Augmented Reality (AR) 'Smart Packaging' Opens Up New Packaging Potential

February 25, 2019 Brand Packaging, Creative, Retail Kits5 Minutes

Retail Kits

We talk a lot about how packaging is one of the few tangible relationships a brand has with the consumer, as well as its importance to a brand’s narrative and loyalty. This recognition is based on the density of smartphone ownership, sales trends, and overall connectivity.

During a time when everything is mobile (yet everything still has a barcode), augmented reality (AR) packaging, aka digital or smart packaging, is here. It’s the next frontier in experiential branding because it offers enormous untapped potential for retailers and brands to revolutionize packaging and the way they connect and engage with consumers today.

At a time when marketing departments are spending more on digital advertising than ever before–and users are connecting to the web through mobile more than ever before–brands are sitting on an unrealized mobile marketing channel that’s been dormant in every supermarket, home, office, and shopping destination until recently.

AR packaging has become a new way of expanding a brand’s narrative–to offer background information in clever ways and to offer consumers a way to attach to the brand emotionally. It provides another innovative dimension to packaging that gives consumers a surprising experience.

A great example of smart packaging can be seen with Anheuser-Busch, which created a collectible Budweiser cup that lit up in response to crowd noise during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. There was a circuitry built into the beverage packaging that responded to environmental sound with LEDs that flashed, which visually riled up the crowd’s energy during games.

Packaging Digest (Aug. 29, 2018)

Packaging Digest (Aug. 29, 2018)

Another interesting, smart packaging design comes with “auto-replenish,” which was created by Amazon to support products that are regularly used and need regular refills or replacement. Products can use smart packaging to notify consumers when it is time to reorder so they can request more through their Dash Replenishment Services (DRS).

Researcher Pan Demetrakakes explains, “So far, smart packaging has been thought of mostly in terms of connection to ‘passive’ online information, like recipes or discount offers. However, it has the capability to unlock the full interactive potential of the internet.”

In light of such research, founder of London-based branding agency SharpEnd, Cameron Worth talks about the potential for smart packaging to integrate with the Internet of Things (IoT): “Traditionally, there has been no way to close the gap between the brand and consumer via the product, but now with the IoT, we can use smart packaging to bring brands directly into contact with individual consumers and use this opportunity to build brands post-purchase.”

At Vivabox, we are actively building event and influencer kit experiences with AR and thinking about how trial and loyalty consumer journeys can be impacted with smart packaging.

Although there is a practicality in association with the Internet and ordering, brands also have the opportunity to develop deeper brand connections through stories. For example, pasta sauce brand Francesco Rinaldi recently updated their brand with a smart packaging feature that enabled consumers to interact with brand spokesperson Mrs. Rinaldi. This digital approach allows consumers to pick up the jar from the shelf, scan it, and hear the story of the product directly from the brand “mascot.”

Packaging Digest, Dec 13, 2018

Packaging Digest, Dec 13, 2018

These variations of smart packaging also offer brands some essential opportunities/thought starters:

  • Imagine picking up a trial item, turning on your AR to hear from the perfumer who made the product waxing poetic about the formula and the ingredient origins Star Trek style in the aisle of the store or pop-up.

  • Extend the available real estate for product messaging and promotional offers.

  • Increase brand engagement especially via social sharing while this is still relatively new.

  • Serve contextually relevant information at the point of purchase and consumption.

  • It also drives better consumer data by offering real-time data analytics on a serialized basis, creates a better understanding of users, and helps deliver more measurable results and value-added benefits to customers.

Vivabox can help you with better packaging and connect you with AR experiences to help take your brand story to the next level of digital packaging sophistication.

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024


How Packaging and Branding are Bringing CBD Mainstream

January 29, 2019 Brand Packaging, Retail Kits11 Minutes

Retail Kits

Research that addresses the benefits of cannabinoids (CBD) on the human body is becoming more recognized and accepted, and the awareness of wellness, skin care, and CBD is part of that growing recognition. PSA: cannabinoids and get-you-high marijuana are not the same things. CBD does not contain the ingredient that gets you high (THC).

There is still a ways to go, as the FDA continues to move slowly in its endorsements for cannabinoids and it is not yet legal in several states, but there are many companies, startup and established alike, currently embracing–within legal parameters–CBD in beauty and beverage products, especially as state and federal laws become more inclusive of CBD products.

As the public becomes more aware and accepting of the benefits of CBD in beauty products (and beyond), branding and packaging will be a key step to consumer trust and confidence, especially in these transitional stages.

More than that, though, new entrepreneurs and brands are doing away with marijuana-leaf logos and demystifying the dosing and buying of CBD by providing education and premium packaging designed to increase both understanding and acceptance of these products and this ingredient.

First, a Quick Science Lesson

In a recent CBD for Life article, they explain that scientific researchers have shown undisputable CBD connections beneficial to the human body. “It is because of how CBD communicates with the endocannabinoid system,” the article said. The human body has a system of endocannabinoid neurotransmitters, or receptors, and “These receptors are spread throughout the body, but are observed mostly in the skin.”

What has been scientifically proven is that the human body has a natural endocannabinoid system, which means there is a chain of receptors that connect every part of the human body, from the tissues–to the nerves–to the mind. Phytocannabinoids are produced in nature (the marijuana plant system, for example) and can be consumed by the human body to create a relationship of benefits. Although cannabinoid products can be found in other types of plants, like echinacea, liverwort, pepper, and even chocolate, CBD in phytocannabinoids just so happens to have the most potent and beneficial effects for the human body.

CBD and the Beauty Industry

According to a January 2019 report by Beauty Packaging, “Cannabis is known for stress-reducing and pain-relieving benefits. Use of CBD products [for skin] can reduce redness, irritation and even acne.”

Neiman Marcus recently introduced their CBD beauty line and Kim D’Angelo, beauty buyer at Neiman Marcus, recently explained that

“Cannabis beauty brands are becoming increasingly popular and CBD products are the next big thing in beauty.” Such products are comparably priced to other luxury brands like Sephora, L’Oréal, and Estée Lauder.

https://www.neimanmarcus.com/p/ildi-pekar-sleeping-mask-infused-with-cbd-oil-1-1-oz-30-ml-prod219110020

https://www.neimanmarcus.com/p/ildi-pekar-sleeping-mask-infused-with-cbd-oil-1-1-oz-30-ml-prod219110020

Neiman Marcus I-Pekar CBD Oil Skin Care

Another well-established company, Barneys New York (as well as their locations in Chicago, Beverly Hills, and Las Vegas), has also released a new CBD skin care line “Lab to Beauty.” They promote their products by touting “the pure potency of plants, combined with the healing effects of CBD.”

https://www.barneys.com/product/lab-to-beauty-the-cbd-drops-506111933.html

https://www.barneys.com/product/lab-to-beauty-the-cbd-drops-506111933.html

Barneys New York “Lab to Beauty”

More so, independent startups like CBD for Life and Fleur Marché are offering quality products and walking consumers through the process if they are unsure of their state’s legal boundaries. Furthermore, their packaging starts to play more on the natural, sustainable elements of cannabinoids rather than the more stereotypically rebellious aspects.

https://fleurmarche.com/

https://fleurmarche.com/

Fleur Marché

Of course, because of current restrictions, they are only sold in locations where states have already legalized medicinal and/or recreational use as well. Although this is an initial hindrance for the mass consumer, the trend shows CBD and other cannabinoid products are becoming more accepted and could soon be in a store near you, or at least online ordering without repercussions. It is the subtle and medicinal message that continuously needs more strategic attention.

Why Packaging and Branding Matters

Now that we have addressed scientific and legal issues (phew!), let’s get down to how packaging becomes the perfect bridge between consumer skepticism and confidence, as well as overcoming cannabis industry stigma.

Most consumers are still unaware of the differences between hemp, THC, and CBD–and the image of legalization is a narrow one, which depicts a “4:20” recreational lifestyle or, say, images of Shaggy from Scooby Doo: “Zoinks!” This is an unfair representation, and many consumers are starting to understand this. But the packaging and branding industries can easily help alleviate this. Here are a few examples:

First, Vivabox has been addressing the importance of sustainability with our clients, and in an industry like cannabinoids, it is a primary concern. As organic products take a lead in more sustainable packaging (or at least they should), the CBD industry tries to adapt similar branding and packaging objectives: from the Earth, for the body. These connections are beautifully symbiotic.

For those consumers who are already on board with CBD (or any other cannabinoid product), it is an added perk: brown glass bottles, eco-alternatives to bubble wrap–like green wrap or corrugated bubble wrap–and packaging made of 100% recycled boxes, soy ink, and recycled filler/packaging paper. And for those who require more subtle branding and packaging, leave off the marijuana leaf in the design, or at least downplay it.

Consumers are savvy and they don’t want to be reminded of the stigmatic images (even if they rationally know much of it is incorrect). If consumers are dropping premium prices for premium CBD products, they also (if only subconsciously) require smart and subtle branding and packaging. It is a tightrope walk these days, but packaging can also create change in perspective and offer consumer confidence.

Here are a few examples of how Sephora (current client) is creating a balanced brand and packaging campaign:

https://www.sephora.com/search?keyword=cbd
Sephora: Herbivore Organic, Lord Jones, Kiehl’s, Josie Maran, and Milk Makeup CBD products

For instance, although there are marijuana references, “Kush” and “Dope,” for Milk and Josie Maran primary packaging, it is not at the expense of good branding and messaging. More so, the Kiehl’s and Herbivore pale green glass (an organic go-to) and high-end typography and packaging suggest they are in on the fun of being able to publicly talk about “weed” while not forsaking their commitment to high quality products.

The rhetorical strategy here does not shy away from its contents but rather marks it acceptable by way of common packaging found in similar non-CBD beauty products. As for the following packing for Vertly, apothecary and luxury elements are used to validate CBD’s confirmed medical and beauty benefits.

The conversation is inherently, “Why would Sephora, Barney’s, Neiman Marcus support this if it wasn’t true?” And the perk? Consumers can buy these and not come off as a “pothead,” and let’s face it: that is what many mainstream consumers fear. This transition from stigma to benefit is all in the packaging. Period.

http://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-cbd-skincare-products.html

http://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-cbd-skincare-products.html

Yes, informing the general public of the differences between TCH, CBD, and Hemp are important. They have very different purposes, but CBD has the opportunity to brand itself as something outside of the “4:20” culture. The CBD PR movement all starts with education, but really, it is best promoted with packaging and branding first. These high-end companies have figured it out: the medicinal benefits have become better received in many states, and are recognized as having premium perks for those who can afford it. Packaging that reinforces positive branding while eliminating harmful cliches is possibly the most important first step.

Smart branding and packaging (which is one and the same these days) is the best move forward for beneficial products which were once stigmatized, but no longer are. At Vivabox, we’d like to see a multi-branded CBD ‘starter’ kit with great branding, education, trial, and social media hooks. It’s exciting to see packaging as much more than a box. To us, it’s where the story starts.

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024


In our Digital World, Your Packaging May be the Only Physical Connection You Have with Your Consumers. Three Ways to Make Sure it Counts.

October 15, 2018 Brand Packaging, Retail Kits5 Minutes

Retail Kits

The process of opening a new product can be a gift-like experience which embeds itself into the consumer’s psyche and can even be as great as the product itself.

Packaging is a visceral experience, and as our culture becomes continuously more visual, it feeds more than our desire for something to simply be a container. Our packaging has to mean as much as the product inside of it. Whether it has an aesthetic or ecological meaning, we want our packaging to be a reflection of us. There is a reason why brands rely on them so much. Without the right packaging, people will walk right by you, or even worse, not like you.

So here are three things to think about as you move forward with packaging ideas for the holidays and beyond:

1. The Outer Gift

In the best case scenario, we want our customers to be loyal, and packaging can build and maintain loyalty in a very tangible way. For example, think about a Tiffany box—many of us have never seen one in person, but if someone set one in front of us, it would take a lot to hold us back. There is an entire ethos surrounding that simple robin’s-egg-blue-and-white packaging, and it makes what is inside that much more coveted.

These experiences should be at the foreground of every brand’s identity, and packaging tugs at the very foundation of our consumer experience, whether we are aware of it or not.

According to Danielle Sauvé, Director of Customer Insights and Experience at Danaher Product Identification Platform, “Product packaging is often the only physical marketing channel that the consumer physically touches.”

So, customer loyalty is just as grounded in the tactile experience as it is in the visual and digital experience. Every detail is essential to address.

2. Seasonal Packaging

Adjusting packaging during holidays or other seasonal events is also a way to increase brand loyalty. If the packaging changes enough to be seasonal, customers appreciate the effort. However, be careful…adjusting for holidays or other events should only be taken so far. Customers still want to be able to identify the brand easily rather than hunting for it on a shelf.

Tasteful seasonal packaging is difficult to come by, so also think about how measured you want to be when implementing your packaging strategy. For example, as impressive as Christmas may be for many, the red and green combination can be a bit harsh or garish to others. Many who want to be more tastefully understated may go with more natural color combinations or interesting plaids.

3. The Inner Gift

Another layer of packaging that is just as important is the layout. How does it look once it is opened? As convenient as some packaging is, if each piece is bubble wrapped and jumbled in a box, the customer experience declines rapidly. One does not want to go from the elation of opening a beautiful box to cursing under their breath to unwrap multiple items in taped plastic. If the experience turns sour, you can bet that customer loyalty may as well.

Another common complaint is buying a product with the notion that the packaging is sustainable, only to get inside to find unrecyclable plastic materials. No one wants guilt wrapped with a bow.

So what does all of this mean for the brand? The consumer experience should be a pleasant one from the moment one starts looking for a product, through the unwrapping and big reveal, to the moment when they wonder whether they will keep the box or recycle it. It may be easier said than done for many businesses, but it is a necessity to think about every step of the buyer journey if you want to build and maintain consumer loyalty.

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024


What Influencers Really Want From Marketers

September 13, 2018 Influencer, Retail Kits1 Minutes

Retail Kits

We ran surveyed 2,000 US-based influencers in May 2018 to uncover what influencers really want from the marketers they’re working with and all of those boxes they’re receiving.

First some context:

Over 50% of influencers receive 1-6 boxes weekly

Only 47% rate it as a “good” experience.

What Influencers Really Want:

• Creative respect

• Feel special

• Be invited in

• A VIP communication loop

• IG-Friendly packaging

• Paid marketing support

• To get paid. Real money. On time.

• Key dates for the product launch or availability

• Let them know when the box is arriving

• Brand story and origin

• The story behind the product/s, the design, purpose, ingredients and origin story

• A sincere thank you

• Photography gear (micro)

• Extra kits to give way to their audience (micro)

• Help to grow their audience

• A handwritten note, something that makes them feel special

Proprietary Vivabox research of 2,000 micro and macro influencers in the US, May 2018

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024


Using Experience-Driven Packaging to Increase Your Influencer ROI

August 28, 2018 Influencer, Sustainability6 Minutes

Retail Kits

Guiding Principle: Value Exchange

Influencer Marketing is, at its core, a relationship. This concept extends into every aspect of the market, including sending product to influencers. No one likes to do something for nothing: it’s against the core tenet of maintaining a healthy relationship.

More likely than not, the attention and detail you put into this process will have an impact on the outcome. If you do right by your influencer, they are inclined to do right by you. The experience they have receiving your product is a key element of their view of your product, your brand, and, ultimately, their decision to share this with their audience or not.

If you are going to send product to influencers, you need to jump in with both feet. It’s best to put the requisite time, money, and energy into the process. Without research, accurate targeting, and those special details that create surprise and delight, you’re likely to get a lukewarm response from your influencer recipients.

5 Tips:

1. PERSONALIZATION & DETAILS

Influencers are being sent free product all the time. 41% of the influencers surveyed get product every week on average, while 35% get product every month. Beyond that, 11% of influencers get product at least quarterly and 10% get product sent daily.

Be clear about how and where an influencer can post. Influencers are professional content creators and they are mindful of FTC protocol, brand hashtags, and using the right brand handle. Include a note card that lists the brand or product webpage, the appropriate brand handles, the hashtags influencers can use, and other relevant details (e.g. purchasing instructions, a personalized coupon code, or anything else that makes things smooth and easy). Then send a follow-up email, just as you would in any other professional interaction.

2. PRODUCT

72% of influencers surveyed stated that they would be most likely to post about a product sent to them if they genuinely loved the brand and the product. Of those who post, 53% of the influencers surveyed say they would post an Instagram Story.

Do your due diligence. In order to reach the right influencer for a campaign, you need to do a little digging. Get down into the details and find out who each influencer is, what they like, what type of content they create, and determine if that style is an organic fit for your product or brand.

3. THEME

Get creative and think thematically. Some of our influencers cited carefully curated, themed boxes with a conceptual element tying the product to a holiday, a season, or a certain aesthetic. Have fun, be quirky, and be unique. Remember that unboxing is a process unto itself: the more intriguing elements you can include, the more thrilling the experience will be, both for your influencer and for their audience.

4. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Be mindful of how you are packaging your product. Many influencers cited environmental concerns when receiving a bunch of stuff that may or may not be used. Whenever possible, try to be ecologically sound in your packaging and shipping choices. Some brands even send postage and instructions on how to donate or recycle an item if they don’t use it.

5. COMPELLING PRESENTATION

There truly is an art to sending product to influencers. While it may seem obvious to some, it’s important to remember that the packaging you use is another way to win over your influencers and their audience. Think of color, size, material, and presentation. Personalized touches like a handwritten note can make a world of difference. Remember to consider the optics (how will this look?) as well as the experience (how will this feel?) as you put together your packaging.

Sending product is not necessarily an “easy win”. Like so much of influencer marketing, the opportunities are vast, but so is the potential for missteps. It’s important to invest in a meaningful, organized strategy for sending product and to execute it with professionalism, attention to detail, and forethought. The amount of energy you put in is likely to show in your results; not just in the number of influencers who post, but in the quality of their content and the longevity of the relationships. With the right resources, you can reach your audience in a fun, natural way that allows both your brand and the influencer to truly shine.

Want More Resources? Ready to Roll?

TapInfluence allows you to quickly discover and assess influencers at a glance. You can drill into the details, and even get the information you need to contract them and send them your product— in addition to cash compensation or as a primary value exchange.

If you’re looking for a partner to help create, brainstorm, design, produce, and deliver high-quality product boxes, we recommend Vivabox Solutions. They have worked with leading brands to create meticulously designed product boxes. When it comes to experience-driven packaging, no one is more knowledgeable.

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024


How do I Develop Strong Relationships with Influencers?

August 28, 2018 Influencer, Retail Kits8 Minutes

Retail Kits

Ask the Fixer: When it comes to finding the best ambassadors for your brand, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here we launch the Ask the Fixer series with three experts who offer advice for building mutually beneficial relationships with the right social media influencers.

Melaina Juntti | Jul 27, 2018

Without question, influencer marketing can bring immense value to your burgeoning brand. It can help spread the word about your products, create engaging content and lend credibility to your company, among countless other benefits.

But making this strategy effective takes much more than just getting a long list of “big names” on board. It requires building solid, open, honest and mutually beneficial relationships with the right influencers. By doing so, you get “better content, better product insights, better ROI—plus, genuine community is good for the soul,” says Rachael Shayne, senior director partnerships, sales, and marketing at Vivabox.

Here, Shayne and two other “Fixers” share their best advice for building strong relationships with influencers.

Brand

Choose influencers who truly believe in your brand. We receive several partner requests daily, many of which I disregard immediately because they don’t send personalized emails; I can tell it’s a blanket outreach. The influencers I want to engage with are those who take the time to share with me how they use NOW products as part of their daily routine—those who truly use and trust our brand. On the flip side, we take the time to have actual conversations with them and get to know what’s going on in their lives versus having just a promotional relationship, such as they’ll do X content for X fee. We are a family-owned company, and we truly want to make our partners feel like they are a part of the family.

Start small. When we are considering working with a new influencer, we will often do a “test run” to see how well our partner content performs. We’ll maybe do just a small initiative, such as a one-time Instagram share, for a smaller fee. This also allows us to build a relationship because we can gauge which content will be most meaningful with that influencer and his or her audience and then do more from there.

Bring influencers inside. We host “influencer immersions” at our headquarters a few times a year. We’ll bring in about 20 influencers from across the country for an inside look at NOW. Transparency is so important in this industry, and this really provides them with an “aha” experience because they see the lengths we go to ensure we are bringing safe, quality products to market. It’s also a way to show the influencers that we value their trust and partnership, since this is the ultimate trust-building opportunity.

Alana Horinko, public relations manager at NOW Foods, a leading national brand of dietary supplements and other natural products

Agency

Get personal. When seeking influencers, don’t be a spammer—influencers are people, too, and nothing kills the mood more than a bland, impersonal e-blast. Their inboxes are flooded with opportunities daily, so make sure yours stands out. Call them by name, show interest in their life or brand and intrigue them with more than just the depth of your pockets. Show your personality and build an actual relationship, not just a business transaction.

Be honest and transparent. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Be honest with influencers about the type of partnership you’re interested in and what you’re able to offer. Be flexible in your needs, and it’s likely they will be flexible, too. If you have a good product that is a great fit for the influencer and their audience, chances are you’re going to get more bang for your buck.

Remember: benefits go both ways. No one loves hearing how much someone can help them. Consider how you can make the relationship benefit the influencer as well. Outside of filling their pockets, what other ways can you add value to the deal? Can you give access to your audience, boost their reach or support their cause or event? When you get creative, you can end up with unique, mutually beneficial and often cost-effective partnerships.

 —Denise Lambertson, founder and chief connector at LMS, a boutique entertainment marketing agency specializing in solutions for growth-stage and emerging brands

Marketing

Support successes and nurture creativity. Celebrate your influencers’ personal milestones and successes—and do so genuinely. Be a fan. Also appreciate their creative ideas and influence—isn’t that the reason you’re using an influencer strategy to begin with? Respect their creative abilities and give them ideas to build on versus supplying fully baked content. If they are simply posting your brand imagery, their followers will sniff it out and their reactions won’t help the influencer or your brand grow.

Supply sufficient info. Be sure they know your brand story: why the product is being launched, why you think it will be great, what the ingredient story is, where it can be bought, for what price and when it’s available. You can also share relevant research, information about your category or even influencer marketing reports, and help them understand FTC guidelines for posting if they don’t already. If you have a super kick-ass social media manager, have them offer your influencers classes about how to grow their followers, how to use new video editing tools, how to get the best lighting, etc.

Compensate adequately. This is a business for influencers, so pay them with real money—and on time—not just with products. Beyond dollars, you can also compensate influencers with products, attention, access to your network, referrals, tools and resources. For instance, you can share analytics or a membership to a stock photo site. Also give them credit in product meetings for uncovering new insights, and then tell them how the team reacted to their idea and thank them for helping build your business. Send them unexpected and personal small gifts that aren’t directly brand related, and never forget the power of a handwritten note expressing authentic thanks.

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024