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3 Awesome Ways Businesses Are Using QR Codes


There’s been a lot of talk in the last couple of years about why QR codes haven’t yet caught on in America the way they have abroad, particularly in Japan. The blame for this has been passed around quite a bit, from bad apps to smart phones simply taking too long to scan them. It’s true that no one wants to hold their iPhone in front of a poster or newspaper for five seconds — but if you give them a really good reason to do so, they will.
These three businesses have found inventive new ways to utilize QR codes, and we’re betting you can find similarly creative ways of placing them in your next direct mail or print campaign. Make use of an online QR code generator (Kaywa has a free, very user-friendly one you can use) and start watching your traffic zoom.

1. Berrge Tattoo’s QR Application

The award for most inventive use of the QR code goes to Turkish tattoo studio Berrge Tattoo. In their search for new artists, the business released a newspaper ad that requires applicants to first carefully, painstakingly fill in a blank QR code with a pen. If you can get it just right, you can scan the code and, then and only then, be taken to the application form. Even if almost no one would have the patience scan this code, it’s some fantastic advertising. (Via Neatorama)

2. Social Network Check-Ins

Now here’s an excellent way for people to put their small business on the social media map (literally). Chicago blogger Kevin Roof created the above templates, presented here as a tri-fold table-topper, that anyone can simply print out and paste up for an instant check-in to your business. Every small business should have these — it’s free social media advertising! Visit Roof’s blog to download all three of the above templates, plus another for Yelp.

3. QR Code Alarm Clocks

For those of us who need a little push to get up in the morning, app developers have come up with a fail-proof way to make you really work for that snooze button. Using a QR code alarm clock on your smart phone, like Mobile Factory’s Alarm Clock Extreme, you will need to print off a code and place it somewhere hard to reach — like, if you’re really hard to wake up, the bathroom down the hall — and, when your alarm wakes you up, only scanning that code will turn it off. This might result in more smashed smart phones than fresh starts, but these apps are sure to get your feet on the floor and jump-start your morning.

The sputtering liftoff of QR-code marketing seems to have less to do with consumer disinterest and more to do with businesses not being creative enough with them. These three examples are the tip of the tip of the iceberg; a quick Google search will show you countless new routes to make QR codes work for you. Next time you’re putting together a print campaign, think hard about ways you can convince your customer that your QR code is worth the five seconds to scan — really razzle-dazzle them.