Will IoT-driven brand experiences keep the taps flowing?

Instead of simply quaffing booze, beverage companies want partiers to experience brands, and are using the Internet of Things (IoT) to introduce drinking 2.0.

Marketing Week reports that drinks maker Pernod Ricard is increasingly using IoT in its marketing efforts for its products.

And while talking to your drink at the bar was previously a warning sign, Pernod Ricard wants to use IoT to let drinkers have an “ongoing conversation” with their tipple of choice.

It is doing this by augmenting 40,000 Malibu brand bottles into “digital touchpoints.” The bottles give consumers exclusive content by tapping their smartphone against the bottle. Hopefully gently.

“Someone scanning the bottle is not the end of the journey. It brings the product, experience and consumer all together,” said Pernod Ricard UK’s Denis O’Flynn. “We do see [the technology use] becoming broader, where we can incorporate messaging about the product, health guidelines, how to mix and serve it – all that information will be required in future, and will be done through some sort of smart technology.”

Digital tech a booming part of media spending

The company is increasing its media spending in this area, boosting total digital expenditure in 2016 from 31% to 40%.

“When it comes to the IoT and [our bottles], clearly we are working on it a lot,” said Pernod Ricard’s managing director of finance and operations Gilles Bogaert. “More and more it will be focused on consumer engagement.”

And as beverage-makers get hip to the latest connected technology, they see IoT as a useful technology in boosting consumers brand experience. These being experiences other than getting inebriated.

“Potentially it could even help not only to be something passive where consumers can read the scanning but to create an experience for the brand,” said Bogaert.

“That’s something we’re looking to do more of in the future. To be able to create more experiences around the brands, including when people are at home organizing parties for instance.”

This comes as entertainment and lifestyle companies are increasing turning to connected technology to enhance customer experiences in stadiums and elsewhere.

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