How to Embed Subtle, Signal-Rich Codes into Package Artwork

Bruce Miller, VP of Product Development at SGK, recently contributed to the first 2016 issue of Patterns, a collection of expert-driven content regarding the trends of start-to-finish brand performance.

Read the entire article >> The Connected Package: The Next Generation in Brand Efficiency, Interaction and Appeal

In this article, titled “The Connected Package: The Next Generation in Brand Efficiency, Interaction, and Appeal”, Bruce focuses on how product packaging plays multiple roles for brand owners and retailers, with emphasis on the importance of package design, as this is what draws consumers in at the shelf.

But is it really enough to simply appeal by looking pretty?

There are some other things to keep in mind when designing packaging that go beyond the consumer’s eyes. Things like barcodes – usually not something consumers spend a lot of time looking at or use to determine buying decisions.

Bruce points out that the next generation of packaging, is connected packaging. But, what is connected packaging? Bruce writes that connected packaging is “responsive to consumer behavior, retail experiences, and cultural phenomena”. With the help of technology, consumers use these barcodes for an added buying experience. Upon scanning the barcodes, consumers are taken to a URL on their mobile device, which can include e-coupons, product details, or exclusive video content, that could otherwise not fit on the package service.

Think of Facebook ads. How many times have you been searching the Internet for a product, and then almost like magic, that product (or something very similar) shows up in your News Feed? While marketers don’t practice magic, they instead use “cookies” and sponsored ads to target consumers looking for their products online. Packaging and branding professionals can expand on this tactic by embedding digital watermarks on packages to reach their audience in a more efficient way.

Schawk recently partnered with Digimarc, which offers just this type of packaging solution, called Digimarc Barcode. Now, instead of virtual “cookies”, with Digimarc Barcode, brands can embed its solution on say…an actual package of cookies! This enables consumers to view the brands communications when, where, and how they want – creating a new, fresh, engaging overall buying experience.

But what does this mean for brands? In terms of pack space, brands now have access to data, which is embedded to the package graphics – no need to add more! Also, the marketing potential alone offers compelling ROI and opens opportunities for easy content updates and cross-brand promotion capabilities.

Another great benefit of incorporating this technology is the edge over competitors not using it. According to a Digimarc survey, “78% of consumers say that they have wanted additional information about a product after reading a product’s package”. If brands wish to connect more effectively with their consumers, it is incredibly important for brands to adopt this technology into their package artwork.

To read the entire article, and four more articles from SGK’s global marketing experts, download Patterns Issue 1 – Making Connections: Brand Insights from Around the World