Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Can Technology Make Our Packaging Smaller?

by Rich Lindgren, CPP - Chainalytics
Recently, there has been a growing amount of mobile barcodes published everywhere people are looking for information. From magazines articles and store shelves to transportation signs, these Mobile Barcodes, which are often referred to as QR (Quick Response) Codes or Electronic Tags, are popping up all over. These barcodes are gaining popularity quickly because they allow print and visual media to connect with digital media easily with an embedded URL that links to a video, website, or any other online media.
Here are a few advantages:
•Call-to-action: Use Mobile Barcodes as a direct response marketing tool for print campaigns; Mobile Barcodes automatically integrate print advertising with mobile devices.
•Manage the customer experience: Use Mobile Barcodes to link to a mobile website or video, on a business card to instantly add someone to your address book, dial a phone number, or display a free message.
•Advanced analytics: Measure campaign effectiveness with enhanced reporting, such as the number of scans of a particular Mobile Barcode over time and by geographic location.
•Adaptable size: Mobile Barcode’s small size allows you to maximize the information delivered to customers without taking up a lot of real estate in your printed materials and packaging.
•Sustainability: Using Mobile Barcodes for product information and marketing collateral eliminates the need for physical handouts and multiple copies. Now customers can scan these Mobile Barcodes and access the information virtually.
Curious how it works? Simply download the FREE applications or “Apps” for QR Codes and Microsoft® Tag from your appropriate App Store or website. Then use the QR Code Reader to scan the black and white barcode on the top or use the Microsoft Tag Reader to scan the multicolored barcode on the bottom.
Here at Chainalytics Packaging Optimization Practice, our packaging engineers are excited about this new technology because it could mean an end to inflated packaging. Many companies often inflate the size of their consumer packaging to create a larger billboard space to attract customers and provide additional product information. As these mobile barcodes become more accepted, consumers will be able to scan these small barcodes off the package, download all the product information instead of reading it on the package. Therefore allowing companies to cut down on their packaging size, save money and have a positive impact on their sustainable footprint, leaving a better planet for everyone!
For fun, here is a link to a video that demonstrates using a smartphone to read an electronic tag in a periodical to access a website and a video on a product.

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