QR codes are everywhere these days – in restaurants, retail stores, and, of course, at events. With the proliferation of smartphones, today QR codes are a technological no-brainer for brands looking to effectively advertise or share information about their business.
Whether Apple or a small local business, customers love brands that use QR codes.
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What Is a QR Code?
Invented in 1994 for the automotive industry, QR codes (Quick Response codes) are two-dimensional barcodes that can be read using a smartphone or a QR code scanner. They were first developed in 1994 by Denso Wave, a Japanese company, and have become increasingly popular in recent years.
QR codes can store a large amount of information in a small space, including alphanumeric text, URLs, and other data. When a QR code is scanned using a smartphone camera or a QR code scanner, the encoded information is quickly and easily decoded, and the user is directed to the intended website, app, or other destination.
QR codes can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including marketing, advertising, payment and checkout, event management, product tracking and authentication, customer feedback and surveys, and loyalty programs. They offer a fast, convenient way for businesses and individuals to provide additional information and engage with customers and clients.
Top Ways Businesses Use QR Codes
Here are some of the most popular ways that brands and businesses use QR codes:
- Marketing and advertising: QR codes can be used as a part of marketing and advertising campaigns to provide customers with additional information about products or services. By scanning the code, customers can be directed to a landing page with more detailed product information, videos, or promotional offers.
- Product tracking and authentication: QR codes can be used to track and authenticate products throughout the supply chain. For example, a QR code can be placed on a product that can be scanned to verify its authenticity or track its progress from production to delivery.
- Payment and checkout: QR codes can be used to enable contactless payments and checkout. Customers can scan a QR code to pay for products or services using a mobile payment app or digital wallet.
- Event management: QR codes can be used for event management, such as ticketing and registration. Attendees can scan a QR code to check-in at an event, access event information, and receive promotional offers.
- Customer feedback and surveys: QR codes can be used to collect customer feedback and surveys. By scanning the code, customers can access a survey or feedback form and provide valuable insights to businesses and brands.
- Loyalty programs: QR codes can be used to enable loyalty programs, where customers can scan the code to earn rewards or points.
How Can a QR Code Can Help Your Brand?
QR codes are great for brand building.
- Direct customers to promotions and offers: QR codes can be placed in advertising materials such as posters, flyers, or product packaging, which can direct customers to promotions and offers. By scanning the code, customers can be directed to a landing page with more detailed information about the promotion or offer.
- Enhance the customer experience: QR codes can provide additional information about a product or service, such as reviews, instructional videos, or customer support. By scanning the code, customers can access this information easily and quickly, enhancing their overall experience.
Business networking: Having a personal QR code that links to your digital business card is an elite-level move for any entrepreneur looking to optimize their in-person networking.
- Build brand awareness: QR codes can be used to link customers to social media pages or a website, which can help build brand awareness and increase engagement.
- Collect customer data: QR codes can be used to collect customer data such as email addresses or phone numbers. This information can be used to build a customer database and drive future marketing campaigns.
- Track marketing effectiveness: QR codes can be used to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. By tracking the number of scans and clicks, businesses can gain insight into which campaigns are most successful.
Cool Ways Brands Have Used QR Codes
QR codes have been used by many brands in innovative and creative ways. Here are some examples of cool ways that brands have used QR codes:
Adidas: Adidas famously placed QR codes on their billboards which when scanned, allowed users to purchase their limited-edition shoes through their mobile phones.
- McDonald's: McDonald's Brazil used QR codes to create a "Drive-Thru Cup" that allowed customers to scan the code and access exclusive content, promotions, and games while waiting for their food in the drive-thru line.
Heinz: Heinz created a "Talking Label" campaign that used QR codes to provide customers with recipe ideas and cooking tips for their products.
- National Geographic: National Geographic used QR codes in their magazine to provide readers with additional content such as videos and interactive features, expanding on the print content.
- Starbucks: Starbucks used QR codes to allow customers to reload their Starbucks card and make payments directly from their smartphones.
- IKEA: IKEA used QR codes to provide customers with product information and videos, as well as to enable customers to purchase items directly from the catalog.
Create a Professional QR Code for Your Brand
If you or your brand needs a custom QR code, look no further than Popl. Popl’s free QR code generator lets you create a completely customizable code that connects to your website, social media, digital business card, and more.
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