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How Communicating through Packaging is more Informative & Personal

Two posts caught my eye this week as they both referred to the importance of multi-channel communications. If you are looking for inspiration and new ideas in this area, then read on. In particular we will speak about the often forgotten opportunity for communicating through packaging.

The first article was by Jim Tierney at Loyalty360 in which he commented on the results of a new survey in the USA by IBM, concerning cross-channel integrationThe research found that “only 35% of leading marketers currently integrate their campaigns across all channels, with 8% indicating they are not currently integrated at all. In comparison, only 12% of the remaining marketers surveyed currently integrate their campaigns across all channels, with 39% saying they are not currently integrated at all”.

The other post on the same topic was from Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief at Direct Marketing News. In it she spoke of the recent Responsys Interact2013 event and the keynote speech by Scott Olrich Responsys’ President:

“Most marketers still cling to blast campaigns,” he said. “Smart marketers focus on digital and addressable.” They’re now able to deliver on the promises of personalization made 10 years ago, Olrich added.

Why is doing so important? Customers today expect personalization, choice, and value—because they get it already from leaders such as Amazon, which is one company creating personalized experiences at mass scale.

One way to do this: Flip the model, said Steve Krause, SVP of product management at Responsys. Today most marketers start with the campaign, create an offer, schedule it, and send to mass audience; instead, Krause said during his presentation, marketers should start with customer, build profiles, design experiences, and personalized interactions.

As a customer centricity specialist myself, I particularly liked Steve’s comment about starting with the customer; do we still need reminding that this is the first business essential today? Perhaps we do. However, neither article spoke about the opportunity of communicating through packaging, so I would like to add my own thoughts.

I wrote a post last year about the opportunity packaging provides to connect directly with customers at the critical point of product trial (you can read it HERE).

In that post, I gave some good examples from Kellogg’s Pringles and Nestlé’s Nutritional Compass. This time I would like to add a couple of other interesting examples I have come across recently, where the messaging has become even more personalized.

Pringles goes from allaying a negative to a full blown campaign

 

Communicating through packaging
Source: Zigspics.com

Who doesn’t know Pringles, the  br and of potato- and wheat-based stackable snack crisps sold in 2012 by P&G to the Kellogg Company?

Pringles started using the freshness seal to communicate to their consumers, by printing “Bulging with flavour” to explain the swollen lid. At the time I was fascinated by the fact that Pringles had been able to turn what might have been perceived as a negative (bulging lid = altered product inside) into a positive, through this simple message.

Today, I am even happier to report that since then, Pringles have turned that short message into a full promotional campaign for the brand.

 

Food & Beverage manufacturers become more transparent

Nestle communicating through packaging with nutritional compassNestlé has been communicating on-pack concerning the ingredients of their products since 2005. According to their  website, the “Nutritional Compass” provides their consumers with four valuable pieces of information:

  • standardized nutrient table
  • “Good to Know” panel explaining ingredients or nutrients relating to the product
  • “Good to Remember” panel with tips for responsible product enjoyment
  • “Good to Talk” panel with contact details and links to consumer services.

By the end of 2008, they were claiming that its Nutritional Compass had been added to 98% of its global product packaging by total sales volume.

communicating through packagingArguably more appealing today, many other food & beverage companies have started using infographics to share similar information.

One example from :OTVETDESIGN in Russia and included in an interesting post at PATH, is from Selizharovo Cannery.

Selizharovo is using this approach to communicate the contents of its products, with clean and concise graphics that are an integral part of the branding. Innocent do something similar, but only for the list of their ingredients on the side panel.

By making the ingredient list so visual and key to the packaging execution, the brand projects transparency, honesty and authenticity – all important attributes for consumers tired of recent scandals concerning product misinformation. To read the full post and see more packaging examples using infographics, click HERE.

 

Newer, more personalized messaging

Recent uses of packaging for direct connection with the customers, show an exciting and much more personalized approach.

Coke communicating through packaging with namesFor example, Coca-Cola is putting people’s names on its bottles and cans this summer as part of its ‘Share a Coke’ campaign.

They will be printing the most popular names in each country, or using a simple “Him” and “Her” label, when this is not possible.

 

communicating through packaging with personalised credit cardsMany banks offer their clients the possibility to personalize their bank or credit cards.

Although this has been true for many, many years, there seems to have been a recent revival in emphasizing this personalized alternative to the standard cards.

 

The often forgotten media channel

Packaging is a wonderful medium for communicating with your audience and yet many companies still seem to be ignoring it. My question to all marketers is therefore “Are you aware you are doing this?” I am sure many of you see packaging as purely a product protection mechanism or a facilitator of shelf impact. Whilst both of these are of course important, the opportunity of engaging with your customers whilst they are in the process of using your product has enormous value. Isn’t it time you took another look at yours?

If your company is effectively using its packaging to communicate more than just its ingredients or usage instructions, why not share it below and let your br and get the recognition it deserves and shine in the spotlight? We would love to see even more best-practice examples.

For more information on br and communication please check out our website: https://www.c3centricity.com/home/engage

Do you feel that your communications could be even better? Is your copy testing coming too late or stifling creativity? Let us show you a new way to evaluate your concepts earlier in their development  process. Using it will save you considerable resources of both time and money. Contact us here.

This post has been adapted from one that was first published on C3Centricity Dimensions in April 2012

C³Centricity uses images from  Dreamstime.com  and  Kozzi.com

Great Customer Satisfaction in 3 Easy Lessons

The latest Customer Experience Survey run in the US at the end of last year by McKinsey shows that Americans are generally more satisfied with their experiences today than pre-recession, although this can in part be attributed to rising consumer confidence. 

The article concludes that happier customers have a higher lifetime value  for a company and highlights several areas for businesses to consider in order to increase satisfaction.

After reading the report I was inspired to take their ideas and exp and them into three lessons that could guarantee increased customer satisfaction for all organisations. This is what I came up with:

Consistency boosts satisfaction

The article refers to consistency across contact channels, but I believe it goes much further than that. Customers need to underst and what we are offering in order to find it a – hopefully regular – place in their lives. If we frequently change packaging, distribution channels or communications from one year to the next, as often follows management restructuring, they can become destabilised.

They will then be forced to work, evaluating how these changes impact their current habits and perceptions of the br and. As we are all creatures of habit, living on auto-pilot in many areas of our lives for much of the time, changes force us to reconsider our choices, which can perhaps lead to the decision that the offering no longer has a place in our lives.

Lesson 1: remain consistent to the br and equity and personality that should have been clearly defined, in every way the br and interacts with its customers.

You can’t control everything

Customer confidence and satisfaction are said to be closely linked, especially in transactional industries such as airlines, hotels and retail. Whilst this may be true, I believe that br ands have an essential role to play in giving customers the confidence they need that they have made the best choice. What a br and st ands for in the hearts and minds of its audience can be influenced and thus we do have control over the confidence our customers have in the product or services we offer.

If we do not meet their expectations every time, again they may start to re-evaluate their choices and could decide to switch supplier. Br ands give customers confidence in the choices they make, as well as a guaranteed level of quality and reliability, but this needs to be reconfirmed every time they experience  it.

Lesson 2: control everything that can be controlled to ensure that your customers’ experience is of the highest level possible, and every single time, of course

Know what matters

P&G are well known for speaking about the first and second moments of truth; the first being when a shopper sees the product “on the shelf” and the second being when the product is actually experienced. With the rise of the internet and the use of search engines, many br and interactions are now taking place between a customer and a br and long before the product is ever seen or experienced; Google has named this the “Zero Moment of Truth”.

All these moments of truth are important to underst and along the path to consumption, but more important still, is their relevance for each consumer when making decisions about which br and to choose. Every experience with a br and builds towards that final, or repeated, decision and any interaction can negatively impact the decision if the customer is not totally satisfied.

Lesson 3: don’t assume all your customers are the same, even if they have been chosen following category segmentation. Ensure that you get to know them well enough to underst and what are their preferred choices along their journey and which steps are the most important for them to be satisfied.

To sum up the findings of the survey, experience impacts every br and and category choice a person makes, whether positively or negatively. Perhaps one of the most important challenges that marketers must face, is that whereas it can take many positive interactions for a customer to finally make the choice to purchase a br and, it may take just one negative experience to make them forget the br and or worse to eliminate it from their consideration set forever.

With the never-ending increase in choices that most customers face today, it is the whole br and decision journey that needs to be considered when looking to satisfy them. That is the only way to guarantee complete customer satisfaction.

Which is the most defining moment for your category to get right, zero, first, second, or somewhere else along your customer journey? Please share your experiences here.

For more information on connecting to your customers, please check out our website: https://www.c3centricity.com/home/engage

C³Centricity uses images from Dreamstime.com

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