Branding and technology

The QR code technology may never have reached its heyday without the coronavirus pandemic. From scanning QR codes at restaurants to see menus, to utilizing QR codes at stores to take advantage of contactless payments, this trending technology is something that more people than ever are comfortable using on a daily basis. 

Trending Innovations  

All of this begs the question: How (and when) should brands start investing in innovative strategies to modernize the consumer journey? 

The answer is: NOW. Given the convergence of technology and branding at such a fast pace, it would be a mistake to refrain from incorporating things like QR codes in marketing efforts today. 

Smart and Connected Packaging

Industry leaders are starting to use words like “smart” and “connected” to describe integrating technologies on pack. 

Smart packaging shares information about a brand and “uses technology to become more than just a container,” according to The Drum. Connected packaging invites consumers to activate technologies like QR codes or NFC labels to reveal informational content via mobile devices. 

These opportunities unlock a number of new ways for brands to interact with consumers, such as the sharing of:

  • Provenance Specifics: Where food comes from, the distance it traveled from the farm to the store and how long it was stored before it became available for purchase. 
  • Usage Info: Directions or recipes.
  • Fun Plus-Ups: Competitions or games for consumers to play. 
  • Personalized Stories: Unique experiences catered to the person that scans the QR code based on data targeting. 

Many brands are already taking advantage of this trend. See below for three best-in-class mentors.

Digital Passports

PANGAIA adds QR codes to labels and uses cloud-hosted digital twins to share the journey each clothing item takes before arriving in a consumer’s wardrobe. 

These codes provide transparency about materials and dyes. They also share information about where each item was made, how it was transported and how to take care of it at home. 

PANGAIA is a clothing company that uses recycled plastic bottles and natural dyes to create offerings for sustainably-conscious consumers.

AR Experiences 

Keystone Light invited consumers to find “elusive orange cans” in a 2020 marketing campaign. The experience offered consumers the ability to unlock an augmented reality (AR) interaction that enhanced a camera view of the real world by bringing animals from the Keystone Light hunt to life on phone screens. 

The brand invited consumers that found all four rare animals the chance to unlock a second exclusive AR experience. 


Jeff Staple is back. This time with his first-ever collection of sneaker NFTs on RTFKT.

The limited-edition items in this drop include a $2,021 META-PIGEON MK sneaker that comes with a physical and virtual edition of the shoe, as well as purple, silver and gold $500 META-PIGEON K-MINUS physical and virtual sneaker combos. Fanatics can also pick up a $1 virtual robotic META-PIGEON to complete their collections.

Jeff Staple is a streetwear designer from New York. He is the founder of Staple Design, which is an agency that creates clothing lines, authors creative branding strategies and manages a retail storefront.

RTFKT features virtual sneaker and digital collectables. The public version of the site was launched during the coronavirus pandemic to allow creators to use digital artifacts to connect with consumers.

Ready to take the leap into integrating technology into your CPG efforts? Don’t strategize alone. Let’s talk about how we can help your brand make moves toward innovation.