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3 ‘smart packaging’ predictions for 2019

3 ‘smart packaging’ predictions for 2019
Don't think of this as just a bottle of rum; it's also a powerful media platform. Use it wisely.

With less than 60 days before we flip our calendars to a new year, we’ve started to think about how packaging might evolve in 2019. Smart packaging is one area that’s sure to continue to amaze us as consumers rely on their smartphones to stay connected to friends, family and favorite brands.

Cameron Worth, founder of SharpEnd—a London-based branding agency that specializes in using the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect with consumers—talks about three new areas of smart packaging and how packaging departments might benefit moving forward.

Prediction #1: More than 10 million fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) will be interacted with throughout 2019. And near-field communication (NFC) applications for consumer engagement will explode once the new range of iPhones become mass-scale devices.

Why is this significant?

Worth: Brands will create a totally owned, fresh and powerful media platform—the products they make and sell. Ten million consumer interactions gives brands 10 million chances to have personalized conversations with their end-users and fundamentally disrupt the existing brand-to-consumer relationship.

When done right, once you start talking to consumers, you stop advertising to them. Each consumer interaction with a product delivers new insights into not just where and when a product is bought/consumed but also by who.

Prediction #2. Brands are beginning to “in house” their innovation capabilities and laboratory programs.

What does this mean to packaging departments at consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies? What are the benefits and challenges?

Worth: Prototyping gets faster, the range of technologies to explore gets broader, the brand becomes able to upskill wider teams without needing to rely on workshops or lunch-and-learns and instead gets hands-on with technology—ultimately saving time and money.

Prediction #3. Agencies will begin to offer “IoT / Voice” consulting practices to capitalize on the growing interest.

Again, what are the benefits of this for packaging departments at CPG companies?

Worth: I don’t think there’s much benefit here apart from a greater awareness of IoT and voice strategies needing to be addressed. There’s nothing worse than the steady stream of generalists choosing to pitch false specialisms to capitalize on trends. The IoT and voice will be no different but will also help to make credible and established specialists like SharpEnd even more attractive as brands seek out the right partners for these new sorts of initiatives.


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