I admit: I never thought that product packaging could be exciting.
Of course, I am attracted to pretty packaging when I browse retail shelves for groceries or items to buy.
But before Coca-Cola told me I could put my name on their cans, packaging had never really 'spoken' to me.
I literally just looked at it as that box which my product came in.
At a recent event for creatives called DScoop Asia, it was insightful to witness how technology that once made it possible for big brand names to talk to the masses, are now looking at delivering personalised products and services.
It was shared that the advent of mass personalisation will be key to get consumers who embrace and align themselves with technology to click on the 'buy' button.
While product packaging has always played an important role in communicating with and enticing consumers to make their purchase decisions, the age of digitalisation has caused a rethink in how marketers use packaging to connect with consumers.
As tech-savvy millennials come of age, brands that can connect with this group of consumers will do well.
The millennial generation is perceived to be difficult to convert, but knowing that they make purchase decisions after discovering, researching, and eventually sharing their finds with their online 'tribe' is the first step to creating a seamless user journey from discovery to purchase.
So how should brands engage with the millennial customer to their advantage?
Ensure you provide a good user experience, beginning with a great content marketing strategy that continues right through to a well-designed e-commerce site that allows for a smooth purchase transaction.
Finally, customising your customer transforms the buying experience into a highly personal 'moment', affirms their value as individuals and gives them a strong reason to choose that one-of-a-kind product over another that is homogenous and lacks customisation.
Here are five brands which personalised their products to connect with their consumers:
1) Oreo cookies: Customise it
Oreo cookies are well-loved and well-known to the millennial generation, but it hit saturation point in the market. Enter Oreo Colorfilled.
Inspired by the trend of adult colouring books, food & beverage giant Mondelez International introduced customisable Oreo Colorfilled packages in the US in 2015, allowing users to choose a custom black and white design and either colour the images online with a digital paintbrush, or let their inner artist loose and have their orders shipped to them with a pack of custom markers to complete the design.
The China iteration of the campaign was also well-received by consumers.
At its peak, the number of orders for Oreo Colorfilled in the Chinese market hit more than 10,000 after a tie-up to sell Oreo cookies with e-commerce giant Alibaba.com.
Mondelez China also plans to introduce popular cartoon characters that can be used by consumers to customise the Oreo Colorfilled packaging.
2) Coca-Cola: Make it unique
Coca-Cola has already allowed consumers to print their first names on their bottles and cans.
Then Diet Coke took it a step further by printing 2 million bottles that featured unique designs - no two designs on any given bottle are identical.
Created by Coca-Cola Israel, with help from Hewlett Packard Israel, the campaign amassed lots of love for the brand as consumers took to social media to generate conversation over the campaign.
3) Danone: Make it fun
Product packaging does not always get a second lease on life.
Portugal-based food company Danone's Actikids-Actimel® yogurt changed this by transforming their labels into stickers that doubled as accessories for a range of superhero warriors.
Better yet, it turned out to be a load of fun for the kids.
For the video, click here
4) Coca-Cola and Spotify: Making connections and allowing discovery
Coca-Cola extended its Share-a-Coke campaign to include music early this year.
Coke bottles and cans featured a song lyric instead of its logo to connect consumers with songs.
Lyrics of more than 70 songs ranging from chart-toppers to classic hits were printed on Coca-Cola's packages in the US.
The campaign got a boost when celebrity and brand ambassador, Selena Gomez, posted an Instagram photograph of her holding a bottle printed with her song lyrics. It became the most-liked photo on the social media network.
Spotify is allowing automatic curation of its music playlists with its "Discover Weekly" app.
Introduced in July 2015, the app curates a personalised playlist of songs for users after it analyzes what type of songs they like listen to.
The results: More than half of its users, who save at least one song, listen to at least 10 tracks each week and tune in again the following week. Tech bloggers also really like the app.
5) Lostmy.name: Keeping the consumer at the core
The trend of mass personalisation has allowed this start-up to take off in a big way - by offering readers a story about their names.
Lostmy.name is a start-up by four dads who saw potential in customised books.
Targeting a reading age group up to the age of eight, their personalised hardcover picture book was the top-selling children's book in the UK in 2014.
Customers order the book by typing in the name and gender of the book's intended recipient into the company's website.
The site's code generates the story details from a set of 300 story elements into a narrative that is determined by each alphabet of the child's name, accompanied by beautiful illustrations that bring the child on a journey to find his or her name.
With free worldwide delivery, the end-product is an engaging personalised storybook that lets a young reader experience a fictional adventure told around his or her name.
The writer is the editor of BrandInsider.