The sticker by Schreiner PrinTrust is based on this technology and allows contactless payment by Smartphone. Simply glue the sticker onto the back of the mobile phone and it is ready to go. Photo: Schreiner Group
Target Group Millennials: Digital Packaging
Demographic change and altered shopping behaviour, caused especially by expectations among the so-called millennials, also give rise to an increased use of innovative technologies on the so far conventional packaging market. The problem: according to a current study conducted by Porsche Management Consulting among Germans, Swiss and Austrians, almost 70% of all packaging producers in these countries still do not have the required skills for a successful digital change.
But what precisely do those consumers born between 1980 and 1999 expect from packaging?
What millennials want
Aged between 18 and 37 they boast purchasing power said to total US$ 200 billion in 2017 in North America alone, according to a survey by the US business magazine “Forbes”. Innumerable studies on these young adults also known as Generation Y confirm their affinity with the Internet and the importance of sustainability paired with a desire for luxury and personalisation. Not a simple high-wire act for packaging producers!
After evaluating many independent studies from around the globe millennials have been found to share a number of general characteristics. The New York advertising company AdAge surveyed 4,000 US citizens, Evergreen Packaging and EcoFocus did a trend study and experts from the design agency Hornall Anderson confirmed the following facts and figures:
Millennials want to access product information simply, conveniently and quickly. Packaging is the perfect vehicle to do this. Photo: QR Code on a Coffee Cup. Photo: Alpha / flickr.com
Shopping incentives created by key strategies
So how should companies orient their marketing? Promising approaches include smart packaging, creating interaction between goods and shoppers as well as the use of social media channels such as Snapchat and Instagram for advertising purposes. Beyond this, the so-called “digital revolution” also makes it possible to send short films to the consumers’ mobile phones while they are shopping and to provide labels with extensive product information. Special add-ons such as QR codes that lead to recipe sites after scanning or special editions in an extraordinary design also often serve as shopping incentives.
Packaging now addresses all the senses: from voices and music from the Smartphone to fragrances, chat bots (i.e. virtual personal assistants) and virtual supermarket pointers. For this companies require flexible facilities and packaging systems so these trend products can be manufactured in the shortest amount of time with the lowest defect rate possible and without third-party support.
Swiss firm Rondo AG uses NFC technology for medical packaging: dosage, reminders or warning instructions can be read out, drug administration instructions can be displayed or drugs can automatically be re-ordered from the pharmacist. Photo: Rondo AG
A special focus for this target group – food
In the food sector another obstacle must be overcome: there is a demand for functional, on-the-go packaging which is small in format, safe, re-closable and indestructible. And millennials do not consume any unhealthy fast food – as they look for healthy ingredients as well as natural, recyclable packaging materials.
Amidst a host of technical innovations there are coffee cups made of cardboard with thermo-chromic labels that react to heat. Perfect for smart device campaigns: the QR code with pre-programmed link is printed onto the single-use cup and only becomes visible after filling with a hot liquid. The user scans the code and is digitally connected to the advertiser’s website. The software is controlled by special data management and gives the brand as many valuable advertising possibilities as it is fun for shoppers.
Likewise, the Digimarc barcodes used for WestRock’s packaging solutions in cooperation with the market leader for the Internet-of-Things platform – “Evrythng” – offer shoppers new levels of interaction with real-time packaging. Furthermore, the company is capable of saving data profiles in the Cloud and preventing counterfeits. The intuitive and yet low-cost computing basis with Digimarc barcodes can be applied to a wide variety of materials.