What if Brancott had got it right with their QR code?

QR codes attract a great deal of commentary in marketing and communication circles, and pretty critical more often than not. I have a strong interest in QR codes, not so much about the technology of them: it’s far more about how marketers and others use them in their efforts to engage with consumers and others. When I’m out and about, I keep an eye out for examples of how businesses use QR codes, looking for examples good and bad (hopefully, more of the former). I encountered one today in my local Waitrose supermarket. Unfortunately, it’s one of the latter use examples, ie, a bad one. New Zealand winery Brancott Estate has a QR code on their boxed Sauvignon blanc wine […]

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Could NFC make the business card really useful?

I have a thing about business cards. These little rectangular pieces of stiff paper or card seem to me to have outlived their analogue usefulness in today’s digital world. What are you supposed to do with one when someone gives you theirs? You somehow have to get their contact info from the card and into your contacts list in Outlook or Evernote or whatever tool you use. That usually means typing it in unless you’re an fan of OCR software (and who regularly uses that for something like this?), or take a photo of it, post it somewhere and hope an app will be able to accurately extract the useful data from your image. There was the fad recently of […]

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On target with QR codes

A technology that’s often criticized as being in a cul-de-sac is QR codes, those little square images that you scan with an app on your smartphone to perform some kind of action. It’s that ‘action’ that’s the focus of criticism as some who have experimented with this nifty tech really have lacked imagination in its use and, thus, received large yawns from everyone not only consumers. However, great examples of imagination in action are there, which clearly suggest that the tech can have a future if you offer your target something compelling (isn’t it another example of ‘content is king’?). Speaking of target, here’s an example of imagination, driven by competitive pressure notably from Amazon. US retailer Target will debut […]

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QR codes at heart of lost-and-found service Belon.gs

A topic I’ve written about frequently here is QR codes, those square, random-looking black-and-white images that are meaningless to the eye but content-rich to a cameraphone and some barcode-scanning software. These little barcodes are popping up everywhere these days, and how they’re being used by marketers attracts praise and derision in almost equal measure. Given my glass-half-full approach to such matters, I love discovering imaginative uses of these powerful little tools.And here’s an interesting one – QR codes as an integral element of a new service describing itself as “the next generation global lost-and-found service.” Finnish/US startup Belongs launched its service in beta last month. What it does is simple as its launch announcement says: […] Order free tag stickers […]

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The future for QR codes can be rosy

Whenever I read reports that assess how poorly QR codes and other barcodes are doing, and the unhappy outlook for their future, I’m always reminded of Hugh McLeod’s classic cartoon from 2007 you see here. A new report from eMarketer says that QR codes aren’t giving consumers what they want. […] “What consumers want from their 2-D barcode experience and what brands deliver are typically at odds,” said eMarketer. “Consumers want deals and discounts. Brands want to deliver information.” […] Poorly aligned consumer-brand expectations for mobile barcode-linked content and inadequate user experiences are driving consumers away from mobile barcode use. “Until marketers move beyond the practice of pushing content to consumers via mobile barcodes, and instead give consumers what they […]

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