data that can be leveraged for insights and improvements. For instance, brands can monitor how consumers interact with their AR experiences – the number of users, duration of interaction, specific areas of engagement, and subsequent actions such as clicking on links or making online purchases.
Similarly, AI provides a unique window into consumers’ minds, capturing the questions they ask and their reactions to the provided answers. This information could provide valuable insights into potential product improvements or highlight areas where consumer needs are unmet.
Breaking down barriers to adoption
Despite the potential challenges in developing and implementing AR and AI solutions, industry barriers to adoption are rapidly diminishing. As these technologies become more mainstream and user-friendly, it will become easier for brands to incorporate them into their existing packaging designs. With industry analysts like Deloitte predicting that by 2025 nearly 75% of the global population will be frequent AR users, it’s clear that the future is ripe with opportunities for AR and AI in packaging.
Impact and future trends
The impact of AR and AI on packaging will likely be felt across sectors – from food and beverage to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and beyond. In the era of smart packaging, even the humble bar code could be replaced by digital markers that provide a gateway to a world of interactive content and personalized services.
As technology continues to evolve, it promises to usher in a new era for the packaging industry, one where every product tells a story, and every consumer interaction becomes a journey of discovery.
About the Author
Dave Chaffey is a technology leader. His company Immertia is merging AR and AI to turn regular product packaging into interactive, dynamic on-product experiences, marking a significant stride in packaging innovation. Learn more at https://immertia.io.