QR Codes and Promo Products (and how it all works)

“Sign, sign everywhere a sign” goes the song by The 5 Man Electrical Band. Quick Response (QR) Codes are ubiquitous these days. Check out a real estate sign and by taking a picture of a QR Code with your smart-phone QR Code scanner (free app), you can take a virtual tour of the home you are standing in front of. Reading about a new band in a 2-dimensional magazine and want more information? With a QR Code, you can be directed to listen to them instantly and even buy their songs online. Connect clients to a personalized “thank you” message on a branded gift like in this example. Pretty interesting and exciting, eh? But have you ever used your smart-phone to see where they might lead you? If no, I’d suggest test driving a couple to see where they take you. And if they have been marketed properly, you will get a discount, receive a little education and possibly feel more connected to a brand. And that’s not such a bad thing.

So, why should you turn buyers of promotional products onto placing QR Codes on their branded products?

Here are a few reasons:

  • Send end users to a survey to capture business insights and follow up with another promotional product to say “thank you” for responding (possibly doubling your order)
  • Capture and update contact information
  • Show off a new video
  • Offer a downloadable coupon to drive and track new business = ROI!
  • Connect them to a Facebook contest to help create a larger following
  • Help clients feature a new product or service
  • Helping a client with a tradeshow? Offer a show special that can only be found through the QR code. Or have some fun with a QR Code scavenger hunt and let attendees earn that branded giveaway.
  • Share massive amounts of information like a catalog or user manual (without killing trees).
  • Knowing about these bar codes might even make you appear savvier and technologically inclined and therefore keep your client from searching the web to source pricing from 4imprint, Branders, ePromos, Amsterdam Printing and the like.

Some say they are just a fad and will fade. Perhaps. In my opinion, this is the first time in my 20 years of selling branded stuff that you can easily give your clients more than just a promotional product, help them get something in return from their end users, and gain analytic information and track-able return on investment.

To reiterate, QR Codes are currently one of the simplest and best mechanisms to get end users to visit content on a website - and promotional products can very well be the conduit. Why not educate yourself about these ugly little boxes and share some smart ideas with your clients and prospects?

Here’s a fun (self-serving) video that shows multiple uses of QR codes with respect to print, promo product, surveys and even dating: Joe Meets Julie

Happy QR coding!

Danny Rosin / Brand Fuel, Inc.