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QR codes have become a staple of our lives over the past few years – the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards contactless payments and paperless menu options. We see them displayed at every table or bar, in the aisles of grocery stores, and at nearly every checkout that accepts Apple Pay, Venmo, Paypal, and more. However, the implications and opportunities that QR codes and accompanying microsites represent are far more important than the ease of use and security represented in the above use cases. QR code technology also provides a unique, game-changing marketing opportunity for brands to engage, engage and learn more about their customers.
For example, consider the use case of QR codes on packaging – often the first physical touchpoint for consumers with new e-commerce brands and products. We’ve all had the experience of ordering from a brand we’re excited to unpack and try out – whether it’s a coveted product from an iconic global brand or a glamorous product from one of our up-and-coming brands. Found on Instagram (hey, we’ve all been there and succumbed to the power of social advertising). Integrating QR codes into your packaging helps convert the excitement of consumers receiving your product into the excitement of actually using it, ordering it again, sharing the experience via social media, sharing valuable insights and becoming your brand ambassador.
As consumers become more comfortable with QR code technology, brands should take advantage of the marketing opportunities inherent in the technology itself to bridge the gap between physical and digital brand experiences. Here are some of the ways we’ve seen leveraging QR codes to provide maximum marketing value and lasting consumer impact, with six tips for getting the most out of your QR strategy.
Related: Three Ways Businesses Can Use QR Codes
Include a visual call to action
Consumers want to know what they are doing, so including a call to action next to your QR code is a great strategy. Whether it’s “scan me,” “connect with us on social media,” “check out our stories,” or “discover a favorite recipe,” a call to action can not only entice consumers to scan a QR code, but also start a conversation and relationship with the brand. It is at this moment that consumers make a conscious decision to combine their physical brand experience with digital brand experience.
Using technology as an educational opportunity
QR code technology represents a unique opportunity for brands to educate consumers—whether it’s educating consumers about a brand’s story and background, the inspiration behind a particular product, the best way to use a product, or the proper way to handle product packaging. From “makeup guides” to “cooking instructional videos,” the opportunities to create and integrate digital experiences to enhance consumers’ physical experience with brands and products are endless.
Emphasize your brand values
According to the most recent polls, 72% of U.S. consumers and 83% of millennials believe that buying from a brand with shared values is more important than ever. Packaging – especially your brand’s choice of packaging materials – represents an important opportunity to connect with consumers on a value level, especially for those committed to sustainability and concerned about their environmental impact.
Gather insights, comments and feedback
Customer insights, feedback and reviews represent an opportunity goldmine for any emerging brand. QR technology makes it easy to encourage customers to share their feedback through short surveys, UGC contests, and comments posted to your website or social channels. The more information your brand can gather about its customers, the better you’ll be able to adjust your strategy to continue to engage them in the future.
Related: 3 Pillars of Reimagining Brand Packaging for the Next Generation
push to reorder
From offering reorder discounts to directing customers to new product pages, QR code technology provides a way to seamlessly re-enter the buying experience. Encourage consumers to come back to your website, set a next order date, consider subscription options or share first-time buyer discounts with friends and family to ultimately drive sales.
Make it a social experience and encourage social sharing
Bring your brick-and-mortar brand experience online and encourage community engagement on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest through QR codes, where consumers can easily share. Whether it’s related to a UGC contest on social, or simply encouraging people to share their love for your brand and products with family and friends, QR can be a motivator for people to post. Consider reposting user-generated content to thank your customers for the love they show you on social media. QR codes can be a marketing gift that keeps on giving, so don’t miss the social element that organically helps further generate buzz and awareness for your brand.
The marketing and branding opportunities inherent in QR technology are constantly expanding, so be sure to find ways to stay fresh and inspired—whether it’s following industry news or following the creative work of other like-minded brands you admire in the space. Leverage the tools and platforms you can use to design, seal and deliver your brand for maximum returns.
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