QR, NFC or Bluetooth: a technology guide for your next IoT campaign or connected experiences

If you are looking to connect with, support, educate, and learn more about your audience, then connected packaging / experiences are the best way to do this. Technologies like QR, NFC and Bluetooth allow brands to transform their products, packaging, retail space into marketing channels. Each technology is optimized for different use cases and each has its strengths and weaknesses. In the following, each technology will be examined and compared with the other.

Connected Experiences / Packaging campaigns can be activated in a number of ways. The most well-known technologies are probably QR codes and NFC tags, while Bluetooth beacons supporting the Internet of Things (IoT) are on the way. Even though they can perform similar tasks, it is important to know their differences. The following article should give you a good overview of the technologies, so that you can make an informed decision.

QR codes

QR stands for Quick Response, as codes can be scanned at high speed from any angle with a phone. QR codes store small strings of information, in most cases a URL, and have become a common way to access web content. Due to the pandemic and the growing urge to access content like restaurant menus as contactlessly as possible, the QR code has continued to gain popularity.

When to use QR codes

Since QR codes are printed, their best use is on signage, packaging, and labels. Product packaging can use a simple QR code to deliver recommendations and product information or complete experiences, such as via AR, to ensure customers understand the value of the product they own and become more deeply connected to the mark.

A good example of an IoT campaign using QR codes is that of KDD, a leading food and beverage maker. In order to interact with school children after the lockdown, they worked with us at Appetite Creative to develop a campaign that included a series of games and AR technology. QR codes were scanned 191,000 times in a short period of three months, with an average engagement time of three minutes. Learn more about the campaign here.

NFC Tags

NFC (Near Field Communication) tags are designed to transmit short information to an interacting phone. No special apps are needed and there is no need to open the phone’s camera. When smartphones are within range of the tags (up to 20cm), they automatically receive a notification that allows the user to perform the desired action. NFC tags are typically used in the form of. The strength of NFCs lies in their simplicity. Almost all devices with Apple iOS, Android, Microsoft and Blackberry operating systems are now NFC compatible.

When to use NFC tags

NFC technology is most effective when incorporated into consumer products. This authentic connection can be used throughout the customer journey, from pre-purchase to post-purchase.

After purchase, brands can offer value-added content to their customers to get the most out of their purchases. Finally, brands can use this new flow of customer information to inform future product decisions.

A good example of NFC campaigns are those where NFC tags are sewn into consumer goods like clothing. Consumers can use the labels to confirm that the product is original and not counterfeit, as well as to obtain dress guides and to order more products directly.

Bluetooth Beacons

Bluetooth has become the standard for transmitting data between stationary and mobile electronic devices over short distances. It is compatible with almost all devices and has a range of 10 to 100 meters. Labels that use Bluetooth technology can also be attached to any product that has a wide range of functions.

When to use bluetooth beacons

Bluetooth beacons are a great asset for IoT networks, as they are especially useful when the status of products (temperature, humidity, location) needs to be available at all times and manufacturers want to completely convert their supply chain into a chain. of request.

Excellent examples of bluetooth beacon technologies are those which use the technology not only to optimize their demand chain but also to interact directly with consumers through bluetooth beacons and create a unique experience for them to increase engagement. with the brand.


As discussed in previous chapters, choosing the right technology depends a lot on the campaign goals, as well as the products. However, regardless of the technology.

At Appetite Creative, we are experts in adding digital interactivity to objects. For this, we have developed our own platform which displays the KPIs of your campaign in real time in a dashboard and whose analysis results will become the basis of your business decisions.

Jenny Stanley, Managing Director of Appetite Creative

About Marion Browning

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