It’s Monday morning, you just got in your car, you’re late to work, and...of course! Your gas is low and it’s time to run to the nearest gas station. Luckily, your gas station is one of the hundreds using an updated tap-to-pay system so you can tap your phone, activating the payment through your already-uploaded card, fill up and be on your way. These tap n’ pay systems are actually powered by NFC, or Near Field Communication. (If you need a crash course of the tappable tech, check out this Whiteboard Wednesday video!) NFC is slated to become a $21 billion market by 2021 and with nearly three-quarters of American citizens owning a smartphone, NFC is one of the fastest ways to reach a consumer. NFC isn’t only being used for payments–it’s a great way to create customer engagement. Big name brands like adidas, LEGO, and L’Oreal are impressing their consumers with this inventive trending technology.adidas Telstar 2018 World Cup Ball
The World Cup is one of the most watched sporting events in the world. This year, France won big at the end of the championship, defeating underdog Croatia. Global soccer sponsor adidas also won big, by creating a Telstar World Cup Ball with an NFC tag that allowed fans young and old to purchase a soccer ball and open a mobile experience with non-stop soccer info. Exclusive footage of players, match updates, and fun challenges are just a few of the experiences offered in the ball’s online platform. LEGO Dimensions Game
LEGO released an NFC-enabled game program called “Dimensions” to fuse together the physical LEGO pieces from the recent LEGO play packs featuring LEGO signature mini-figure characters from shows and movies like Teen Titans Go!, Batman, and Harry Potter. Kids can scan the characters into LEGO’s custom Dimensions app and then move the characters around the gaming pad to unlock special parts of the game, like solving a puzzle or gaining a new power. Combining the smart gaming system with kids’ imaginations and being able to watch online is a unique way for everyone in the family to join in on the fun of LEGO.L’Oreal UV Sense
Skincare, makeup, and hair care–beauty giant L’Oreal does it all. What are they doing now? Trying to keep your skin from becoming damaged from harmful UV rays! As one of the biggest concerns in health and beauty, taking care of your skin and protecting it out in the sun can be tiresome. Who is going to remember to put on sunscreen after taking that dip in the ocean? L’Oreal just released an NFC-enabled sensor that you can wear on a fingernail, place on your watch, or attach to sunglasses. Once the user connects the little sensor to the accompanying app and takes a test describing your skin type, they can wear the sensor to track in-app how long they’ve been out in the sun and their UV levels for the day. L’Oreal doesn’t currently use this data to suggest sun care products, but it seems likely that the tech will be used to close the circle with a purchase. NFC is already one of the best technologies out there for customer engagement. It’s a way to directly connect brands to the end-user in an highly-customized format that’s easy for anyone to use, with the only requirement being a smartphone or tablet. Still not sure how your brand could incorporate NFC into its mobile strategy? Check out our infographic with more info on the wide world of NFC.