How Connected Products Create Value

Connected products make circularity a reality that adds value to brands and consumers.

November 12, 2021

In a circular economy, everyone plays a role. This includes farmers and manufacturers sourcing the raw materials, consumers who use the product and brands who oversee the product’s entire lifecycle — from manufacturing to recycling it or returning it to the earth after it’s been used.

But how can brands, consumers and others keep track of all this information throughout a product’s entire long, circular lifecycle?

With connected products and platforms like Blue Bite, manufacturers, brands, and consumers alike are empowered with information regarding a product’s life and sustainability. They’re immersed in an experience that shows them exactly how they play a valuable role in the circular economy.

What Is a Connected Product?

A connected product is trackable and traceable throughout its lifecycle thanks to digital technology experiences like Blue Bite’s. This is done with the help of scannable quick response (QR) codes, or tappable near-field communication (NFC) technology.

These connected products tell a personalized story that everyone who touches a part of a product during its lifecycle can learn from and further contribute to the circular economy.

How Connected Products Tell Stories

Connected products empower everyone who touches a part of a product with valuable data to make its unique story come to life, including…

  • The farmer who sourced the cotton to grow a shirt...
  • The manufacturer who turned it into a wearable garment...
  • The store that sold the shirt...
  • The consumer who wore it and later recycled it at a clothing recycling center...
  • ...and the brand who oversaw the entire process.

This isn’t limited just to clothing, however — it’s applicable in nearly any industry.

Sourcing

Those sourcing the biological or technical elements to manufacture products can share valuable information on the origins of a products’ circular lifecycle.

A farmer growing organic cotton, bamboo or other biological materials can input information on how it was sustainably and organically grown into a digital experience. Someone sourcing technical (not naturally occurring) materials, meanwhile, can share how they obtain rubber from recycled tires, or how they make a material out of recycled plastic bottles or nets.

Manufacturing and Transport

Manufacturers can share information like how they use 100% renewable energy to run their facilities and how they dye clothes without any wastewater that pollutes the earth’s natural ecosystems.

Transportation fleets that get materials and products from point A to B can share how they use green, electric vehicles, or how they offset their carbon emissions.

This information is input into the connected digital technology systems to further show information about a product’s lifecycle.

Primary and Secondary Consumers

When they purchase a product or utilize a service, consumers can scan a QR code or tap an NFC tag and are immersed in a digital experience to learn all about the information they could want to know about a product’s life.

With Blue Bite’s digital Experiences, products themselves tell a story.

Customers may be empowered with information including: 

  • Product sourcing information input by the farmers or other agency that sourced the materials
  • Manufacturing and transport information from factories and fleets
  • Information on a company’s sustainability goals and how they are doing their part as a brand in the circular economy
  • How the customer can reuse, refurbish, resell, recycle, or return their product to the earth’s natural systems when they’re finished with it
  • Unique information on a product and how to use it, or other relevant information from the brand that provides value

If a primary consumer purchased a product directly from a retailer or the brand itself and they decide to sell it, a secondary consumer can access this same information. With technology like Blue Bite’s Authentication Solutions, they can also have confidence that the product they’ve purchased is authentic — and not a counterfeit being passed off as the real deal.

They also could register a product to connect with the brand and learn more about the item through a Blue Bite Experience.

Brands

In addition to brands sharing their mission and information about products when it gets into the hands of the consumer, with connected products, companies can access information from all those who touched it during the circular lifetime.

Brands are constantly given new data on farmer’s latest agriculture initiative and their efforts to be greener. They’re able to see steps manufacturers are taking to offset carbon emissions, and when they go from being carbon-neutral to carbon-positive. They can see what percentage of consumers recycle a product at a designated facility, or how many resell products in a secondhand market.

With connected products, it takes out the guessing of what happens to their products — and empowers brands with valuable data.

Storytelling in Action

Clothing designer Pablo Erroz is one example of a brand using digital experiences to connect with manufacturers and consumers alike to tell a product’s story.

With a Blue Bite-powered digital Experience, manufacturers and consumers alike are empowered with information on the brand’s sustainability initiatives and efforts and how they can play a role in the circular economy. In addition to moving away from “seasons” and toward more long-lasting fashionable pieces, each garment tells a personalized story on sourcing and its manufacturing.

Pablo Erroz, meanwhile, is empowered with valuable insights on how their garments are being worn and how an item’s life continues in the circular economy after a consumer is done wearing it.

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