Tequila Brand Otaca Uses NFC Tag That Enables Re-Ordering With a Smartphone

by Nahla Davies on 04/15/2022 | 4 Minute Read

Southern California’s Otaca Tequila brand launched last year, and it comes at a time when the distilled spirit is one of the most popular beverages. Tequila is increasingly seen as a trendy drink thanks to its rich flavor, association with good times, and reliving one’s youth (and maybe even some questionable decisions). Similar products like reposados and añejos have also exploded in popularity.

But Otaca is also looking to set itself apart from the rest of the category. A desire to change how consumers interact with products and make their tequila stand out amongst thousands of other potential options informed their decision to integrate Identiv's Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology into their specialty tequila.

And there are plenty of reasons for brands to jump on this. For starters, smart packaging allows for a multifaceted experience—consumers pay for the tequila and establish an ongoing relationship with the brand and product. NFC technology, which has become more commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, allows consumers to use their phones to interact with the product. When a consumer uses their smartphone to "tap" the NFC tag, it delivers information about the tequila via a web browser. The scanning experience is geared primarily towards verifying the product, establishing its provenance, educating consumers about a brand’s history, and ultimately, the ability to re-order the tequila.

Consumer engagement is significant—research has shown that what we touch affects what we buy. According to a recent study conducted by the American Marketing Association, people value products much more highly if they own them. That feeling of "ownership" can happen if we merely touch an item in the store (even before we actually purchase them). This feeling of ownership can also occur online when we see photos of other peoples' hands touching the product. In that same study, 43% of product social media posts included showed photos of hands in physical contact with the product, and these garnered on average 65% more ‘likes’ than the posts that did not show hands touching the goods.

Technology-enabled devices operate on similar principles. By inviting folks to touch and interact with the bottle, they encourage consumers to connect with the brand. Liquor partnerships frequently leverage brand identity, but Otaca stands out by using technology.

Editorial photograph

NFC Technology Embedded In a Bottle

Spirits like tequila often get distinguished by their distinctive bottle shape. Some studies suggest that the shape of the packaging, like Coca-Cola's infamous bottle, can have a lasting impact on consumer preference. Some liquor bottles have a gentle curve, making it easier to pick them up off the shelf. Again, what we touch does affect what we buy, and when it’s easier to hold onto something, well, we’re more likely to keep it in our hands and purchase it. 

Early on, the first version of the bottle featured an NFC tag on the lid of the tequila bottle instructing consumers to "scan your NFC device here." Now, the latest iteration levels up by incorporating a futuristic design with a hologram and glow-in-the-dark theming. This way, the NFC tag glows in darker settings like bars, nightclubs, and parties.

One issue with NFC tags, however, is that sometimes the antenna (which gets shaped like a flat coil) is on the small side, and consumers can miss the tap. If you’ve ever used tap-to-pay, you’ve probably experienced this problem yourself. Otaca’s style and design make the NFC technology more apparent. 

Building Customer Loyalty With Technology

Besides drinking and sampling the spirit, NFC technology allows users to interact with the product and the brand. Consumer interaction is a critical way that brands can shape identities and build consumer trust. 

The technology hopes to decrease the cost of new customer acquisition and increase their lifetime value. It also helps drive customer loyalty by providing an avenue to learn about the brand’s history and products. Of course, re-ordering is the “endgame” of any NFC-enabled bottle, and the Otaca bottle encourages tequila lovers to return to the brand again and again. 

Embracing NFC technology and its ability to drive consumer interactions is a sure-fire way to drive sales and boost profits. Additionally, scanning the bottle offers Otaca key insights into real-time consumer engagement data, which helps them analyze the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. 

The Bottom Line

Awesome packaging is one of the best ways to market alcoholic beverages. Otaca Tequila bottles with a built-in NFC tag demonstrate how technology can get utilized to streamline consumer interaction. As NFC technology expands and the internet-of-things grows, more and more brands will likely adopt similar tactics to drive consumer connections. 

So move over Patron; Otaca may be taking up more and more shelf space every day.

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