Monday, February 27, 2012


Have you noticed those little squares that look like a chessboard gone wild that are popping up on almost everything we own or buy? They are QR codes and in a recent report that was released by, a leading website for free QR code creation, there has been 1,235 percent increase in QR code activity in 2011 alone.
Even though the use of QR codes is growing, can they really be used to grow a small business? Some small business owners seem to think so. Here are some innovative ways that entrepreneurs have been using QR codes to grow their businesses.
Increasing Demand by Weaving Information into Small Spaces
One small business owner got the idea to use QR codes as a way to offer perks to increase demand for his clothing business.  He added QR codes to his labels that included discounting and bonuses.  Customers started scanning the labels with their smart phones and when they got an added discount or bonus they bought the product.
An added benefit is that clothing tags with QR codes prevent clothing designers from having to cram too much unsightly information onto their tags. Washing instructions can now be given remotely. Also, it makes clothing more social and interactive. Companies can offer information about the product via video, pictures, or text, and show product reviews while the consumer is still in the store or facilitate active sharing after the item is purchased.
By using QR codes, this business owner was able to differentiate his products from the competition and find a way to increase demand. He reinvented his labeling system using QR codes.
QR Codes as a Product Extension
Another business owner saw QR codes as a way to extend her company’s product offerings. Already working in the micro-fabrication industry (printing business cards, creating tee shirts and other mass produced advertising products) her company decided to focus on making their customer’s QR codes permanent by laser engraving QR codes on permanent objects, such as key chains or card cases, to create a paperless business card.  For example a laser engraved paperless business card such as a tag on your key chain is merely scanned when exchanging contact information.  The information is automatically in your smart phone with no card being exchanged.  You don’t have to worry about locating your business card or having your customer lose it.
The Internet Company decided to enhance its greeting card products with QR codes during the 2011 holiday season.  They let users record greetings and messages using its special recording service for free during the holidays and put these recordings on individualized greeting cards. The recordings were reachable by scanning the QR code, ultimately making gift notes interactive.  By scanning the QR code on the card the recipient gets to hear a pre-recorded holiday greeting from the sender. was able to increase demand for an existing product using QR codes.
While there are almost no limits to how you can use QR codes, it’s the results that count. QR codes can be more than just a novelty. If you think strategically, they can be a catalyst for growing your business.
Have you incorporated QR codes into your business?  Let us know how!!!

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