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Coding and Marking - More Than Just a Necessity

30th January 2020

Coding and marking, the process in which variable data such as lot codes, batch numbers and barcodes are applied onto products, packaging or labels is often seen as a mandatory, unavoidable part of the production and packaging process and nothing more.

However, applying codes and marks on to packaging can bring many benefits, for both the consumer and the manufacturer in question. For example, clever coding can deliver a personalised experience to the consumer whilst invisible-to-the-naked-eye, UV codes allow brands to feel confident that their product cannot be counterfeited.

Here we explain how, when done well, the addition of variable data on to packaging can benefit both consumers and manufacturers alike.

Documentation of origin

With sustainability being - quite rightly - a hot topic, an increasing amount of people are becoming aware of their shopping habits and how their buying choices can impact on the environment.

If a product clearly states where it or its packaging was sourced and whether it is sustainable then it allows the consumer to make an informed purchase which reflects their personal views.

Having this level of transparency is generally a positive thing for brands as it helps instil a level of trust and loyalty between themselves and their customer base. It can also assist in setting them apart from their competitors who aren’t as quick to disclose this information.

Traceability

Simply speaking, serialisation codes help to protect brands, manage the supply chain and aid quick product recalls.

Their presence on packaging/products also help to deliver a better overall experience for the consumer as they provide reassurance that the products being purchased are authentic and safe.

Anti-counterfeiting

Some products, particularly cosmetic and pharmaceutical products are prime targets for counterfeiters.

By having the right anti-counterfeiting coding and marking measures in place, the risk of fake products entering the market can be minimalised, if not eradicated completely.

Applying variable codes with UV ink is becoming increasingly popular. The addition of these ‘invisible’ codes alongside standard date/batch codes give the manufacturer an enhanced level of security for their products and/or packaging.

As they cannot be seen, these codes can be positioned in various locations only known to the manufacturer, making it extremely difficult to replicate - especially if they have different areas that they switch between throughout the month (position relative to date of manufacture).

Consumer experience

Variable coding allows for unique codes to be printed on individual packs and products. When used well, these cleverly placed codes can increase brand loyalty and encourage consumers to engage and interact with the product in a way they wouldn’t usually.

For example, codes that the consumer can use to get a discount or enter a competition can lead the buyer to submit valuable information about themselves that can be used to the company’s advantage.

The data collected from running such campaigns can enable brands to understand their buyers’ habits (when and where they are buying) and tailor any future marketing communications or sales strategies to meet the trends that they are seeing.

To learn more about how quality coding and marking could benefit you, please contact us.