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Promotional Coding for Brand Engagement & Loyalty

Posted By Codico, Tuesday 1 September 2015
Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2016
Promotional Coding for Brand Engagement (1)

What have Coke Cola and a selfie stick got in common? Probably this year’s best use of on-pack promotional coding. This summer, the iconic brand invited consumers to buy a Coke, simply enter the promotional code on the inside of the bottle sleeve into a website and be in with a chance of winning one of 250,000 selfie sticks (that’s a lot of selfie sticks).

Coke Selfie Wrapper Sleeve resized

Over the past decade there has been an explosion in the use of variable data printed directly onto product packaging, particularly in the food and drink sectors. Usually the variable data relates to dates of minimum durability and batch numbering for traceability. Today the printing of variable data for the purpose of on-pack promotional coding has become mainstream for FMCG brands as an effective sales promotion technique. This year alone we have seen brands like Pringles (Karaoke Kits), and Lucozade (Project Yes), many more are no strangers to promotional coding. Advancements in technology has now made this technique available to all smaller and medium sized brands.

Coke Webshot resized

Pringles Webshot resized

What are promotional codes?

Promotional codes can take many forms. They might be a QR code that directs customers to a specific website. Or they could take the form of an alphanumeric code – unique to each pack – that allows customers to win prizes. They are applied onto product packaging and are easy to identify.

Reasons to use on-pack promotions:

On-pack promotions can help brands realise the following benefits:

Stand out from the crowd

The food and beverage industries are fiercely competitive. Promotional codes help your brand to stand out on the shelf and entice customers to purchase your product. [Tweet this]. They are a highly effective way of engaging customers with innovative marketing campaigns and can act as the bridge between physical marketing and online strategies.

Engage with your customers

Marketing is about engaging your customers. And promotional codes give you a great vehicle for encouraging customers to take action. Whether you are inviting consumers to design their own packaging or offering them the chance to win prizes, it all helps to make your brand more memorable.

Build brand loyalty

Active brand engagement leads to strong brand loyalty. The godfather of brand management Kevin Lane Keller states that perhaps the strongest affirmation of brand loyalty occurs when customers are willing to invest time, energy, money and other resources into the brand beyond those expended during purchase or consumption of the brand. These days consumers are willing to talk about the brands they love, mostly without the use of a promotion and competition. So when brands engage with consumers with a promotion they can only benefit further from this trend. This in turn also drives traffic, mentions, connections and follows.

Capture your customers’ data

When you engage your customers, you encourage brand loyalty. Run a campaign that captures an email address and gains permission for further communication then you have a fantastic opportunity to make the relationship between you and your consumer even stronger.

Increase revenue

On-pack promotions are an excellent way to grow quick sales and market share for the duration of the campaign. Does that mean that after the campaign is over sales decrease? Perhaps or maybe not. Increased loyalty from the promotions can cause additional revenue to carry on beyond the short term and into the medium and long term.

Top 5 tips for successful on-pack promotions:

1. Make it interesting/fun for your customers (not just for you).

2. Pick a prize that reflects your brand & target audience.

3. Take in to account customer effort versus perceived value of reward.

4. Make it fair and robust.

5. It’s all in follow up.

How do you add promotional codes to food and drink packaging?

With the right choice of equipment.

It’s important not to underestimate the engineering challenge of adding promotional codes to packaging. They must be printed with 100% clarity – at speed – and must not conflict with essential traceability codes and best before information.

In the case of competition codes that are unique to each customer and each individual product, you also need a system that is capable of generating hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of different codes within a short space of time. For example, an 8 character code has 4,294,967,296 unique possible outcomes.

Then there’s the matter of whether you print the promotional codes directly onto the packaging on the production line, or add the codes later in the production process. There are a small number of companies that can generate the unique codes for you to print. Some of these companies also look after the back end of the promotion to insure the website can handle the promotional entries and issue win/lose responses. Check out who can oversee all aspects of your loyalty programme.

The right decision depends on your industry, the type of promotion you want to run and your manufacturing processes. 

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