QR codes have become a staple in our lives over the past few years — with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the shift to touch-free payment and paperless menu options. We see them on display at every restaurant table or bar, throughout the aisles at grocery stores and at virtually every checkout counter where Apple Pay, Venmo, Paypal or the like are accepted. Yet, the implications and opportunities represented in QR codes and accompanying microsites are far more significant than the ease and safety represented in the aforementioned use cases. QR technology also offers a unique and game-changing marketing opportunity for brands to interact with, engage and learn more about their customers.
For instance, consider the use case of QR codes on packaging — often the first physical touchpoint for a consumer with a new e-commerce brand and product. We’ve all had the experience of ordering from a brand whose product we’re excited to unwrap and try out — whether it be a long-coveted item from an iconic global brand or an intriguing product from an up-and-coming brand we discovered on Instagram (Hey, we’ve all been there and succumbed to the power of social advertising). Integrating QR codes onto your packaging can help translate the excitement the consumer feels to receive your product into excitement to actually put the product to use, order it again, share the experience via social media, share valuable insights and become an ambassador for your brand.
As consumer comfort with QR technology continues to grow, brands should leverage the marketing opportunities inherent in the technology itself to bridge the gap between physical and digital brand experiences. Here are some ways we’ve seen QR codes leveraged to deliver maximum marketing value and lasting consumer impact with six tips to get the most out of your QR strategy.
Related: Three Ways to Use QR Codes for Business
Include a visual call to action
Consumers want to know what they’re getting themselves into, so including a call to action alongside your QR code is a great tactic. Whether it be “Scan me,” “Connect with us on social,” “Check out our story” or “Discover favorite recipes,” a call to action not only entices the consumer to scan the QR code, but also begins the conversation and relationship with the brand. It’s at this moment that the consumer makes the conscious decision to merge their physical and digital brand experiences.
Use the technology as an educational opportunity
QR code technology represents a unique opportunity for brands to educate consumers — be it educating consumers on the brand’s story and background, the inspiration behind the specific product, best ways to use the product or correct ways to dispose of the product’s packaging. From “make-up how-to guides” to “cooking instructional videos,” the opportunities to create and integrate digital experiences that enhance a consumer’s physical experience with a brand and product are endless.
Emphasize your brand’s values
According to a recent survey, 72% of U.S. consumers, and 83% of Millennials, believe it’s more important than ever to buy from brands that share their values. Packaging — particularly your brand’s choice in packaging materials — represents a key opportunity to connect with consumers on a value level, particularly for those committed to sustainability and concerned with environmental impact.
Gather insights, reviews and feedback
Customer insights, feedback and reviews represent a goldmine of opportunities for any up and coming brand. QR technology makes it easy to encourage customers to share their feedback via short surveys, UGC competitions and reviews posted to your website or social channels. The more information your brand is able to gather on its customers, the better you’ll be able to tailor your strategy to continue to appeal to them in the future.
Related: 3 Pillars to Reimagine Your Brand’s Packaging for the Next Generation
From offering a discount on re-orders to directing customers to new product pages, QR technology offers a seamless re-entrance into the buying experience. Encourage consumers to go back to your website, set up their next order date, consider a subscription option or share a first-time buyer discount with friends and family to ultimately drive sales.
Make it a social experience and encourage social sharing
Take your physical brand experience online and encourage community engagement on platforms including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Pinterest with QR codes that direct consumers to easily share on these platforms. Whether tied to UGC competitions on social or simply encouraging people to share their love for your brand and product with family and friends, QR can be the impetus for a person to post. Consider re-posting user-generated content to show appreciation for the love your customers are showing you on social. QR codes can be the marketing gift that keeps on giving, so don’t miss out on the social elements that organically help to further generate buzz and awareness for your brand.
The marketing and branding opportunities inherent in QR technology are ever-expanding, so be sure to find ways to stay fresh and inspired — whether it be following industry news or monitoring what other like-minded brands you admire are doing creatively in this space. Take advantage of the tools and platforms available to design, seal and deliver your brand for maximum reward.