How brands have disenchanted fans of QR codes

QR stands for “quick response code”, i.e. “quick response code”. Perhaps we should return to the origin of this technology and its etymology to understand why brands have failed in implementing QR codes to their marketing strategies. The feeling is that the consumer is bored or disenchanted with the promised revolution because of its original name, not them is not the answer or the adjective fast. Did we ruin the Japanese invention when we wanted to apply it to the consumer? Do we really offer the QR what consumers expected because that is what they had promised, brands and technological prophets, that direct link the real world with the virtual?

The answer, with few exceptions, most popular bizarre that useful, is certainly negative for most readers.

How brands have disenchanted fans of QR codesMuch excitement was generated, but the abuse of QR as a medium for advertising and promotions without contributing anything of value added is ruining them. What the user did not find enough value to warrant the time and effort spent by small. And it is not detracting from the technology, but because the data show a certain weariness. According to one of the applications of QR market leaders, ScanLife, in the first quarter of 2013 18 million scans were processed in the United States, 38% more. Not only is growth that corresponds to the penetration of smartphones, 30% in the same period (ComScore). It is also far the fervor that was experienced in 2012, when scans grew by 157%.

If in Asia, which in this taking the lead, the percentage of smartphone owners often perform scanning of QR codes reaches a maximum of 38% of Korea, the United States is 24% and in Europe have not yet arrived or the twenty%.

What happened? Let’s say that consumers, on the one hand, have been anesthetized. They have become accustomed to see hidden in the packaging of their food, the streets, in any cartel codes and no longer deparan them. Also they do not always accompanied by a small message that told what the user will get in exchange for taking a few seconds of your busy life to get the mobile and scan. No apparent benefit or explicit, it is normal that not even bother. QR codes “are cool” are novel, they can be fun, but only at first, when you just released with the included mobile and want to feel “new sensations”. Then they are losing all their sex appeal.

On the other hand, disappointment user: a bad experience is enough to not try again. Technology, plus cool, has to count for something, have some utility or cover any need, but meaningless. At this point there are several factors that may have influenced. Codes that only repeat the same information that the user has already read before scanning and added nothing new. Codes that were not standard and that users could not read.Codes on posters placed in the middle of the highway, impossible to scan for a responsible driver. Needless to say, despair for the consumer when even today, when the street invite you to download one finds that the brand has not even had the courtesy to offer a mobile version.

Malpractice, perhaps due to ignorance of brands, perhaps by dereliction, was perhaps responsible for QR codes have not had the expected projection. Although it may not be all lost.

Retailers, at least 18% of them believe they have impact on their business, their ability to compare prices and products (KPMG). It seems that the use within the stores is proving more positive when intelligently uses technology. 31% of smartphone owners scans a QR code in a trade for special discounts or seek more information. The index has risen only four points from last year, it is true, but now growing trend of mobile phone use while buying and showrooming is an activity on the rise, seize the influence to get more out of this technology can be a if it has done correctly with relative sense. The truth is that 42% of consumers who used a QR became more convinced of the expenditure to be undertaken, and another 40% ended up making purchases that had not foreseen (Vibes).

Australian postal service recently introduced QR codes on postage stamps for the sender to scan can record a brief video of 15 seconds. Is not it perfect as a Christmas card greeting? The recipient of the postcard or letter would only have to scan it to view the message. The downside is that anyone with mobile and curious enough, and not only the recipient could view the video. But the initiative seems useful as a marketing strategy to renew the postal service, which has long emails and instant messaging relegated to a more romantic and pastoral dimension.

What do you think of the idea? Will they QR reborn from its ashes or never really died?

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