When Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers think digital, behavioral tracking and social media often come to mind. However, as we’ve uncovered in our Tech Trends Report, innovative technology is changing consumers’ lives and subsequently, the products and services they purchase. When leveraged correctly, virtual reality, augmented reality, connectivity, artificial intelligence and other innovations offer CPG brands a great opportunity to completely reshape category and brand experiences.
But how do you deliver this innovative technology in a meaningful way for your customers? How do you ensure it supports your brand promise? Drives customer adoption and loyalty? Consider these three steps when reimaging your user experience:
1. Does the consumer actually want these connected, digital experiences in your product?
We’re seeing reinvented experiences from bus shelters that interact with you to product packaging that can be scanned to trigger additional content. The consumer can be connected to anything at any moment in time; experiences can seamlessly integrate digital and physical elements. But the first thing CPG manufacturers must understand is where and how to deliver these digital experiences.
Do consumers really want their breakfast cereal to be a platform for interactive games?Conversely, a leading toy company is completely reimagining the coloring experience by simultaneously maintaining the physical benefit of coloring and enhancing it with a digital component that brings the product to life in a four-dimensional image.
The gap between a consumer’s digital and non-digital life is narrowing, often times seamlessly blending. And, products that incorporate new technology must align with real world needs, behaviors and pain points in a way that makes sense to consumers.
Bringing the user experience (UX) perspective early in the product development process ensures that manufacturers create new and exciting experiences consumers want, in the way they want it.
We know from the data we’ve collected that some of the digital experience evolution is tech-led rather than consumer-led which slows consumer adoption and can ultimately lead to failed products.
2. Design the experiences customers tell you they want in a way they want them delivered
Ok, your customers want it…now what? Once the new product or experience is identified, keeping the user at the center of the design process ensures a product will be delivered in a way that fosters adoption and loyalty. This incorporates strategic elements like what type of technology should be used as well as tactical execution, such as, where the interface should be placed to make it as easy as possible to use and incorporate in consumers’ lives. Getting product instructions right also takes on new importance as there is inherit complexity of digital features and products.
3. Is the new digital experience consistent with your brand?
Finally, we know that these reimagined products and experiences must be delivered in a way that’s consistent with the overall brand experience. Deviating from this message is confusing for consumers and ultimately creates fragmentation. When aligned with the brand’s overall strategy, satisfying digital experiences are memorable, leave a great impression and improve overall brand equity.
Digitally transforming your product is exciting!
Incorporating technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality and connectivity offers tremendous opportunity to reimagine your customers’ experiences and consequently grow and strengthen your business. But to be truly successful in the market, you must keep the user at the forefront of the design. Ground your strategy for your brand and customer, understand category experiences and where digital can play a role and design with user insight along the way to ensure these technologies are intentionally designed into meaningful customer experiences.
What are your thoughts? Please email me at Meredith.Paige@gfk.com (Senior Vice President of User Experience at GfK).