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The Connected Package: The Next Generation in Brand Efficiency, Interaction and Appeal

Since the beginning, the primary purpose of packaging has always been to create brand appeal. But in recent years, a secondary purpose has become just as important: Conveying information.

These two functions are increasingly at odds, as barcodes, QR codes and copy-heavy product details competing for space against package design. What if all that information could be linked from an easily scanned watermark embedded invisibly within the design itself?

Welcome to the new connected package. Learn about it in our latest issue of Patterns. 

For this and four more articles from SGK’s global marketing experts, read Making Connections: Brand Insights from Around the World. 

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Keeping it Real: The Package is Your Front-Line Defense Against Counterfeiting

Technology is awesome. Technology can also be awful. Brand counterfeiters are using information technologies and tools to create counterfeit products that are sold into markets around the world as the real thing. Counterfeit products can seriously undermine the performance and reputation of your brand.

But there are ways to beat the counterfeiters at their own game. That means using product authentication technologies that are far beyond their reach. Read this article from Saueressig GmbH, a new member of the SGK family, for methods that are easy to implement but practically impossible to defeat.

For this and four more articles on improving brand performance from concept to consumer, read the complete Patterns report, Innovation Everywhere. Download Patterns, Issue 1, 2015.

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Technology For All: When Digital & Mobile Tech Transcends Age, Purpose and Place

Posted By: SGK January 20, 2014

While digital and mobile technology may have been considered a luxury and purely recreational a decade ago, it has become a cornerstone of lives everywhere at an astounding rate. Not just for the younger generations who have the disposable income to afford it, its beneficiaries now span from kids to Boomers and up and down the socioeconomic ladder. 

At the same time, its purpose in both developed and developing nations has been broadening, serving not just business and entertainment purposes, but also impacting education, healthcare, and social welfare. And finally, while the hubs of technology have largely rested in Silicon Valley, London, and Tel Aviv, advances in this space continue to bloom from more unexpected regions of the world that are finding new uses for technologies and developing solutions for their unique markets.

MARKETING TAKEAWAYS 
Expectations for whom technology serves and how it’s used are changing. How your brand leverages technology to interact with your consumers should be given more scrutiny than ever. 

Rethink your audience and what segment your brand can potentially target. Take a second look at what purpose your tech offering or campaign is serving and what your consumer may expect of it. While technology is spreading its wings across the globe, where it is being used at home is also being broadened—seek to understand how location is affecting how your consumer is interacting with technology and how you might leverage location to build a stronger brand engagement.

See how consumers’ expectations are changing as technology spreads its wings. Download Sightings from Anthem, part of our brand development group.

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A Measured Life: Technology & Data That Motivates

Posted By: SGK January 15, 2014
A Measured Life: Technology & Data That Motivates

Human behavior has always been difficult to change. It’s no wonder that we all seem to have similar new year’s resolutions: be more active, get more sleep, eat better food. We want to live healthier lives, but most of us lack the resources to keep us motivated and focused on achieving those goals. 

Cue technology and data. 

More and more it seems technology is filling this support structure gap, empowering us to act in ways that fundamentally change the way we live. Here are prime examples of how companies are leveraging technology and the power of data to improve lives.

•    Wearable technology like the FitbitShine, and Basis are designed to be paired with a simple mobile apps. Each helps you set weekly activity and sleep goals, track your progress, and score your daily effort. And if you’re naturally competitive, these applications also have a gamification element so you can compete with friends.

•    Need to take Rover for a walk more often? Fitbark actually tracks the activity of your canine companion, awarding you an overall BarkScore for your pet parenting ability. Want to improve your driving? Automatic plugs right into your car’s OBD port and will help you break the habit of sudden breaking and overly quick accelerations by awarding you a driving score after each trip. 

•    If you’re trying to initiate some new habits, these two apps are good examples of technology enablers. Full, an iPhone app, lets you track almost anything, while GreenApes is a social media app that educates and inspires users to lead more sustainable lives through their everyday decisions.

As a marketer, consider how can your brand can help consumers achieve personal goals. Perhaps you too can bring data or gamification to your products to deliver a more complete solution and experience that can positively impact consumers’ daily lives and behaviors. For more ideas and insight, download the latest issue of SIGHTINGS from Anthem, part of our brand development group.

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A Lesson for Marketers in the Demise of Flash

Posted By: SGK February 21, 2012

A recent Forbes guest column by a SAP executive on the demise of Flash as a programming platform made us think of the important decisions marketers make every day. The column points out that one pundit in 2007 branded the iPhone “a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks.”

At that time, observers were frustrated or skeptical of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ decision not to employ Flash as a development language for the iPhone, forcing developers to use Apple’s xCode. Flash was the dominant language then, and Jobs’ decision seemed dangerously stubborn.

But it was wise. As the column points out, xCode means its hard to design a bad-looking app (esthetics are core to Apple’s brand) and that Apple retains a business interest in every iPhone app that reaches the consumer. Today, Flash is on its way out.

Jobs and Apple saw into the future better than many others in the industry, but this foresight stemmed from something else: an understanding of what their brand stood for and what principles (such as control over platforms and assets) were the foundation of those brand values. If it had gone with Flash, Apple would have undervalued itself. With every decision a brand marketer makes today, these questions must be asked: Am I undervaluing my brand? Is it worth it in the long run?