Typically I write about NFC technology in general and how businesses or organization are using or might use the technology for marketing and advertising uses. But there are other ways NFC can be used by anyone to help make their lives more efficient, easier, or simply cooler. Here is a list of a handful of the possibilities:
NFC tag in car: Place a programmed NFC tag on your dashboard or on a phone holder and have it enabled Bluetooth automatically (this will greatly encourage you to not use your phone while driving).
NFC tag in car: Do the same as above but have it launch a music app or iTunes and start rocking out the moment you turn you car on.
NFC tag on Nightstand: Program your tag and place it on your nightstand so that every night as you get in bed and place your phone on your nightstand your alarm is automatically enabled, and when you flash it again it goes to snooze and a third time shuts off.
NFC tag on Nightstand: Like above you might also program the tag so that it automatically turns off all sound (minus your alarm), or start a white noise app to ensure a great sleep.
NFC tag for work or home visitors: Program the NFC tag so that if someone flashes it with their smartphone they will gain instant access to your home or work wifi, allowing easy access but while also keeping your password protection in place for unwanted or unexpected visitors.
NFC tag at work: Program a tag and place it on your desk so that every morning when you come in you place your phone on your desk and your daily planner pops up, or use it for some other important daily work routine or app.
NFC tag near main entrance into your house: Program the tag so that when you enter your house you simply flash your phone in front of your mounted NFC tag and wifi is enabled.
NFC tag mounted on room wall: You flash your phone and your favorite playlist starts playing over your speakers (assuming it is synced to your phone).
These are just a handful of possibilities for personal use of NFC tags, but the actual uses are almost endless depending on your creativity. Near field communication is for everyone, not just large companies.
NFC technology is not limited to only payment methods and eWallets—though these are great uses for the technology. In fact, there are thousands, if not millions of other potential uses for NFC. These uses might be for your own personal use, for example setting your alarm on your phone at night, or it might be for your current business, perhaps to drive you social media presence, or perhaps it is some new business idea like the one I will highlight in this blog.
It is likely that everyone reading this article has at one point in time bought gumballs or other candy from a gumball machine. You put in your quarter and you get back some small amount of non-mother approved treats. Well, Razorfish came out with the modern version of this technology, and used NFC to do it.
What Razorfish created, was a potential new way to bring the physical worlds together with the digital world. In order to do this they took a gumball machine and re-designed it so that when you put your quarter into the machine it activates the NFC tag inside, transferring purchasing options to your phone. The “digital goods” that are transferred and can then be selected for download to your phone and consist of mobile apps, movies, songs, eBooks and other “exclusive and location-based content that can be pushed to a phone.” A great deal for only a quarter!
The video screen on this modern gumball machine gives the consumer instructions on how to use the machine, and also gives it a modern feel. Razorfish, using NFC technology, has created the modern version of the candy machine, and potentially a whole new industry. Soon they will be in every super market and mall across the country… Ok, that is probably unlikely, but it would be pretty awesome if that were the case.
This is just one of the potential millions of examples that are possible with this relatively new technology. If you are looking for a way to start some new business, increase the outreach and sales of your current company, or simply desire to improve the efficiency of your own personal life, NFC is likely your tool. Just make sure you have a platform that can help ensure you do it right and follow best practices.
Want a way to increase the efficiency of your restaurant? Brand Table might be the way. Using NFC technology Brand Table has come up with a creative way to make ordering easier and more efficient for both the customer and business.
Let’s say you are in your local mall food court at lunch time. You look around and see lines at all your favorite dinning locations. You can either choose to wait in the long line, or leave the mall and go eat somewhere else. In this situation, both you (the consumer) and the business lose out.
What if, on the other hand, instead of having to wait in line you could simply scan an Branded NFC tag of your favorite fast food joint at your table and place your order right there on your smartphone. No waiting in line! You save the wait time, get to eat your favorite meal, and the restaurant doesn’t lose out your business. It’s a win-win.
On top of this, you place your order on your phone and pay right on your phone as well! This again saves you the time it takes to stand in line to pay and also saves the business the time it takes for the employees to ring you up. Perhaps now, instead of needing two employees to ring people up at busy times, they may only need one, reducing payroll costs.
As soon as your meal is ready you are sent an alert and you simply head to the counter, show them your receipt (which was sent to your phone when you paid) and grab your food to go. Everyone is happy, the process is far more efficient, the business didn’t lose your order because of your lack of patience, and overhead costs for the business may have even been less since fewer workers needed to be paid to get you your meal. Economic progress at hand! The market is a beautiful thing.
This is a great example of the possibilities of NFC technology and now that a majority of Americans have smartphones and NFC enabled phones and tablets, there is little excuse not to figure out how this technology can help your business and improve the experience of your customers. Just make sure you use a platform that will let you manage your NFC tags in one place, provide analytics and help to ensure you are following general best practices.
The Museum of London was ahead of its time when they decided to begin using NFC technology, but it wasn’t just the use of it that was ahead of its time, it was also the way they used it.
The many uses of NFC at a place like the Museum of London (MoL) are almost endless. For just one example, the MoL has made many of their exhibits interactive by including NFC tags in the actual exhibit, so the visitor simply taps their phone to the tag and is taken to videos, audio, games, or other information about whatever it is they are viewing. This helps to make the visitors experience far more interesting and enjoyable, and hopefully leading to more visits in the future.
Besides this more obvious use of NFC mentioned above, the MoL is even more ahead of the game in some of the other ways they have used NFC. For example, they have placed NFC tags around the museum that allow visitors to instantly ‘follow’, ‘like’, or ‘check-in’ to the MoL on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare simply by taping their phone to the tag. This is a fantastic way to create inexpensive high quality advertising for the Museum.
Other ways the museum has used NFC is to give vouchers and coupons to customers if they simply tap certain tags. These vouchers and coupons can be used in the MoL’s gift shops or cafes. They also have tags that upon accessing can let you download the Soundtrack of London which is an App that takes you on a musical tour of London while you walk around the city. Or you can use the NFC tags to donate to the Museum and purchase a ‘Year of London’s history Timeline’. This puts your name and caption on the year you adopted on their large timeline that runs through the museum.
So as you can see the Museum of London has really gone all out in their use of NFC and they did so before it was a well known technology. These creative ways that they used NFC should be a great example for other museums and similar organizations to begin adopting. Creating more ways for customers to interact with your brand, information, or providing them with some added value or special deal, is a great investment for your business or organization and ignoring this, particularly now that more and more companies are already on board with NFC, is likely to stifle your future growth.
If you are going to begin using NFC technology just make sure that you have a platform that will help you manage your many tags in one place, track the usage data and ensure you are complying with best practices.
Many parts of the world are years ahead of these United States when it comes to NFC technology and its adoption. Japan in particular stands out among these countries. American advertisers and marketers might stand to learn something from the Land of the Rising Sun. Perhaps this blog will do just that, and be an inspiration for your creativity.
This latest NFC example comes to us from two of GAP’s flagship stores in two of Tokyo’s districts. The campaign was in effect a fashion contest between the two store’s employees, with the judges being the consumers.
How this marketing campaign worked was that every customer upon entering the store was given a NFC enabled bracelet which was connected to their Facebook account. The customer was then directed to high-five any store employee whose attire they fully approved of. When they high-fived the employee the employee would high-five back with their smartphone, touching the NFC tag bracelet to the smartphone, a cheering sound is then triggered, and the vote for that outfit tallied. At this moment a photo with details of the particular outfit is then sent straight to the person’s Facebook timeline for the world to see.
For participating in this fun fashion and marketing campaign the customer is given a free bracelet (not the NFC tag bracelet, but a different one), and a 20% off coupon.
This sort of outside the box NFC campaign is a great way to engage consumers, create a buzz with media and on social networks, increase sales by rewarding coupons, and creating free advertising by linking Facebook accounts, and sending posts to these connected Facebook accounts where all of their friends will be able to see the outfits they had ‘high-fived.’
The ROI for a simple, inexpensive marketing campaign like this must be impressive. Implementing these sorts of creative ways to engage consumers and drive advertising and sales is not very difficult. Of course it is certainly atypical here in these United States, and so there might be some push-back when these sorts of ideas are brought up. Overcome the push back and you will surely be happy with the outcome. Of course using a platform to help ensure your campaign meets its potential is key to this success.