Quick Response (‘QR’) codes really took of in 2011 and has made the biggest impact in the US and Japan and less here in Europe. When used well QR codes offer a low-cost way to engage users with your company/brand, especially when engaging with your overseas consumers. QR codes could be used in outdoor, direct mail or print advertising campaigns..

To read one of the codes, consumers use their smart phone camera on conjunction with a bar code reader programme to unlock data stored in the code. It might lead to a special Web site or provide extra information about the product, a coupon, ringtone, wallpaper, song or any other bonus feature.

In Europe where we see frequent changing label requirements, using QR codes might also give you that extra tailored information spot on the label. The QR codes do not need to be the standard black and white “puzzle” design, but can be improved by graphic add-ons such as pictures, different colours or even your logo inside the square

It is very simply and free to generate QR codes and you can use programmes to help you monitor and track how and who scans the code.

Here are some come creative, fun and interesting examples of QR marketing:

In Tokyo, Tesco are enhancing the shopping experience by successfully combining home shopping with window displays in subways. You simply scan the QR code on the product tags and your shopping will be delivered to your home. All while you wait for your train.

JC Penney, the US department-store chain offer you a personalised Santa tag where you can record your gift message when scanning the QR code ready to scan and to be heard by the recipient of the gift.

You can also further enlarge your museum visit by scanning the QR under that special painting you would like to know more about

An excellent example that uses QR codes in creative ways to

IMG_4740Source Premium Coffee,  Source Coffee, the ground-breaking climate change coffee have produced packaging where the QR is elegantly integrated next to the coffee strength and showcase the coffee farm where the coffee is grown and harvested.

The video takes you, in the example to beautiful Mexico and you can remotely enjoy and learn about the coffee whilst you are enjoying the brew.

The QR codes work very well with product packaging where extra information and/or translations will benefit the consumers. Used creatively and correct it could save you the extra language pack you normally need to service your export markets.

You can even use a simple QR sticker for a special message from the internal staff to your distributor across the world, highlighting who has produced and packed the order for them etc.