the internet ideas blog

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Mighty QR

One of our clients, Karl Miller of Lark Label, sent an email this morning that he is now going to be printing his plant labels with QR codes included. You may have seen these little square bits of nothingness and wondered what they were. Or maybe you've used a QR code yourself to access a website, additional info or even a promotional offer.

QR stands for "quick response" indicating how the icon will take the visitor quickly to advertisement or how the QR code user will hopefully respond quickly to the offer.

The way to use the QR code is to use your smart phone with an app like "shop savvy" (which is what I have on my Android) or "bar code" for iPhone. There are many free readers available - just shop your apps. Once you have the bar code reader on your phone simply open the app and point the camera of the phone at the QR code. When the phone "reads" the code it will show you a coupon, take you to a website or give additional info.

On items like botanical plant signs where the space is severely limited, the QR code gives a lot more info on the phone. Almost unlimited space to tell everything you would want to know about a special breed of pansies, for example.

Word of caution: since it does take an app & smart phone (or iPad) to read, be sure you aren't leaving out the web address where others can find more info.

If you are going to feature a QR code be sure to use it in a way that will impress the visitor. Don't just send them to them to a link. Give them the added value that is expected when using a QR code like information NOT featured on the sign, a special coupon NOT already out there. I'm sure you get the idea.

The QR code isn't restricted to just signs. They are on product labels, in magazine ads, on SWAG items and more. And yes, you can put a QR code on a website...but not sure why you would want to, it's just as easy to link and you don't want to make your web visitors get out a smart phone to read a special on the website.

Where have you seen QR codes? What clever way do you know of to use QR codes? We would love to read your ideas!

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