9 Innovative Uses of QR Codes, and How You Can Use Them to Your Advantage

September 1, 2021
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engage - QR codes work well in engaging customers and helping them gain the support they need

9 Innovative Uses of QR Codes, and How You Can Use These Codes to Your Advantage

Using QR codes as part of a marketing plan is something that is becoming increasingly common. So, with this in mind, how can you stand out from the crowd? All you need is a bit of innovation. Take a look at these nine clever QR code uses in marketing, and take some inspiration as you decide how to use QR code technology to improve your own marketing strategy.

Heinz Connects Customers with Product-Specific Offers

Heinz has long been among the leading condiment purveyors across many global markets. While loved by many, the company is not necessarily known as a leader in the digital tech field. This makes the company's embracing of QR codes even more interesting — basically, these codes are rapidly becoming ubiquitous across different areas of retail and commerce.

The sauce and relish producers have been deploying QR codes on individual product bottles. These QR codes are then scanned, revealing product-specific offers and promotions, enhancing the experience of the end user.

How to Make This Work for You

If you rely on physical products, then the answer is simple. You just need to place QR codes on the packaging of these products so your customers can connect with a world of insight.

This is where QR code technology is really going to inform your strategy moving forward. You have the opportunity to create product-specific tie-ins and other promotional activities, supported by this unique technology. Think about your products, think about what your users want to see, and let them connect with a QR.

Ralph Lauren Brings Together Online and Offline Advertising

Once upon a time, there was print advertising, and now there is digital advertising. Except, this is not true, is it? While the advertising landscape has certainly grown more sophisticated, print is still very much alive and well. Rather than operating two disparate campaigns, Ralph Lauren has been combining the two, placing QR codes on their print advertising materials to direct customers to a digital experience.

In fact, this is nothing new, and Ralph Lauren has been one of the innovators in this field. For over ten years, the fashion giant has been bringing the physical and the digital together in this way, with great results. As increasing numbers of customers learn how to scan QR codes, this deployment of QR codes in print advertising is becoming ever more fruitful.

How to Make This Work for You

Whenever you release print advertising materials, think about how you can augment the experience you offer in the digital sphere. There is only so much space on a print ad, so make sure your print messaging is hard-hitting and then support this with a QR code that tells your users more about what you offer.

Again, this means QR codes are really going to inform your advertising strategies in the future. Deciding what to include on your physical ads, and figuring out how to enhance the experience with a QR code, is going to be key to your future success.

Taco Bell Pushes the Boundaries of QR Aesthetics

There are a great many QR codes out there, and this number is increasing year by year as more and more businesses tune into the value of the tech. This can rapidly become a problem when it comes to making your voice heard above the noise. After all, QR codes tend to look pretty similar to one another. So, how do you make yours stand out?

You could take inspiration from Taco Bell. The fast food chain played with the aesthetics of the traditional QR code by launching a QR with a twist. Rather than the traditional black lines and dots, Taco Bell's print ad featured a QR code built up of images of lemons. This helped the QR to get noticed while also tying into a new culinary direction for the restaurant.

How to Make This Work for You

Copying the lemon idea might not work for you and your business, but you can still think about how you could play with the aesthetics of the QR codes you publish. You actually have a lot of scope here, and you can mess with the form of the QR code greatly while retaining its functionality.

While any exciting design will get you noticed, aim for imagery that ties in directly with the products and services you offer. Think about how your QR codes can reflect the identity of your business.

Nissan Provides Vital Information via Deployed Codes

There are some kinds of products that are highly technical and carry with them a whole range of different specifications, features, and key pieces of information. Automobiles certainly fit into this category. The traditional way to provide this kind of data was with auto handbooks, manuals, and promotional brochures, but these are easily lost or discarded.

Nissan has spent the last few years innovating a new, digital approach to data provision. The Japanese auto manufacturer has been attaching QR codes to vehicle window stickers for almost a decade, revolutionizing the way in which customers access technical support and information. Many companies are now following this lead, vastly improving the customer experience.

How to Make This Work for You

Focus on your users — what information and support do they need when they utilize your more technical products? Craft instructional videos and other guidance content, and make this accessible via QR codes on the products themselves.

This should not replace your human support teams, but it does make life much easier both for these teams and for your customers. With so much information storage capability, QR codes make it possible to offer real-time technical support to your users whenever they need it.

Doctor Who Grapples with Augmented Reality

Sci-fi television show Doctor Who is something of an institution in the United Kingdom, where it has entertained audiences for decades. In an effort to keep the show fresh and exciting for new audiences, producers and marketers adopted a QR strategy, allowing viewers to delve into an augmented reality — or AR — world.

By scanning the QR code, viewers were transported directly into an AR version of the show's famous time machine, known as the TARDIS, allowing them to live out their fantasies inside the show. This was only one of the themed landscapes that viewers could explore when they scanned the code with their smartphones.

How to Make This Work for You

This one is tricky, as it requires a huge level of resources and investment to craft this kind of experience. However, this doesn't mean you should discount AR altogether. Augmented reality is very much an up-and-coming technology, and it is becoming increasingly accessible to businesses of all sizes.

AR represents an exciting field of possibility for your organization. Consider how you might be able to provide an augmented reality experience to your users. Then think about how you will deploy the all-important QR code to provide access.

Pepsi Works QR Codes into their Promotional Giveaways

Pepsi delighted their customers with a seasonal promotion, which gave users the chance to win small cash prizes and to decide whether to gift this prize to a friend, donate it to charity, or keep it for themselves. The gamification of the experience — offering the user a choice in what they do with the prize they receive — made the whole thing extra engaging.

But how did customers access this giveaway? Through QR codes deployed on product packaging. This meant no additional materials were required, and the user could simply scan the code for a chance to win. Instant engagement like this is what QR codes are all about.

How to Make This Work for You

Whenever you want to launch a promotional giveaway or a tie-in to your product, think about how you can support this with a QR code. You may also want to introduce an element of choice, or an element of jeopardy, just like Pepsi did.

People love playing games and solving puzzles. Offering this gamified aspect helps you to forge better relationships with your consumer base.

Tokyo's Glass Dance Bar Becomes the QR Bar

In the Roppongi district of Tokyo, you will find the Glass Dance bar, now known by the descriptive nickname, the QR Bar. Why this particular nickname? Because the bar has embraced QR code technology in a major way.

Patrons can simply scan a QR code and use a digital wallet or another payment method to secure the drinks. They can then pick the drinks up at the bar. We are seeing this in restaurants and bars in other locations across the world now, but this nightspot in the Japanese capital was one of the innovators.

How to Make This Work for You

If you do not have a physical, brick-and-mortar store, this may be difficult. However, if you do have a store, it is relatively easy to implement a QR-based menu of products or a similar ordering system. This makes the experience much more streamlined for your customers, who may simply want to quickly browse your products, order what they need, and get on their way.

Keep your staff around for those customers who need extra support or assistance, but make the accelerated, digital experience available for those who prefer it. Meeting the diverse expectations and needs of your customers becomes far easier with QR code technology.

VivoCity Deploys QR Mascots

Mascots have been deployed in retail for decades, and they offer a fun and quirky way for businesses to market their wares. Singapore's VivoCity mall has taken this age-old trend and updated it for modern audiences, creating scannable barcodes that form part of the mascot's uniform.

As well as enjoying the mascot, customers can scan the QR code to connect with competitions and other promotional activities.

How to Make This Work for You

If you are interested in event marketing, this option could be ideal for you. An event always needs a strong promotional angle, and this is provided with mascots who not only represent the event itself but also offer the opportunity for further engagement.

Basically, this is a lesson that QR codes can be placed anywhere. Wherever you want to foster further engagement or provide more for your customer, QR codes provide what you need.

engage™ Protects Brands and Customers from Counterfeits

The engage™ app and platform was created with a number of different use cases in mind, but one of its most profound effects is in the fight against counterfeiting and fraud. Fraudsters cause billions of dollars' worth of disruption to brands each and every year and can leave customers in serious danger in some cases.

With engage™, brands can register their products on the platform. Customers can then utilize QR codes to scan the individual product and to verify whether or not the product is a genuine one.

How to Make This Work for You

All businesses can use the engage™ platform, and the interface is designed to be intuitive and easy to use. From here, brands simply register each product, and they can deploy QR codes on product packaging or in other locations to keep users informed.

You may also want to make this known to your customers. Let them know how you are working hard to protect them when they shop for your products, and inform them how they can use QR codes to protect themselves via the app.

Get More from QR Codes in Your Small Business Marketing Campaign

QR codes are crucial to the functionality and the power of the engage™ platform. Reach out to our team and schedule a demo so you can see this remarkable platform and app in action.

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