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  • 13 Feb 2012

Use QR codes correctly

ComQi, a provider of digital signage and display technology, recently launched five new place-based mobile applications interacting with digital signage displays in a retail venue. As industry expert Mike Fairley says: ‘It’s one thing to link with digital signage in store, but if the consumer wants to follow-up at home then the communication link will also have to be with the label.’

We have recently seen a surge of QR codes being used on labels to add value and extend the consumer’s experience online; to websites, quizzes, games, social networks and purchase incentives such as money-off tokens. However, the wrong use of QR codes – for example, links to poorly executed websites – could be putting consumers off using them altogether.

At the moment QR codes are still a novelty. But as we become accustomed to seeing them on increasing numbers of products, brands need to do more to ensure the correct, beneficial usage. One good example is US retailer Sam’s Club using QR codes on every bottle of its Simply Right vitamins to lead consumers to videos by naturopathic physician, Dr Andrew Myers.

Some wine producers have also caught on: restaurant diners can scan the code on their bottle of wine to find out more about the vineyard, grape and how to order, instead of trying to remember the name for the next time they are shopping.

Mobile network operator Verizon increased sales by 200 percent by encouraging in-store customers to scan a QR code that shared a competition on social networking sites. If a friend used the link to buy a Verizon mobile, the original customer won a smart phone. The company gained a 35,000 dollars return on a 1,000 dollar investment and greatly increased brand awareness.

Other good uses of QR codes include virtual stores, store locators, recipes and data capture – eg polls to get consumer to vote for their favorite flavor. I look forward to seeing what label innovations will be dreamt up next to keep us interested.

Carol Houghton
Editorial assistant
Labels & Labeling