The marketing environment has changed dramatically over the past few years because of the influx of customer data and demographic shifts. The packaging industry is no different. As the marketplace evolves, packaging needs to evolve too.
The shift toward the personal
As market researcher Owen Shapiro wrote in Happi, we are moving toward a world powered by individuals rather than institutions. Individuals expect brands to reach out to them as unique customers, rather than a large group. With the amount of data most consumers assume you have, they expect more targeted messages that are more relevant to their interests and needs. As Digital Printing becomes more sophisticated, personalized packaging is becoming possible on a grand scale. Just look at Coca-Cola's campaign, which printed labels using 250 of the most popular names for teens and millennials in the U.S.
The Internet of Things
Right now, IoT is mostly relegated to the land of wearable tech like fitness trackers. But as the technology becomes more prevalent, packaging itself could become the next connected device. As Dennis Gerson, chief technologist for IBM'S Consumer Products Industry, pointed out, the high cost per unit of making smart packaging has caused innovation in this area to lag behind other industries, but that won’t always be the case. One possible application the website highlights is a micro-sensor that emits a light when a product has passed its "best by" date, or if the packaging has been tampered with.
Whatever you call them, millennials or Generation Y, young people today live in a world that's always plugged in. You won't find them separated from their smartphones. In fact, 83 percent of millennials admit they sleep with their mobile devices. This group is looking for more out of their experiences with brands and that extends to packaging. Augmented reality and experiences that take packaging to the next level will be a big win with this group of consumers. For instance, some brands have already included QR codes on packaging that, when scanned by a reader on a cell phone, reveal personalized messages. These types of innovation could be key to winning over this market.
The on-the-go lifestyle
Consumers move around a lot. They don't always have time to prepare a meal, but they are also increasingly health conscious. As a result, single-serving packages are a growing need for many companies, especially those that produce food and drink. However, it may have implications for personal care as well. For instance, consumers may develop an interest in disposable skincare items, like wipes, that they can use and toss.
For companies to keep up, they need to take a hard look at these trends and determine what the implications for packaging are, and how the evolving world of packaging can impact marketing, sales and overall business growth. This is why Nosco has dedicated resources to research and development, where engineers find ways to harness new developments in other fields and find applications in packaging. We're hard art work discovering the future of packaging and bringing our insight to our customers.