You will probably already be aware of QR codes, what they do and how they function, but there may be a few readers who haven’t caught up yet, so here’s a brief explanation of QR codes.
You may have seen them in magazine advertisements, billboards, parking meters, shop signs, estate agent signs… I’ve even seen them on hospital bracelets. They are literally everywhere.
Way back in the last century (well, 1994 if you want to be specific) QR Codes were first developed in Japan by a sister company of Toyota in order to keep track of their vast inventory. Today, they are very widespread in Japan, the USA has picked them up with gusto, and now here in the UK we are beginning to get our heads round them and their multiple uses.
So, how do you use them, then? A QR code requires the use of a scanning device… Now, you may be thinking, ‘but, who has one those?’ Well, the answer to that question is anyone and everyone who possesses a smart-phone! Over half the mobile phones owned in the UK are smart-phones, and this figure is set to rise, that means most of the UK population has access to the technology required to scan a QR code.
Once scanned, a QR code can load a website, show an address, telephone number or email, link to an interactive game, enter the user into a competition or simply provide additional information. This part is where the QR code starts to get interesting.
QR codes are an easy, cost effective method of sharing information, so it’s little wonder that they have become so popular amongst advertisers and organisations alike.
Stamps Direct has recently developed a new product range, available to buy on our website. This new product range is QR code rubber stamps.
Here are some uses for QR stamps.
- Perhaps you have a stock of brochures, business cards or flyers, and now you know more about QR codes, you’re wishing you’d not printed quite so many? No worries, just use the QR code stamp and save money on extra printing costs.
- Use the QR stamp on every envelope you post out of your business. You could include your company’s address or other contact details here. If you send out different types of mailings, perhaps you could have different stamps, one for invoices, one for reminders, one for general mail, and so on.
- Whilst we’re thinking about invoices why not stamp your invoices with a QR code to get your customers reordering? Or, if you post products to customers, you could stamp the packaging with your QR code.
- Perhaps you run a restaurant? Stamp the menu to give your customers something to check out while they’re waiting for their order. You could create something fun for them to do, or provide additional information about your delicious dishes, such as where you source your ingredients from. Or, you could give your customers another reason to come back – 10% off their next meal always goes down well!
- Maybe you’re a master networker and go to a lot of networking events? Make yourself a name badge, and stamp your QR code onto it! You’ll get a lot of people interested; it opens up communication, and will create a buzz around YOU. If your QR code links through to your Linkedin profile, or contact details then you’ve instantly made new contacts.
- Maybe you run a shop? You could stamp your QR code onto your point of sale displays, and give your customers additional information about your products. Maybe you want to highlight a specific aspect of a particular product? Or, maybe you could provide instructions on how to use the products?
- Easter is coming up; why not give the kids a special Easter egg hunt? Use QR stamps to lead the kids to the next egg. Each code could provide a different clue!
- Another clever use of QR stamps was made by The Oral Cancer Foundation in the USA. They used female ‘guerilla’ marketers to stamp people at a national surfing competition with QR codes. The QR codes then linked through to information about the risks of cancer. This proved to be a very powerful campaign for the charity as they were able to reach a tech savvy, young audience in a fun way, spreading a very important and emotive message.
These are just some possible uses of the QR stamp. What will you do with yours?