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The Future of Packaging: Connected Print

The technology for connecting printed packages to online content has improved. Now designers must help brands develop content that will deliver results.



Want music to match your wine selection? Use a smartphone app to scan the label of a bottle of wine from Notaviva Vineyards. Or, would you be amused to see zombies smash through your smartphone screen? Use the Living Wine Labels app to scan the packaging of Walking Dead Cabernet Sauvignon. These are some of the augmented reality experiences that can show up on your smartphone when you scan digitally connected labels. 

The concept of connected packages and labels has been around for years. But it’s receiving renewed attention as brands realize that packaging can be a powerful, brand-owned media channel. Brands can communicate with consumers in stores or at home and measure the effectiveness of their messaging or experiences in real time. 

Of course, connected packaging is used for other functions besides marketing. Codes activated through mobile devices and scanners can help speed up checkout, detect potential food spoilage, or track the delivery and authenticity of products.

Gartner research and advisory company predicts the number of connected products will increase from 5.2 billion today to 20.4 billion by 2020. Smithers Pira predicts the intelligent package market will grow to more than $7.8 billion by 2021.   

Print service providers and marketing agencies can tap into this growth by offering cloud-based intelligent packaging portals through which brands can store and update the linked content of connected packaging and track the results of the campaigns. 

Let’s review some buzzwords, key players, and a few creative applications so you, too, can be a part of this connected packaging market. 




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