Using QR Codes
Whilst on a weekend away from my usual hectic family life, my wife and I spotted this novel use for a QR code. The plaque below has only so much space, but a quick scan and more information is immediately (well 3G speeds type immediately) available to you.
So that got us at Title thinking about QR codes in more detail. Where else could we use a QR code? We put our heads together and came up with a few suggestions… Please feel free to join in and suggest some more.
But, it’s worth remembering these codes aren’t magic bullets to more business, they’re just another tool that may or may not be of use as part of your marketing material. They were not ever intended to be used in the way that they are now being used and that does sometimes show.
They need to be used in a way which will engage and bring some tangible value to the user. Avoid using them if they get in the way of that experience. Plus, it goes without saying that the use you choose for it must be simpler than any manual option (i.e. typing in a url), and especially not a weak use that leaves the user feeling they’ve wasted their efforts.
OK, so here goes…
Instructions – How many times can’t we find the instructions or usage guides for a product? Print a QR code on the product and link to full safety and user instructions for the model. Great for items like baby/kids seats, TVs, ovens… well you get the idea.
Product information – Expand the detail of the product you’ve purchased. If you sell soft toys, perhaps a code linking to information about the real world animals that are copied from. Fresh produce, maybe a link to where the produce comes from. How about more information on the vineyard that wine you are drinking comes from and the people/ethos behind it?
Kids books – Add richer detail to the printed page. Videos, mini games, character profiles.
Lego sets (and similar build-it toys) – Link to another set of instructions to build further items with the same kit.
Shop tags – You sell a product but you want return business, perhaps a QR code on your tags and printed receipts could take the user to special repeat business offers.
For sale signs – Download an extended listing for the property (perhaps not the full listing, they need a reason to call you after all), perhaps interior shots, garden, floor plan etc.
Virtual tours – Not unlike the For Sale sign mentioned, a mini virtual tour of what you could expect when visiting a grand house, amazing retail space, inside of a new museum/art exhibition (perhaps even while in the queue—to keep you from getting too bored).
Art galleries & museums – There’s only so much space next to a painting/exhibition, why not enrich the users experience with further reading.
Guerrilla marketing - Create some QR stencils and using a non-permanent paint, mark up the city your in to create a treasure hunt or “paper trail” to your business.
Ingredients – If there’s not the space to provide a full set of ingredients on a menu etc, why not give people the option to find out more?
Entertainment - So while you’re waiting for that bus, train, meal to arrive, why not engage and entertain your client or prospective customer with a link to a video etc?
Band – Why not have a QR code projected or painted on a background or printed on a flyer, bass drum skin etc., linking to a free track download and further information on the band, or a sign-up page/blog to be informed of up coming gigs.
Just for fun – Create an audio or video file, pop it on your web space, and leave a message for your flat-mate, partner, kids, on the fridge in the shape of a QR code.
Offers & vouchers – Scan for your discount voucher or free item (QR code with a newspaper/leaflet advert etc). Voucher loads on to phone as a PDF and then you take it to the provider (nothing to cut out and try to keep).
Impulse purchase – See something in a window you like? Scan the code which puts that one item straight into a shopping basket, just pay and it’s on it’s way.
Printed big on trains/busses – Links to full timetables for the route or the specific carrier.
In a board game – Oh wait, we already did that for our brochure. On the rear of our brochure there is a Marketing game called Campaign. In it you have to traverse the successes and perils of the Marketing world. There are QR codes for special events and codes to download the needed dice app etc. (If you’d like a copy, we have several left, drop us a line and we’ll pop one in the post to you).
Traditional shaving soap – (guess who’s just got into shaving with a traditional safety razor). QR code links to video on how to produce the right lather and techniques for a better shave. This type of educational use is relevant to many products.
So that’s for starters, we’ll probably continue this another time, and I want to bring you some creative examples of unusual QR codes too. Look out for that soon.
Some useful links:
QR code generator and more info: http://www.qrstuff.com
QR code reader (just one of many): http://www.redlaser.com