Connecting the dots: Contextual design is essential for digital engagement, says SharpEnd CEO

Packaging industry players are more aware than ever of the power of connected technologies like QR codes, near-field communication (NFC) and augmented reality (AR). However, many companies joining the fray are approaching it in the wrong way, according to SharpEnd CEO Cameron Worth.  

Speaking to PackagingInsights, Worth says the playing field has changed, and while many companies want to begin leveraging connected packaging, some key misunderstandings are hindering efforts at development.

“There was a point after COVID-19 when everyone saw QR codes on shop windows and restaurant tables and then brands thought ‘we need to get into this technology,’” he says.

“Now there’s this really interesting landscape where everyone’s saying we’ve got QR codes in our products, NFC tags in our clothing, or AR in our in-store visual merchandising, but how do we make it better?.”

“Packaging businesses sometimes need to get out of their own way,” Worth continues. “I think that one of the impulsive decisions you can take is, for example, with QR codes – here is a data opportunity, and you want to build a platform and start pretending you’re not a packaging materials company.”

“You need a very clear strategy rather than say, ‘let’s become experts in marketing,’ which is a very difficult thing to do.”

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