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QR CodesAre you leveraging a new way tocommunicate?White paper | April 2011
Shikatani Lacroix is a leading branding and design firmlocated in Toronto, Canada. The company winscommissions from all around the world, across CPG, retailand service industries, helping clients achieve successwithin their operating markets. It does this by enabling itsclients’ brands to better connect with consumers through avariety of core services including corporate identity,naming and communication, brand experience, packaging,retail, wayfinding and product design.About the AuthorDiane Mullane, Senior Account DirectorDiane Mullane is the Senior Account Director at ShikataniLacroix. Diane provides the senior leadership required toensure that clients receive the highest level of accountservice, project management and strategic insight. Diane’scareer spans 22 years working with the industry’s pre-eminent brands, as well as retail leaders in private labeldevelopment. She has expertise in both graphic standardspractices and account management applied to variousdisciplines such as packaging, corporate and brand identityprograms. Diane began her career as a graphic designer forCanadian Tire, then moved into account management forInterbrand Design Associates and Watt International,among others. Diane holds an Associate degree from theOntario College of Art and Design.White paper | April 2011 | QR Codes | 1
What are QR Codes and how can you take advantageof this technology?QR codes, or quick response codes,are two-dimensional codes that directusers to sites where they can read dataand media available through the code.Decoding software on camera phonesinterprets the codes that can be foundon product labels, billboards, andbuildings inviting passersby to pull outtheir mobile phones and uncover theencoded information.QR codes and other two-dimensionalcodes are expected to achievewidespread use this year – and forgood reason. Consumers wantimmediate access to what’s relevant and QR codes arebeing used to make that possible.If you’re not yet familiar with QR codes, they’re similar tothe barcodes used by retailers to track inventory and priceproducts at point of sale. The key difference between thetwo is the amount of data they can hold or share. Bar codescan only hold up to 20 numerical digits, whereas QR codesare two-dimensional and can hold thousands ofalphanumeric characters of information.White paper | April 2011 | QR Codes | 2
Although this technology has been around for over 20years, initially making a big splash in Japan in themid-1990s, it is only since the introduction of smart phonesfeaturing cameras that its usage has grown.Some interesting statistics:• There has been a 1200% increase in scanning fromJuly to December 2010• 57% of Facebook and Twitter users said they havescanned a mobile bar code at least once in the pastyear• Apple (68%), Android (26%) and Blackberry (4%) QRusage rates by platform• Starbucks is starting to use QR codes for paymentHow does it work?Data can be translated into a QR code by anyQR generator, many of which are available forfree online. Users enter the data to betranslated and the generator produces thecode, which can then be displayedelectronically or in printed format. Any mobilecamera phone that has a QR reader candecode the information. QR readers for cameraphones are also available for free online.Once the software is loaded, a user points thecell phone camera at the code and scans it. Thesoftware interprets the code and the cell phonewill either display the text or ask to launch abrowser to display the specific web page.White paper | April 2011 | QR Codes | 3
QR codes containing information can appear on packaging,magazines, signs, buses, business cards, or just aboutanywhere users might need information. This opens up awide range of possibilities for marketers to connect withtheir customers and share pertinent information regardingtheir product. QR codes give marketers the ability tomeasure response rates with a high degree of precision,allowing for easier ROI (return on investment) calculation,thus helping justify spending on marketing budgets.Potential uses for QR codes:• Additional, detailed nutritional information• Recipes• Valuable coupons and special offers• Information on the product usage, benefits• Link to specific blog posts or Facebook page• Customer feedback forms• Brochures and other marketing materials• Sides of trucks and trailers• Product tags and packaging• Restaurant menus• Event ticket stubs• Point-of-sale receipts• In-store displays• Translate information into customer’s native language• Business cards• Contests• Websites• Email marketingWhite paper | April 2011 | QR Codes | 4
No license requiredThe use of QR codes is free of any license. The QR code isclearly defined and published as an ISO standard. QR is aregistered trademark of Denso Wave, a subsidiary ofToyota. Denso Wave has elected not to exercise its patentrights of QR codes and that has encouraged theirwidespread use.The potential for QR Codes is limitless. What’s most excitingis how they take what social media is doing well – bringingpeople together with technology – and extending it toenhance the experience, (www.socialmedia.com).The next generation of barcodes could hold even moreinformation - making an Internet connectionunnecessary. The content could all be successfullyembedded in the code.White paper | April 2011 | QR Codes | 5
Reference materialsQR codeshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_codeEducause Learning Initiativehttp://www.educause.edu/ELI/7ThingsYouShouldKnowAboutQRCod/163728Power Creative, Digital Marketinghttp://www.powercreative.com/blogs/digital-marketing/7-things-you-need-know-about-qr-codesSearch engine landhttp://searchengineland.com/what-is-a-qr-code-and-why-do-you-need-one-27588Social Media Examinerhttp://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-qr-codes-can-grow-your-businessFor more information, contact:Jean-Pierre Lacroix, PresidentShikatani Lacroix387 Richmond Street EastToronto, OntarioM5A 1P6Telephone: 416-367-1999Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWhite paper | April 2011 | QR Codes | 6