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NFC: A Perfect Mobile Technology for Millennials


How can bringing intelligence and connectivity to everyday objects influence millennials’ purchasing decisions? And how is a smartphone able to build brand loyalty within this influential demographic?  

The answers are evident when you consider what millennials want in terms of a purchasing experience or brand interaction.

For one thing, an appealing brand story is often a key component of a marketing-to-millennials strategy.  When properly presented, it helps create an engaging experience and establishes an emotional connection with the consumer.

Millennials also want to feel good about the products they purchase. This extends beyond the brand story and touches upon more practical product attributes, such as how it was made, what ingredients it contains, where it was grown, when it was harvested, and the manner in which it was shipped. 

And let’s not forget – with millennials, instant gratification is a primary driver. They want immediate and seamless access to information and they want it on their own terms.

NFC – near field communication – is an ideal technology that meets virtually all of these millennial-centric needs. The technology rests in the hands of nearly every millennial with a smartphone, and year-over-year growth of NFC mobile users has averaged over 112% since 2013.

Plus, NFC provides direct communications between a brand/manufacturer and millennials, after the purchase, not just in pre-sale. The interaction is much less intrusive than Bluetooth or iBeacons, and is easier to use and faster than QR codes – as much as 15 times faster

Tapping a smartphone to an object that has an NFC tag can instantly serve up a promotional offer, peer-generated product reviews, loyalty incentives, or the means to easily share info with friends via social channels – catering to millennial wants and influencing their mobile purchasing experience and decisions.

Through both browser- and app-based mobile experiences, millennial consumers can be immediately directed to relevant information about how to use, prepare, and better appreciate the products being tapped. They can also learn more about product lineage, contribute to a brand’s charitable cause, or instantly reorder a product – all without sorting through search engine results or navigating complicated websites. 

Because content is immediately accessed from the cloud when a tag is tapped, it’s possible to create dynamic experiences pre- and post purchase and deliver contextual messaging based on time, location, and other factors. For example, a consumer can tap a craft beer bottle at 6 p.m. and listen to the brew master talk about ingredients and tasting notes. When the consumer taps the same bottle again at midnight, he or she is prompted to schedule a safe ride home with a local car service.

Tapping “events” (who, what, where, and when) will help organizations understand buyer behavior and allow them to provide more relevant and contextual information. Perfect for capturing the hearts and minds of millennials.

Thinfilm’s NFC tags are unique. Item-level IDs in each tag, together with our integrated software solutions and platform, help link offline behavior to online profiles, enabling brands to develop more personalized and targeted marketing campaigns, engage in detailed analytics, and generate robust reporting.

NFC-based mobile marketing can be especially powerful for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) that don’t have the resources for broad retail distribution, the budget for advertising, or the influence to secure prime shelf space.

Thinfilm will be at Millennial 20/20 APAC – as a guest of Accenture and Unilever – on September 7th and 8th at the Singapore ArtScience Museum in Singapore. Join us there to see demonstrations at the Accenture "World of ME" exhibition and on the “Unilever Foundry Startup Street”.

Topics: NFC, OpenSense, consumer engagement, millennial, mobile marketing

About Thinfilm Thoughts

Thinfilm Thoughts is the blog for Thinfilm Electronics ASA (“Thinfilm”). The postings published here present our opinions and thought leadership views regarding printed electronics technology and products, the printed electronics industry, and the role that printed electronics will play in powering the Internet of Everything.