The balance of power has shifted from retailer push to informed, well-connected consumers who can within seconds know if a product is inferior to another. If service is bad. If a brand lives up to its own hype. If other customers are unsatisfied with their experience with the company.  The days of disgruntled phone calls are gone. Now, social media allows consumers to publicly criticize a brand and gain support for their experience in others who have had similar experiences. Armed with digital arsenals consumers can almost instantly find an alternative.  Companies trying to reach these consumers realize it has less to do with age demographics and more to do with their increased buying power, tech savviness, global connectedness, environmental concern and instant gratification.

Where impressions in advertising were the foundation for building a brand presence, today’s tech-savvy consumers are 70 to 80% less loyal to brands than in past generations.  Millions of brands are vying for attention, but there is so much more to it than a QR code.  Marketing now is less about shelf appeal and more about a trust supported social network and presence. Companies need to see their products through the eyes of their informed, globally connected customers. To be part of this Smart packaging evolution a brand needs to tussle the experience of the past and kiss those time-tested rules goodbye. Time to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) as the norm. Throwing the marketing net as far as you can to catch as many as is possible is no longer relevant. Price does play a role, and if you dell only price, beware, it can speak to inferior quality in the mind of value driven consumers.

For companies to win they need to create a unique experience that targets the consumer’s insights, core beliefs, and behaviors. That message in the product features, package, service, claim and social support for the product. Developing packaging for the new generation of shoppers means designing an immersive experience. Packaging that reaches to them on an emotional level. A product that is worthy of their investment in social currency. Packaging that engages with augmented reality (AR), give back programs and an awareness that speaks the consumer’s language.

Simon Sinek (Author of Start with Why) said it best, “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it, what you do simply proves it to them.” Today’s consumers emphasize this point by supporting brands they believe in, aligning themselves with companies who they can stand behind with their digital voice spending social currency which speaks to how they see their place in the world.

Today’s consumer cares more about the environment than their parents did and is aware of the impact their behaviors have on that environment.  Going for green packaging is a win for all concerned, newsworthy, and is an opportunity for a company to strive for more than just selling a product. A bandwagon worthwhile, green packaging is a chance to make a positive social impact on the future while nurturing more consumers to care about your brand. A true win-win and just good business.