Our packaging preferences are always changing. But nowadays, creativity is more important than ever. People yearn for something unique, whether it be in the form of an activity, a statement, or humor.
Interactive packaging can help in this situation. In addition to being visually attractive, interactive packaging also has a function, such as functionality or entertainment. Interactive packaging, as the name suggests, stands out on the display cases by creating a “cool” factor through offering customers something to do or a simpler way to use the item.
Despite not being widely used at the moment, this developing trend is growing and capturing the interest of both consumers and designers. But in a world where everyone’s focus is on sustainability, the main question is, “Is interactive packaging the future of sustainability?”
So, what is interactive packaging?
Have you ever used your phone to scan something? That’s the essence of interactive technology. Because consumers view the product through how they wish to experience it through something such as a QR code rather than how it would appear on a store shelf, they are forming brand relationships without even realizing it.
Interactive packaging refers to a type of packaging that encourages more imaginative and in-depth consumer engagement with the product. It engages and piques users’ interest by being entertaining and encouraging interaction with the packaging. Making product interactions memorable is the main goal of interactive packaging, however it can also serve additional purposes such as encouraging sustainability.
Types of interactive packaging
The following are some of the types of interactive packaging:
- QR code
That box that appeared everywhere during the pandemic was a Quick Response (QR) code. Because Apple enabled the iPhone’s camera to scan QR codes, a new technology that had existed since the 1990s, it took off like a rocket overnight. Additionally, the technology sold itself due to the widespread use of phones.
The QR code’s immediate nature and capacity to foster creative connections between customers contribute significantly to the creation of memorable brand experiences through digital communication. However, what matters most is that it is done with the brand in mind.
Still, it isn’t always about marketing. Scanning the code can provide information on how to use an item or the ingredients that went into making a product. There is only so much space available to cram information onto a package, and the QR code offers consumers an endless expanse of space to inform them on anything.
- Augmented Reality
There are other interactive packaging options besides QR. Augmented reality is another method of producing interactive packaging.
Through the use of 2D or 3D digital assets, augmented reality, or AR, allows for an interactive semi-virtual experience in the context of the real world.
For the consumer, augmented reality (AR) combines digital data with actual objects to produce an immersive experience. With augmented reality packaging, the product is scanned using an app, much like a QR code.
This kind of interactive packaging technology can be “hidden” within the packaging’s visual components. With the help of technology and design, this technology uses visual content and image processing to tell a story and bring your product packaging to life.
- Reusable packaging (and sustainability)
Now, this type of interactive packaging is relevant to the main question, “Is interactive packaging the future of sustainability?” But, first things first: How is reusable packaging interactive?
All packaging intended for reuse falls under the category of reusable packaging. This form of packaging is interactive since it entails the customer’s involvement. Users can modify and use reusable containers for other purposes in addition to serving as the product’s container and presentation. For instance, a food package may be unfolded and utilized as a plate.
Reusable packaging offers the customer a personalized experience that may act as an additional incentive in a market where consumers are increasingly looking for innovative and creative product packaging.
Most importantly, reusable packaging is an incredibly environmentally friendly option because once the user opens it, they are less likely to dispose of it. An important benefit of reusable packaging, as opposed to recycling, for example, is that it is easier for customers to understand the concept of repurposing a packaging material than knowing where a discarded one goes and what happens to it. For instance, a customer will easily understand the idea of refilling a bottle, but it will be hard for them to comprehend where the plastic container they toss in a trash bin goes or what happens to it. Utilizing the same containers repeatedly helps to reduce the requirement for virgin materials, lowers the energy required to produce thousands of new cardboard boxes or plastic bottles, and avoids the accumulation of trash in landfills or the ocean.
Given the benefit of this approach to interactive packaging, it seems that it is a step toward sustainability. However, something has to be done to ensure that reusable packaging programs succeed. The program relies heavily on the end users following directions and reusing packages as envisioned. Therefore, educating the consumers should be part of the reuse program. If this part is addressed, interactive packaging in the form of reusable packaging could be the future of sustainability.
Additional benefits of interactive packaging go beyond sustainability
Brands looking to interact with consumers more deeply can benefit from interactive packaging. It provides a variety of chances to engage the customer in a more dynamic partnership with the product and the business that sells it. Using interactive packaging will assist you in getting your products into the hands of clients in a way that is different from how you would with conventional packaging materials, irrespective of whether the packaging source is enhanced with analog or digital interactive capabilities.
Interactive packaging offers the chance to gain an advantage over rivals who decide not to use such tools in a world where numerous brands compete for the consumer’s attention. When competing with a rival who uses interactive packaging to encourage customers to play with or examine a product before buying it, relying solely on design, typography, colors, and conventional aesthetics may be problematic. There is a greater chance that a consumer will buy a product if they receive it in their hands by responding to the product’s interactive call to engagement.
Being a forerunner of the digital way, GPA Global is renowned for its innovations in digital packaging. Please contact us today to learn about how we can help you promote your business and support sustainability through interactive packaging.