Retrieved from: http://www.retailwire.com/discussion/is-personalized-packaging-going-mainstream/, May 15, 2017, by Matthew Stern

When we think personalized advertising, data-driven offers and hyper-targeted messaging come to mind. But some brands have been experimenting with adding personalized elements to the packaging products come in. Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign is one of the most notable examples and now the campaign is taking an even more personal direction.

Coca-Cola will feature 200 last names on its bottles in addition to a selection of 800 first names, according to Ad Age. The last names available are rooted in analytics that identified those belonging to, in aggregate, approximately a quarter of the 13 to 34 demographic. First and last names will not appear together on the same bottles. Coke will make the name-personalized bottles available at random on store shelves, but consumers will be able to place personalized orders at ShareaCoke.com. The initial launch of the “Share a Coke” campaign in the U.S. in 2014 gave the company its first stateside sales lift since 2000. The new campaign will run from May through July of this year.

It’s not hard to imagine packaging going far beyond Coca-Cola’s plan. Anything from changing the appearance of a package based on the content of an e-commerce order to decorating a box with a uniquely-targeted design and the name of a gift recipient could be feasible in a world where retailers have unprecedented access to customer data.

Coca-Cola isn’t the only company adding a personal element to packaging. Heinz, for instance, has reached out to fans via Facebook to personalize soup cans with a “Get Well” message for children in hospitals and hospice.

Albeit not through personalization (yet), Amazon.com has also been rethinking the significance of packaging, using its shipping boxes as real estate for promotional messaging. Amazon boxes often feature packing tape promoting Amazon Echo, and the e-tailer has also occasionally partnered with third parties to advertise on its boxes.

A new report from Transparency Market Research forecasts that the personalized packaging market will surge by 2024.