YUNI Beauty may have the answer to that. Through the use of NFC technology developed by Thin Film Electronics and printed by Jones Packaging, YUNI will be interacting with its customers with its Shower Sheets and Chillax products, as well as the newly launched Yunicorn. Women’s Health magazine recently named Shower Sheets its Product of the Year.
Yuni’s products are all cruelty free, vegan, non-toxic, plant-based, and manufactured in solar-powered facilities. YUNI’s NFC-enabled products will be distributed through leading retailers such as Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Bluemercury, Dillard’s, YogaWorks, as well as online though Sephora.com and Amazon.com.
Yuni’s founders, Emmanuel Rey and Suzanne Dawson, are yoga teachers, and their enthusiasm for healthy, natural solutions led them to form Yuni Beauty. Both had experience in the beauty and personal care field: Rey had been GM for L'Oréal Paris in Portugal and SVP/GM for Aveda North America, and Dawson had founded Enliven, a natural beauty brand, Enliven, and launched Aveda Australia before being named their head of global marketing and innovation.
“My wife, Suzanne, and I co-founded YUNI in 2012 after completing Ashtanga Yoga teaching classes in Greece,” Rey said. “During those weeks there with our fellow Yogis, we took the opportunity to learn a lot about how and why they valued their practice so deeply, and what they believed might support and enhance their Yoga experience. Those conversations led to the development of YUNI.
“Creating healthy, all-natural products that save time, enhance performance and relieve stress was a natural extension of our collective background and experience,” Rey added. “And so YUNI was born.”
Rey said that interacting with YUNI’s customers is a key component of the company’s business strategy and a major contributor to its business success.
“There’s a large and growing percentage of today’s consumer population in search of quality brands that are also natural, sustainable, engaging, and transparent,” he added “So we do our best to connect with customers through our website, emails, retail locations, and our customer service team.”
The desire to connect to consumers led to the idea of adding NFC capabilities to Yuni’'s packaging.
“My wife and I are always looking for new ways to engage with prospective and existing YUNI customers, and technology offers a number of potential solutions – some of which are more effective than others,” said Rey. “When we first heard about Thinfilm’s mobile marketing solution and how it used NFC to connect directly with consumers through a smartphone, it piqued our interest. And the more we learned about the offering, the more we felt it was a great match for YUNI and our mobile-savvy customer demographic.”
After some initial consultation with Thinfilm, Rey and Dawson decided to integrate their NFC tags directly into the secondary packaging of Shower Sheets and Chillax, two of its leading products. With the NFC tags, each product essentially becomes “smart” or “connected.” With a tap of a consumer’s smartphone, these tags will launch a unique experience that gives the user content like how-to videos and application tips.
“There’s a call-to-action printed over the tag location that indicates to the consumer that he/she can tap the package with a smartphone to see product details and access more information and content – much more than what we’re able to display on the box itself,” Rey noted. “We also use Thinfilm’s CNECT software to manage the tag IDs, store the content used to generate the mobile experiences, and monitor consumer activity.”
Rey sees the ability to connect directly with consumers as the primary benefit to using NFC.
“With the direct connection, we can establish a one-to-one dialogue with consumers to tell our brand story, relay product information, provide application instructions, deliver news on other products, and give them an easy way to share all of this with their friends,” said Rey. “Our interactive packages – made possible by NFC technology – pull consumers in and help YUNI stand out among competitor products. We also believe that engaging with consumers in-store at the point of sale – through smart packaging – will help YUNI and our retailer partners drive conversion rates.”
There were challenges with this rollout, beginning with the need to produce high volumes of packages.
“Once we knew NFC was a good match for Yuni's needs, one of the next critical considerations was how we would get the tags on a relatively high volume of our products,” Rey said. “Thinfilm introduced us to Jones Packaging, a leading provider of integrated packaging solutions. Jones had worked with Thinfilm previously to modify one of its high-speed lines to apply NFC tags. Jones offered a great tag-application and printing solution, and we had our ‘smart’ boxes in a matter of weeks.”
The packages are ready to hit store shelves, and Rey is looking forward to the interactiuon with Yuni’s customers.
“We are just about to ship products to our retail distributors,” Rey concluded. “We’re very excited about this new marketing channel and look forward to connecting with customers as they tap our products with their smartphone.”
David Savastano is editor of Rodman Media titles Ink World and Printed Electronics Now, sister publications to Happi.