First mover or fast follower? In the package design industry, choosing between these two options is often a terrifying task for even the most seasoned marketers and packaging managers. At any given time there are numerous trends in various stages of their life cycles that marketers and packaging managers must sort through. Some become mainstays; others fizzle out after brief cameos. In the coming months, our agency will examine a number of these trends — some of which will be in full swing, while others will be emerging soon. In each case, we will provide guidance as to whether you should move first, follow fast or simply wait and watch. The first such trend we’ll examine is also one of the most innovative new technologies in recent memory: augmented reality.
In its most basic form, augmented reality (AR) is a technology that allows a person to view a physical object on the screen of a mobile device while overlaying digital information on the screen in real time (videos, promotions, games, etc.). Put differently, AR turns your smartphone into a viewing pane that opens up an interactive world around a physical object. Many types of physical objects can trigger AR experiences, and marketers have begun creating AR experiences with such items as magazine ads, movie posters and, of course, product packaging.