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Brief Published: 25 Jun 2018

Smart Packaging Leads Beauty Consumers to Online Content


Near-field communication (NFC) technology blurs the divide between physical and digital products. Goods become gateways to content, connecting consumers to aesthetic and lifestyle branding beyond the physical object. Brands need to start thinking about how they can use this technology to add value and inspire meaningful engagement opportunities.

US-based ethical skincare brand Yuni is working with Norwegian company Thinfilm to embed its packaging with NFC technology. Electric chips are fitted seamlessly into the product’s paper wrapping – meaning all users need to do is tap the packaging with their smartphone to create a cloud-based connection which takes them directly to branded mobile content. 

We’ve seen this technology in packaging before – and featured NFC company MyPack Connect as one of the influencers in our 2018 Look Ahead. However, it’s the pairing of the beauty sector with this technology that is of interest in Yuni’s case. Branding in this industry is largely conducted through social channels, with influencers and vloggers sharing their favourite products in haul and tutorial videos.

Yuni’s new packaging connects consumers to how-to videos with product-specific application instructions and tips – bypassing the need for research when they get home.

Digitally connected packaging is enabling shoppers to experience a ‘try before you buy’ scenario, where videos present a realistic preview of the product and its effects in-store. YouTube is rated as the most reliable source for information about consumer products (PR Week, 2015), revealing the power that recorded content – and an unfiltered, undoctored insight into a product – can have on consumers.

For more creative examples of how tech can be used to augment packaging, see Packaging Futures 17/18: Digital. NFC chips are also being used to unleash new functionality in consumer products – see 2018 Olympics: Payment-Embedded Merchandise for more.