QR Codes® are the LBD of Marketing

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December 4, 2015

Not the Sexy one, the other one…

The little black dress is the essential wardrobe staple, the dress that will take you practically anywhere. QR codes may not be as sexy as a little black Chanel® dress, but they are a staple, and they will take you anywhere.

 Smartphones are used by 64% of the population in the United States, a number that is increasing rapidly. Nearly 90% of millennials own and use a smartphone. The increase in smartphone use and our nation’s growing reliance on them has created a population of ‘app’ dependent citizens.


The App Generation, a term coined by Howard Gardner and Katie Davis, professors at Harvard University and The University of Washington respectively, relies heavily on the ability to accomplish just about everything thru the use of technology.   According to Gardner and Davis, “whenever possible, young people are searching for the app—whether it be digital or non-digital—that tells them just how to accomplish what they want to accomplish as quickly and efficiently as possible.” You can read more on their perspective in their book The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World.

Ticket lines like this may become a thing of the past thanks to QR codes and mobile apps.

The need for ‘quickly and efficiently’, is why, despite many pundits claims, the QR code is not dead. Not only is it not dead, but it’s also still relevant and its uses continue to grow and expand. The number of people scanning QR codes continues to grow, and of those users 90% found them useful.

Innovative Uses of QR Codes

  • Starbucks QR Code-based mobile payments app has approximately 12 million users, and around 6 million transactions are processed every week.
  • AMC Theaters® Stub app allows users to purchase advance tickets, avoid the ticket line and walk right up to the red ropes and flash a QR code.
  • Tesco’s HOMEPLUS® supermarket found a unique way to help hardworking Koreans with their grocery shopping. They placed lifelike billboards depicting supermarket shelves in the subway and shoppers could scan the QR codes with a phone application as they waited for their trains. Customers could check out online, and the goods would even be delivered to them at home, meaning no need to carry heavy bags.
  • Spotify’s® modern day mixtape app allows you to send a greeting card with a custom QR code that lets you share a playlist with the recipient.
  • Instagram and Angry Birds® QR codes highlight their respective apps while taking users directly to the download page.

Target® put QR codes on the shelves next to their ‘top 20 hottest toys’ allowing shoppers to easily purchase the product immediately and have it delivered, even if it was sold out in the store.


QR codes are alive and well, and thanks to the app generation, they won’t be fading on us anytime soon. With the proven and increasing importance of multi-channel marketing, QR codes provide a means of merging print and digital marketing. From phone apps, rewards memberships and point of sale displays, QR codes are the answer to the app generations need for ‘quick and efficient’.

QR Code is a Registered Trademark of Densio Wave Incorporated. Chanel is a registered trademark of Chanel. AMC Theaters is a Registered Trademark of American Multi-Cinema Inc. HOMEPLUS is a registered trademark of Tesco Stores Limited. Spotify is a Registered Trademark of Spotify. Instagram is a Registered Trademark of Instagram. Angry Birds is a Registered Trademark of Rovio Entertainment. Target is a Registered Trademark of Target Corp.

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