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by Rory May 26, 2011

Although QR codes have been around for nearly two decades, they’ve really only caught ground in America in the last couple years. Harnessing new technology and making it work for your business can take some time, and it can be frustrating if the work put into displaying them doesn’t receive an equal amount of attention. So, here’s a quick overview of what QR codes can do, and some ways you can optimize QR codes when you use them to supplement marketing for your business, including a few rough ideas for ways to personalize QR codes to make them stand out and grab attention.

QR code stands for “quick response” and was developed as a way for users to quickly and easily pull up specific and detailed information. It has come a long way from its original purpose to help organize inventory, and has flourished as a powerful marketing tool.

QR codes can do a lot more than just hold text. They can link to mobile downloads, becomes Facebook “likes,” dial a phone number, or direct a user to an email or website.

  • Business Cards: QR codes are “SRS BZNS” and can supplement any business card. Try incorporating your logo for a minimalist feel, which can have a lot of impact for design, or as a more traditional supplement to direct potential clients to your mobile site.
  • Scavenger Hunt: This has been attempted by many businesses, but can be quite difficult to pull off. Leaving clues around your city can direct traffic to your brick and mortar store, combining guerilla marketing with cutting emerging technology.
  • Labeling: Expand the information you offer on your products with by allowing them to scan them for more information. Imagine a bottle of wine with an easy to use QR code that directs them to the mobile site of the vineyard where they can learn more about their wine.
  • Window Shopping: Allow window shoppers to find your online store easily by displaying it in your store window, especially during off hours when your store isn’t open, converting possible lost sales into happy customers. The ability to gain contact information and add them to mailing lists can help promote repeat business as well.
  • Graffiti: Slap your QR code on some stickers and stick them around town. Public places like bulletin boards and high traffic areas are a great spot, just don’t get caught!
  • E-Commerce: You can allow users to scan codes that direct them to a pre-populated shopping cart for whatever product they scanned. Use this to make shopping easy for users, and increase your online conversions.
  • Dial or Text: QR codes can be set up to populate a text message or dial a phone number. If you have a special that you want potential customers to contact you for more information you can make it easy for them.
  • Creativity: Try to trick-out your QR code to make it stand out. Here’s a few we’ve put together, go ahead and try scanning them!


ThoughtLab Watermarked QR Code

ThoughtLab Logo QR Code

ThoughtLab Dotted QR Code

Dotted QR Code

ThoughtLab Rotated QR Code

ThoughtLab Rotated QR Code

ThoughtLab Inceptioned QR Code

ThoughtLab Inceptioned QR Code

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