Connected packaging: A door to new worlds

Digital worldbuilding is increasingly a must for beauty brands. But where can packaging fit into this virtual marketing move?

With much of the real world inaccessible this past year, both consumers and beauty players have embraced the interactivity and delight provided by digital alternatives.

Brands including Benefit, Glossier and Glow Recipe brought their branding virtually to Nintendo’s Animal Crossing, which lets users control a dinky avatar of themselves on a tropical island, while gaming and entertainment platform Drest, in which players adopt the role of fashion stylist, has been hopped on by the likes of Gucci and NARS.

Similarly, Soap & Glory recently unveiled Soap and Glory Land. Part of the social gaming platform RecRoom, Soap and Glory Land allows visitors to play bespoke games amid citrus groves and fondant cloudscapes, all developed to tap into a benefit of the brand’s new Good Hydrations skin care line.

Commenting on why beauty should embrace digital worldbuilding, RecRoom’s Head of Brand Development, Mike Schmid, tells Cosmetics Business: “I look at it like this: it would be like saying in the 1940s or 50s ‘why should cosmetic companies get involved with television? How does that connect with our audience?’ In a similar way, being a part of games is tremendously important. But it’s different from TV in the sense that it needs to be authentic. It can’t just be an advertisement or something shallow. It needs to be thoughtful and it needs to be real. More than ever, people don’t want to just watch somebody explain something. They want to experience it and understand it.”

When it comes to RecRoom, Schmid explains: “The brand has an opportunity to create an interesting voice in this space that they couldn’t do in traditional media, or even in an in-store setting, where you have more opportunity to create an experience but not everybody can get there. It’s an opportunity to hit many more people, especially those who can’t make it into a major city where this brand might have that experience available.”

So, with more companies jumping aboard this trend, how can you ensure your digital, game-led environment is a meaningful extension of your brand? And what is the best way to entice consumers – even those who don’t yet dabble in gaming – into your digital world?

One answer is to rethink your packaging, transforming it from a mere vessel into a portal to another dimension.

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