7 Ways to Whip Up Viral Value Through QR Codes: #7 Offer More Info About Your Product


This article is a continuation of the QR code discussion we started last week. If you are wondering what in world is a QR code and why you should care about it, you may want to start with the last week’s article 3 Secrets for a Successful QR Code Campaign This Holiday Season. The key was providing solid value in the mobile context of use.  This series of 7 follow up articles helps you answer this exact question: how to provide value for you, your company and your brand through creative use of a QR code.

Once again, starting from the bottom, and without any further ado, coming at number 7 is:

#7 Offer More Info About Your Product

QR codes are unique, because they represent the first successful large-scale experiment for creating the “Internet of Objects” Bruce Sterling described in his thought-provoking book “Shaping Things”. Also been described as  “Near Field Computing”, the idea is to use mobile technology to connect the virtual and physical worlds. The idea is simple: to be able to track any product from it’s material source, through its manufacturing process, storage and ownership, to its current location and eventual disposal.

How is that adding value?

Think about it: each of us now has this incredibly capable and resourceful mobile device that is always with us, 24×7. This is an incredible gateway to a world of information, just waiting to be accessed. Like a hammer in want of a nail, just waiting for something to whack. 

Your QR code is just the nail you need to engage the consumer. A way to create the authentic, artesian, immersive product experience. A chance to tell a story. An opportunity to give a service that extends the relationship with your brand well beyond the current moment of consumption.

Here’s an example: I sometimes buy this fancy Simply Lite chocolate.  Suppose this chocolate bar had a QR code on it. What kind of additional product information could it link to?

You could, for instance, discuss the ingredients. Such as inulin, which adds sweetness to low calorie products and enhances taste and mouthfeel. You could let the consumer know that Chicory root is the best source of inulin, as are salsify, leeks and asparagus. And that another type of Chicory is commonly called Endive lettuce, grown underground in the dark.

(Image credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicory)

Suddenly, your customer is no longer just biting into a somewhat disappointing chocolate bar. He is connecting with the subtle and precise science of creating inulin fibers. From, like, Real Plants.

And let’s not forget the lure of the roasting aroma of the premium coco beans.

(Image credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobroma_cacao)

And the sweaty natives that pluck the beans skillfully from the giant coco pods that grow high in the trees, where the wily green monkeys jump from branch to branch… Somewhere in dense shade of the rainforest jungle in the heart of Ghana. Just by scanning a black and white square of jagged lines, your customer now has a chance to step away from the busy sounds of the city to savor the quietness, coolness and freshness of a cocoa farm. He is almost be able to hear the drums calling out another successful harvest…

And suddenly, just like that – your customer’s experience is transformed way beyond the boundaries of the humble chocolate bar object they hold in their hands. He is getting the history of your product. The one-of-a-kind artesian process. Maybe even “real” discussions about rainforest preservation and greenhouse gases and global warming. Most importantly,

you have just created for them a moment of flow: a precious, authentic instance of human understanding. A jewel of a story that you and your customer now share.

Does that enhance your customer’s enjoyment of your product? You bet.

In a very real way you have added value to your product, because you have provided entertainment and education that extends beyond the immediate gustatory relationship with the object and outside the timeframe of the act of consumption.

You have just transformed the experience of food into one of the shared human delight. Your customer has been initiated into your inner circle, and carries with him your story. Your meme. Your brand.

And maybe he will remember something about those shade grown beans next time he is at the chocolate counter, and the way he felt last time he held your particular chocolate bar. And maybe he will proudly tell his kids about the sweaty natives and the wily green monkeys. And the drums (one must particularly not forget The Drums, Best Beloved.) And maybe, if you are lucky, he may even let his friends know… But we are getting a wee bit ahead of ourselves – for the next secret QR code strategy you will just have to wait for our next installment.

Till then, I remain, Sincerely Yours,

Greg Nudelman

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go VIP.

4 UX Books (opens in a new window)
Join 6,000+ subscribers getting exclusive content, Q&As, book giveaways, and more. No spam. Just design that works.