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Spirits bottle engages its ‘connected’ consumers

Spirits bottle engages its ‘connected’ consumers
An NFC tag on bottles of Rémy Martin spirits provides authentication and consumer engagement through smartphones.

On July 1, renowned French cognac house Rémy Martin debuted its Club Connected Bottle. Using near-field communication (NFC) technology, the packaging provides product authentication, opening detection and a consumer engagement program, all in one.

A tamper-proof NFC tag from Selinko is integrated into the bottle’s capsule (the foil cover over the closure) and provides multiple levels of protection and engagement throughout the life of the package. The technology consists of a high-security NFC chip, which is combined with asymmetric encryption. This provides the same high level of security that is used in electronic passports or bankcards.

When someone simply taps their NFC-enabled Android smartphone on the top of the bottle, they can authenticate the product as genuine through the previously downloaded Rémy Martin application. Using the same app, subsequent taps alert consumers to the bottle’s sealed and/or opened status. Additionally, after the bottle has been opened, another tap launches the consumer engagement program that contains rewards and special offers.

Augustin Depardon, Rémy Martin executive director, says, “Not only does the Rémy Martin Club Connected Bottle guarantee the authenticity of the product, but also—and this is the exciting innovation—it allows us to communicate directly with our consumers who like and use our products. Rewards, events, special offers—our communication can now be completely aligned with our clients’ preferences for an optimal relevancy.”

The Rémy Martin Club Connected Bottle will initially be available this fall at some of China’s most exciting nightclubs before being scaled up market wide.

Packaging Digest has covered two other NFC-enabled alcohol beverage packages recently:

• In March, we reported on the NFC-tagged prototype package that Diageo displayed for its Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.

• And in mid-July, Ferngrove Wine Group (FWG) announced a live field trial of NFC-tagged wine bottles to combat counterfeiting in China.

As mentioned above, the Rémy Martin project was announced July 1. Gwen Festraets, Selinko vp, marketing and communications, points out, “Compared to Diageo, we are not launching here a prototype, but real production. The technology used is the most secure available today on the market at the bank level.”

Depardon boasts, “As the world is becoming connected, our consumers are expecting their favorite brands to do more than deliver the finest spirits: they want to have a direct connection with these brands, and a direct engagement. The Rémy Martin Club Connected Bottle thus addresses a consumer need. We are proud to be the first brand to bring it to market in our industry.”

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