The term ‘extended packaging’ refers to the practice of conveying information to consumers via their mobile devices. This information could take a number of different forms (video, images, web page) and is usually linked through a 2D code or QR code on product packaging. The idea is that packaging to serve a function beyond what is traditionally expected of it; so besides keeping the product protected and/or fresh and usable, it will also help the consumers understand more about the product that they are purchasing. In that sense, it serves a different purpose from that of 2D /QR codes (or NFC/RFID chips) in posters, mailers etc.  The purpose of ‘extended packaging’ is not just marketing (although that could be one of the purposes); by using ‘extended packaging’ on their products, brands and retailers are creating a situation where the consumer can get actual information that is not obfuscated by marketing jargon.
The need for extended packaging has been felt for a number of different reasons. One the main reasons is changing consumer needs:

  1. Consumers are now less easy to target using traditional methods of marketing.
  2. Additionally, consumers are also more willing to trust other consumers, rather than marketing messages
  3. Also, consumers are getting their information from a number of different channels, which only distract them and reduce the impact of marketing messages.

By using extended packaging, brands have a way to reach consumers as they shop. For example, the 2D code on the packaging of a juice box could be scanned by consumers in-store to access basic nutrition, hygiene and packaging information. In fact, extended packaging could be used for a number of different purposes:

  1. Product authentication
  2. Mobile coupon delivery
  3. purchase and delivery of digital content
  4. Creation of social communities


June 2024