These days, you can’t read a magazine, flyer or street ad without coming across a quick response (QR) code – those square codes that take the idea of a “bar code” miles beyond what it was originally created to do. What I love about QR codes is that they propel the brand into a whole new experience – one that’s interactive, entertaining, and more importantly, accessible anywhere.
QR codes have grown in popularity – I’m convinced – because they provide on-the-spot information for consumers on-the-go. For me, I’m hooked. Here’s why:
- QR codes can be placed anywhere. If you have a message to say, but want to tell it in a compelling and mysterious – but not overt – way, consider a QR code. They can be scanned from T-shirts, websites, newspaper ads, billboards and even on stamps.
- QR codes provide sneak peeks. When scanned at the right time, QR codes can provide users exclusive access to never-before-seen content. And, they can be on the simplest of things, like a burrito.
- QR codes are revolutionizing the job search. The codes don’t just help a company’s brand – they can also boost your personal brand. A one-page resume is limited by the confines of 8.5×11 inch paper, but slap a QR code on there, and you can take your prospective employer on an interactive journey through your experiences and expertise. Need proof? Take a look at what this guy did.
- QR codes revitalize your networking capabilities. Once you land that job with your great resume, place a QR code on your business cards. Link that code to your company’s website, blog, YouTube channel or Twitter feed. Then, you’ll make sure the contacts you meet aren’t just leaving with your card – they’re leaving with a digital experience.
- QR codes give a whole new meaning to “window shopping.” Let’s say you’re strolling through the neighborhood one evening, and see a piece of furniture that you love – but the store is closed. Lo-and-behold, there’s a QR code on the window. You scan it with your smartphone and up pops a video of the piece, featuring pricing, specs and anything else you’d ever want to know about this must-have furniture. The furniture store moved their brand to an interactive space, one you might be engaging with all night. The next morning, they might just make that sale.
- QR codes pique user interest. Companies can promote new products through the scattered distribution of QR codes, placed discreetly in high foot traffic areas. Those codes pique passerby interest because they’re elusive and mysterious. Most importantly, the mystery factor gives people a call-to-action to scan the code, which then exposes the scanner to the brand’s content.
- QR codes can help share your experience. I love how Diesel jeans used QR codes. They paired each of their products with a code, encouraging users to scan them to share with their friends, like the Facebook page and view other outfit options. So, it’s a win/win experience: consumers can share their finds, and companies boost their exposure through Likes, +1’s, Diggs and other “social” kudos.
Most smartphone operating systems (including those on iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices) have QR-scanning capabilities, either built-in on the phone or through third-party apps. To successfully scan a QR code, you’ll need to make sure your device can scan and read those codes or download an application that does it for you. Capture the code with your camera and you should be well on your way to some compelling digital content!
Are you ready to make a QR code? Start here.