Suddenly little black and white boxes with a coded image are popping up everywhere. Best Buy has them alongside products in their stores, and they are included on promotions, advertisements, and applications to read the codes are available in multitudes for the different brands of smartphones.
But what are these little code boxes, and what do they do, anyway?
They are called QR Codes, short for Quick Response. They were first developed in Japan over a decade ago by a company called Denso Waves, a subsidiary of Toyota. The company elected not to use their patent rights and have encouraged the widespread use of the codes since they were developed.
A QR Code is a two-dimensional form of a barcode. The difference between the two is the amount of information about a product the code can hold. A barcode is a linear, one dimensional code that can only hold up to 20 numerical characters. The QR codes can hold thousands of alphanumerical characters of information.
QR Codes have already seen a spike in use and popularity this year, and that is only expected to grow. And for good reason. Consumers want more information about what is relevant, and the QR Codes are giving consumers a way to get that information — and get it fast.
With the rise of QR Codes, there are several practical places and ways to implement them in your business:
- On your business card
- Brochures and other marketing materials
- Event ticket stubs
- Restaurant menus
- Convention and event name tags
Really they can go just about anywhere that text can go so it would be easy and accessible for consumers to scan.
You can link your QR Codes to all sorts of different things, such as:
- Your company’s website
- Installation instructions
- Directions to your business
- Coupons and special offers
- Customer feedback forms and surveys
You can maximize the effectiveness of your QR Codes by explaining how they work and what the benefits are, and experimenting with what they link to and their appearance.
One QR generating website we particularly like is Kerem Erkan.
Have you or your company experimented with any QR codes? How did it go? Leave us a comment or let us know on Twitter @RiversAgency.