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As the rise and rise of Generic brands begin to dominate our grocery isles, it is any wonder Branded manufacturers are wondering what they can do to convince their consumers of the additional value in branded products. Whilst key product positioning within the supermarket shelves is a success factor in consumer propensity to purchase, consumers are becoming smarter and want to know the value of a brand before paying a premium to the generic.

I think many are failing to effectively utilise the one piece of real estate that they have the most control over. Product packaging can be used to effectively communicate to consumers, but too often is it only used for “Best ever”, “Now with the next best thing ingredient” or even “Look, we are now worth paying that bit extra for!”

Here are some new and emerging trends
1. Unique code identifiers.
Products can now be manufactured with a unique product id so that every individual product sku has it’s own identifier. This can be used for promotions that link the opportunity to enter with actual purchase. Usually on the inside of the label, the unique id can then be keyed into a website enabling additional brand communication. Alternatively the unique id can be sms’d to a special number.

2. Product usage tips
Many products can take advantage of the packaging to educate consumers in product usage. Recipes, Training tips are good examples. What you can’t fit into a the package can be used to provide a short explanation and a link to a website for a longer description.
Often individual usage tips could be placed on different varieties enabling greater education across the product range.

3. Functional Claims
Too often brands have lost the ability to communicate the basic USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of their product and the package is an all important way to do this.
99% Fat Free, Low GI, Omega 3, Gluten free and other functional claims have gained popularity recently. I think as consumers seek out products with certain claims, manufacturers could do a lot to enhance their products by helping consumers identify products within a certain function.

4. Augmented Reality Marketing
Augmented RealityNow for something on the new frontiers .. and that is the idea that you could embed special descriptions onto a package that when an camera is placed over the descriptor, a 3D image of the brand or claim stands out from the package .. think of the Princess Leia recorded message being displayed from R2D2. Augmented Reality overlays information within an environment to enhance a person or group’s capabilities to act in an environment. Data, text, images, sound & video. I had an opportunity to view an Augmented Reality demo at a conference recently. Certainly gives you perhaps the final reason to upgrade your phone to one that has an on board camera.