A case for custom branded designer qr codes
What do you see when you look at a designer QR code ? To repeat a answers I issued here (see below)
1. Q1: Some of these codes dont work on my phone:
As Design Experiments, some of these codes don’t have the same requirements as corporate pieces. Besides the point that its impossible to optimize for every viewing condition and handset + app combination, we do the best we can. For client work, we have a through Quality Assurance procedure that certified that the codes work of the largest number of scanners and handsets. However, if you make a code out of 300 + bottle caps, you do the best you can. Also, some scanners are better then others, etc. We highly recommend I-nigma, Qrafter, Optiscan, Neoreader, and QRdeCode for designer codes. If you have a blackberry, get a new phone out of principle.
2. Q2: These are stupid. This is a waste of money and useless.
We got you to look at them, didn’t we ? I am going to write another article on this topic, but briefly, I personally believe that adding a human element to a code makes them more relatable, and it adds a wow factor where people get excited about scanning them.
3. Q3: Yes, But isn’t the real value of a code about the User Experience behind the code? These are missing the point.
UX is the most important part, YES! However, if no one scans your code, you miss out, no ? A designer code, even if you consider it silly, is sometimes the difference between someone scanning your code and not. I have always personally viewed QR as a tool to add to your marketing mix. If you can breathe life into a QR code, why wouldn’t you. Adding a brands colors and graphic identity transfers brand equity to your code, and tells guests that you took the time to design and work on the full experience they are about to undertake. So in a way, as a barrier to entry, a designer QR code is the MOST and LEAST important part of the process.
4. Q4: Yes, but what about MsTags?
We do those too ! Check here.to see a few Again, we focus on mobile user experiences and strategy. Mobile Barcodes are an an important part of that puzzle that gets people to where they need to be where they can continue to interact with your brand.
I have seen some designer codes that don’t work ( I will admit to some of my earlier work was less then perfect), QR codes that have been reproduced in a way that are non-functional, and QR codes that people don’t use – but people still LOVE them. What is this about? Or are the enthusiasts loving the idea of codes more then the content and brands that the codes link to? Are people bashing designer codes just because it falls outside of their business capabilities?
I think an interesting side effect of companies that are using QR codes (and other 2d barcodes ) is that it is giving institutions an image of being forward thinking. And as codes are becoming more artistic, they are becoming sub-branded logos without the affordance of being a code, which is really remarkable. Ex. Most people who know QR know the LV qr mark, but I only know a handful of people that have scanned it. People accept them as standalone pieces, and then accept the brand. ( I am ignoring the user bias argument here of only QR people know what QR is, and is it an effective tool. Lets make that an yes assumption for the sake of this post. )
I think this is an interesting to look at the perceived value of the following pieces of the QR system.
- Front end: (QR code) First impression, value of the brand, value of the code
- Back end: (mobile web) In depth interaction with ones brand, connection to web presence
The combination of these two elements creates a better experience with brands. And the code is not scanned, the second more valuable step never occurs.
However, QR codes are part of the bigger discussion about mobile marketing, user experience, and comprehensive integrated media campaigns. As long as a branded QR code adds more value to a campaign then it takes away, I don’t see the argument against them. If the code does not work, this is an obvious liability. However, if a designer QR code can make the difference between a scan and someone walking by, it seems like a great investment. If a designer QR code speaks to someone where it leaves a good memory with a user and allows them to search and interact with your product later on, I think its a good investment. If a designer Qr Code becomes an asset in a firms graphic identity package that is used as a reoccurring element throughout their campaign to create better mobile engagement programs that drive results and customer loyalty, I think its a great investment.
The people showing designer QR codes are NOT arguing that UX does not matter. Customer centricity is the basis of mobile marketing in general. We are just taking things to the next level to provide better User Experiences and go the extra mile for our clients. The end goal is always to connect people with brands. Designer QR codes are a simple but effective way to allow people to participate with your campaign, and get them excited abotu scanning your code in the first place.
If you like our work, drop us a line. We would love to work with you.