Packaging as the Brand Narrator

A recent Harris poll showed that 78% of adults have wanted more information than what currently appears on product packaging. Moreover, 75% of adults are more likely to research and purchase online when they don’t get the information they need. For the past few years, a popular means for delivering additional information to customers has been the QR code, the ubiquitous scannable symbol characterized by its distinctive black and white square design, which uses up valuable real estate on packages. Additionally, these scannable print designs have earned a negative connotation among many shoppers, who see QR codes as little more than mobile advertisements.

A viable alternative to the QR code has caught the attention of many retailers and brands. It is the invisible barcode. The technology, pioneered and patented by Digimarc, applies an invisible, yet scannable, code across the entire surface of packaging or printed material, digitally enhancing packaging without use of any valuable design space.

Invisible barcodes give brands and media owners greater design freedom and the ability to craft highly targeted digital experiences without flooding designs with visual clutter. The invisible barcode also produces a better experience for shoppers. They no longer have to locate, aim and fire at a specific area, which raises a critical question for companies looking to capitalize on this disruptive customer engagement technology: If there is no symbol to scan, how do shoppers know something is “digitally enhanced”?

Digimarc will be leading a lunch roundtable discussion at PDMC 2016 to address this question and the idea of packaging as the brand narrator. The discussion will explore some of the thoughts and approaches of forward thinking companies regarding:

  • Communicating scannability through intuitive iconography
  • Designing engagement icons, buttons or symbols that serve as extensions of the brand
  • Promoting scannability prominently without distracting

The team is excited for the discussion and to hear your thoughts. Make sure to select your preferred lunch roundtable topics when registering for PDMC 2016.