Digital branding: Gimmick or game-changer?

As such the focus should be less on turning bottles into a multi-media experience and much more on being targeted and relevant. We are still some way off designer gin bottles understanding who we are and our motivations by themselves. But when combined with barcode technology and store card data, with access to our product history, our drinks brands could begin to become trusted lifestyle advisors in possession of more knowledge about who we are than we realise.


Many of the digital extensions we are currently seeing on packs and bottles are still being created as entertaining promotions - drinks marketers need to ask themselves whether they are creating gimmicks or delivering real value to the consumer. Is the digital overlay offering an immersive and memorable experience or a one-off cheap toy?

Whilst manufacturers now have a multitude of reasons to wrap their products in brand stories that can come to life at the swipe of a smart phone, the benefits need to be analysed and amplified at each touch point otherwise a pack can offer efficient cashier scanning and fraud prevention, yet disappoint on consumer delivery or vice versa.

Now that the digital innovation dust has started to settle, we should start seeing a host of on-pack digital campaigns that genuinely build engagement, dialogue, extra value and loyalty between consumers and brands.

Shifting from gimmick to game-changer will ensure smart drinks packaging really delivers on the innovation opportunities it promises.