There has been an ongoing debate about the life of the QR Code. Some believe new technologies such as NFC will bury the code while others believe the QR Code will be around for a while.
Let’s put this argument to rest for the time being. The only connection between death and QR Codes are the new age graves stones that are wearing them.
The iPhone5 came out and no NFC or any other technology was introduced to threaten the QR Code. The QR Code is the fastest, easiest and most cost effective way to engage with customers anywhere, anytime.
By placing a QR Code on a design, business card, advertisement or even on graves, offers users, visitors and potential customers the ability to turn a printed image into an interactive experience.
As Korea’s Tesco Supermarket put it so well: QR Codes “Bring the store to the customers”
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So if the QR Code is such an effective tool to engage customers with, why are so many people eulogizing the code?
Perhaps the video below can explain why QR Codes are getting such a bad rap. (Besides getting the point across this guy will make your day)
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As Scot Stratten so eloquently explains in the video above, when companies are putting a QR Code into an ad they should think to themselves; ” Every time you use a QR Code without thinking it through, a kitten dies”
The QR Code isn’t dying, it’s being hacked to death and the culprit is not NFC. The QR Code is being destroyed by those who should be getting the most out of them.
Every time a company plasters a QR Code on a design or ad without thoroughly thinking it through they are not only killing the QR Code, but they are causing negative branding for their own company as well.
Sticking a QR Code on an image or design without offering real content is like opening a corporate Twitter account with 1 automated tweet: “Please follow us”. Not only will you not receive followers but you and your brand will be known as spammers.
3 QR CODE MISTAKES AND HOW TO FIX THEM.
1. Poor Content
Too many times QR Codes are plastered in an ad with the attitude of “why not? It’s cheap and the worst that can happen is people don’t engage.”
The worst that can happen is if a potential user actually decides to scan the “who cares” QR Code.
While it didn’t cost the company to place a QR Code on an ad, scanning one cost the user time and effort. Although it takes only a couple of seconds to scan a code, the user made a conscious decision to take time out of their day to interact. A user who bothered to take out their mobile device and scan a printed image is expecting value. If the QR Code does not deliver the value the user was expecting, both the QR Code as well as the company’s reputation is compromised for wasting people’s time.
When using a QR Code in an ad let the users know where they will end up after they scan the code. Don’t leave room for disappointment and frustration.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s a great example of a QR Code designed with the Visualead QR Code beta generator:
The user knows exactly where they are going and what they will be getting when they scan this image. There is no room for guessing or disappointment. (The scan currently leads to the Visualead site)
2. No Incentive To Interact
Too many companies place a QR Code in an ad or on a design and leave the rest up to luck.
We have all witnessed the invasion of QR Codes in our newspapers, magazines, billboards and even cemeteries, Here’s the question, when was the last time you saw someone take out their phone on the subway to scan a QR Code advertisement?
Here’s another question, how many times have you been asked to LIKE a Facebook page? How many times did you press LIKE? Unless it was a close friend who asked us to give him a push the general reaction was ‘IGNORE’
Stop begging for interaction it makes you look ridiculous!
Don’t ask me to scan your code, give me a reason to.
When using QR Code technology offer an incentive for the user to scan the code. Here is another example of a QR Code designed on the Visualead QR Code generator. It’s not about the company making money or raising the number of followers, it’s about offering the user real value and content. In this case the morning news at their fingertips while munching on a bowl of cereal.
3. QR Codes are Ugly And Look Like An Invasion On A Design
QR Codes were originally designed to interact with machines. When a company sticks a black and white alien design in the corner of an ad like some kind of leper that is exactly how potential users relate to the QR Code. How do you feel about those automated DM’s on Twitter? As humans we want real interaction and hate talking to machines.
Until recently QR Code technology was very limited when it came to design. There are numerous companies who specialize in designing QR Codes and the result is a more visually appealing QR Code. The downside to design QR Code is the cost. While the regular QR Code can cost almost nothing design QR Codes can reach up to $300 per code.
Visualead offers a fast a cost effective QR Generator that will turn any design itself into a QR Code in under a minute.
When finding a solution for the positioning of the QR Code in a design, Visualead has broken out of the square and has redefined how QR Codes work with design.
The idea is very simple: instead of designing QR Codes turn a design or part of one itself into a QR Code.
Here are some examples of QR Codes created using the Visualead site. The process takes under a minute and can turn your design or logo into an interactive bridge between the offline and online worlds.
For a full gallery of QR Codes visit Visualead
Our beta site is now open and free for testing. Anything you design using the Visualead site is yours, all we want is your feedback. www.visualead.com