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Remy Martin splashes NFC technology on connected bottle experience

Cognac brand Remy Martin is rolling out a new connected bottle experience in China that includes NFC technology to secure authentication and provide opening detection as well as an enhanced customer engagement experience on mobile.

Remy Martin has teamed up with integrated platform Selinko to develop the technology behind the connected bottle, which will include a tamper-proof NFC tag inside the capsule to ensure consumers do not use a previously opened item. The Club Connected Bottle will be available in Chinese markets this fall, and purports to be the first of its kind introduced to the spirits industry.

?The new Rémy Martin Club Connected bottle gives consumers the opportunity to instantly learn more about the product they are drinking, as well as give them the knowledge that they are enjoying Rémy Martin?s quality and authenticity,? said a spokesperson with Remy Martin. ?Mobile strategy is very important to Rémy Martin to reach today?s consumers who use mobile devices to learn about brands, shop for brands and access media.?

New experiences
Consumers who purchase the bottle will be able to receive authentication of its provenance. The technology will indicate if the bottle has been previously opened, an important feature particularly as counterfeit bottles from high-end brands litter several Asian markets.

?On a solution provider perspective, I can definitely tell you that there is a real need to transform physical products into digital ones, by giving them a unique digital identity (ex: a high security NFC chip like Selinko does) to help them fight the increase scourge of counterfeiting by detecting the opening, especially for international spirits brands selling on emerging markets, like China where experts estimate that 25 percent of European imports in some Asian countries are counterfeit,? said Gwennaëlle Festraets, vice president of marketing and communications at Selinko, Belgium.

The brand will also be able to connect with customers immediately after the purchase is made. This ensures that loyalty will be easier to maintain and frequent consumers may receive rewards and event notifications.

Users must have the Remy Martin smartphone application already downloaded on their mobile devices. They may then tap the bottle cap with their device to display if the bottle has been resealed in the past.

Once the guest opens the bottle, the NFC tag will transmit the information to the app to indicate that the purchase has been opened. Those who may want to earn more points towards the alcohol brand?s engagement platform will receive additional ones if they perform another bottle tap with their smartphone.

Remy believes that consumers are looking to their favorite brands to offer enhanced experiences, due to the newfound connectedness of the world.

The Remy Martin Club Connected Bottle will begin its rollout this fall in Chinese nightclubs, where consumers with Android smartphones will be urged to download the app if they have not yet done so. If the brand, perhaps best known for its champagne cognac, sees a successful pilot, it may prompt other fine liquor companies to emulate its example and tap mobile for a connected experience.

Alcohol and mobile
Alcohol brands are increasingly tapping the vast marketing opportunities available on mobile.

Last week, Campari America announced it is joining forces with mobile rewards platform Kiip to offer consumers credit for ridesharing application Lyft during peak drinking hours (see story).

Meanwhile, Medea Vodka, known for its programmable LED displays integrated onto its bottles, is leveraging Apple?s iBeacon Bluetooth technology to let consumers program personal messages on bottles from mobile devices (see story).

The connected bottle?s sheer novelty will likely become a factor of interest for plenty of consumers, and will only contribute to the ongoing development of smart items.

?Rémy Martin believes that technology will continue to push brands to think and act differently with their consumers across many product categories,? the spokesperson said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York