Isn't it time for personalisation to move beyond names and faces and instead focus on people and places?

February 14, 2017









Just when I thought seeing your name or face (sometimes both) on a pack had started to melt into obscurity, along comes another piece of packaging prolonging this lazy vision of personalisation.


Practically every major food and drink brand has played in this space. A very useful exercise in helping us to remember who we are (should we have forgotten), but it does little to communicate with us beyond a shallow veneer or indeed speak to any unique aspect of said brand.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not undervaluing that moment of delight that worked so well for Coke (I have my own monikered can), but it is disappointing to see the same idea being rolled out again and again and again. It has become the norm for so many brands, yet it seems to me, the antithesis of personalisation.

Brands are engaging with us like never before, tracking our purchasing habits, our likes (and dislikes) and are able to adapt products to suit our specific needs, such is the power of our connectivity. 


So, why are we still seeing faces on packs?


Jameson is a great example of a brand that is at one with its heritage, values and consumers. Their new ‘connected’ bottle being introduced for St. Patrick’s Day is a smart idea. It brings together brand and consumer in a more authentic way, providing a means to driving localised content to its audience through NFC, while presenting a beautiful and culturally influenced pack. (


This is by no means the first smart packaging solution, but it is one that feels well connected to the brand and its consumers and one that opens the opportunity for a more meaningful and personalised dialogue around people, communities and culture. 


So, as smart packaging solutions evolve and the desire for brands and consumers to connect in more engaging ways continues to increase, we have the opportunity to be smarter than names and faces and create more solutions, aimed at people and places.

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