QR Codes – A Returning Digital Trend


Style trends return every 20 years, but we did not expect a digital trend to make a comeback, too. We recently rediscovered QR codes, and learned how easy they are to create and use. We’re finding they are especially useful after the latest effects of the pandemic which transformed our environment into one where people are more likely to adopt digital tools to maintain their distance. In this article, we uncover ways we can use them in our industry and offer resources to help you get started.

The QR Code is Back

We recently discovered the QR code is a digital trend that is coming back in style. Do you remember the square bar codes that became popular around 2010? When they first surfaced on mainstream items, we were excited to uncover what was behind the secret code – nutrition information, a contest to enter, or even a coupon. Although they were intriguing, we were discouraged by the inevitable need to download a QR code reader App to find we only used it a few times. Suddenly, our phones ran out of space and the first App we deleted was the QR code reader. Their life was short-lived until our recent rediscovery.

Fast-forward a decade to a time when we learned we can access what’s behind the QR code simply by using the camera function on our smartphones.  Don’t believe it?  We didn’t either, so we all tried it out. Once we opened the camera and hovered over the icon, we were taken directly to the page we were hoping to find.  Had we missed the announcement that QR codes are back and easier than ever? We decided we would use them where we can and tell everyone we know that the icons have returned.

Dynamic Codes

An incredible amount of information can be easily stored behind the square icon.  And if you use a dynamic QR code, you can be sure the link is always relevant and updated without the need to republish the icon itself. For example, we currently use dynamic codes in a number of places to help make life a little easier.  We use them on our touch-up paint bottles for homeowners. We place them on door units that link to a quick install video to help installers. You see them weekly on our flyers for access to promotion forms.  And soon, you will notice them throughout our Summer Show Book to discover product information and participate in the New Product Challenge activity. Should any of the information change on these resources, we can simply change the link on our end and the QR code will redirect the end user to the correct resource.

With our new understanding of how easy it is to access the information behind the QR code, we can start to think about how to implement them and make them our new standard source for quick tips, videos, and information throughout the building industry. We can find pain points and insert a QR code to make information readily available, or we can have fun with them and create a journey for our customer.

5 Ways to Use QR Codes Today

We were recently inspired by this list provided by Tim Sandlund, Founder of StartBuildingSomething.com.  Here is his list of ways a dealer can apply QR codes to their business:

1. Digital Catalogs

Maybe you link manufacturer catalogs to a QR code, so rather than thumbing through a catalog, your customer can quickly open a digital version on their phones. Manufacturer sales reps can use this type of solution on sales calls as well.

2. Retail Point-Of-Purchase Marketing

Did you know that 82% of customers consult their phones in store before making a purchase? (The ROBO Economy Report, Feb 2018). As a customer is looking at your product in a store, they are likely looking for more information online while standing in the aisle.

Do you have a materials calculator that helps them calculate how much product to buy? Add a QR code to your signage and make it easy for them. Add a QR code to your packaging that links to a short 1-minute promo video on your product showcasing the benefits and ease of installation. The options are endless, but one thing is for sure – QR codes are now quick and easy to operate. Just be sure your experience on the other end of the code is adding value to the customer.

3. CTA’s (Call-to-Actions) in Advertising Campaigns

QR codes can be a simple and valuable tool to track engagement and ROI on advertising campaigns.  Add a QR code to your print add and track how strong your call-to-action is with your target market. This will help you define what type of messaging is working and what type of messaging is falling short.

4. Save Trees with Online Forms

Stop with the handwritten rebate, discount and program forms. Manufacturers need to move these forms online for two reasons; better user experience and internal efficiencies and automation. Add a QR code to your marketing pieces and direct the users to quickly and easily fill out their forms online and submit immediately.  I guarantee you’ll have stronger engagement.

5. QR Codes are Ideal for Augmented Reality Experiences

If you are looking to implement augmented reality visualization into your marketing and sales process (I recommend you do), utilizing QR codes that automatically open your 3D model is a fantastic user experience.

Now that you’re thinking of ways you can use them in your business, you can create your own QR codes within free sites such as www.qr-code-generator.com.  If you have an idea you’d like help to bring to life, contact us and we can help design one for you, too.

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