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The Psychology behind QR Codes

10/04/2011

Psychology behind QR codesPerhaps one key to understanding consumer behavior and QR codes lies in psychology. By looking at how people act and react to QR codes, you could better create campaigns that are more tailored to their preferences. Simply put, the key to successful QR code campaigns – or just about any marketing campaign for that matter – is to know what your audience wants and to give it to them. But first, we must understand the reason why people go and adopt certain new technologies, devices and gadgets, while also dumping or ignoring others.

The psychology of accepting technology

Any new technology like the QR code would have to be perceived useful by the people who use it in order to be accepted and assimilated into their daily routine. This is the reason why almost everybody nowadays carry a mobile phone. But this is not the only thing that matters in the widespread adoption of technology, or else everybody would have X-ray machines, lithograph printers and other complex machinery at home. These are certainly very useful things like the mobile phone, except that the mobile phone is also EASY TO USE.

So in order for QR codes to succeed, it must pass two tests: it should be useful and easy to use.

This is where the instructions accompanying your QR code campaign come in handy. To wit, a good QR code campaign should include instructions on:

  1. How to get and install the appropriate reader or scanner
  2. How to scan the code
  3. What benefits are to be expected when scanning the code
  4. Other alternatives available aside from scanning the code, alternatives such as visiting Web sites or calling a hotline.

A QR code should be easy to scan, with little or no guesswork on the part of the consumer. More than this, the consumer who took time and spent money to scan your QR code should derive some degree of satisfaction and utility from scanning your code.

If you disappoint him by merely showing an advertisement that he had seen on TV countless of times before, chances are he would not buy your product.

However, give him something he can use like a discount coupon that he could download from the mobile site behind the QR code, and he'd be more likely to buy your products.

Make sure that the consumer gets a positive and rewarding experience from scanning your QR codes!

No single formula for success

Having an understanding of how people take to new technology allows you to ensure that your consumers should see your QR codes as something useful and something easy to use. Admittedly, however, there is no single formula for success. Understanding your consumers and conducting research on what they need and want could go a long way in knowing just what online experience you should offer them. This would spell the difference between getting your QR code scanned or ignored.

What works: Here are the factors that work!

1. Novelty. People will try out what's new to their eyes and something that they have not experienced yet. Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it is also what gets your target market to sit up and take notice. A lot of people have not yet scanned a QR code, so it's time that your QR code piques their interest!

2. Fun and competition. One of the earliest implementations of QR codes have been in augmented reality games and scavenger hunts. The Boston Globe, Big Read, Kid Robot and other companies have sponsored scavenger hunts using QR codes. Using QR codes to tie your product with fun, games, and perhaps some friendly competition can help engage your customers. This works particularly well if you offer large prizes, which work as a...

3.Reward. Imagine you're in a restaurant and they have a QR code on their table napkins. You scan it and you are shown some advertisement for a product, or they tell you how certain dishes in the restaurant are prepared. Not only that, you are treated to a free bottle of beer for taking time to scan the code.

4. Exclusivity. Man is a social being, but he also has a need for exclusivity. This is why there are still private clubs that are open only to their members. Or this could also be man's need to be part of the "elite" crowd. A great example for this is the recent Boardwalk Empire QR code campaign that gave tickets and invites to those who scanned their QR code. These events are not open to the public and are by invitation only.

5. Freebies and Discounts. One of the best ways to get them to click on your QR codes is to offer them a way to save money, be it by giving them something for free or giving hefty discounts!

6. Branding. When CK came out with a huge billboard depicting a QR code in New York, it capitalized on its image and brand to get people to scan their code. Having built up an image and reputation for racy and controversial ads, CK eschewed the almost naked models and replaced them with the blocky and unsexy QR codes. Yet, a lot of people, expecting a salacious ad or image, whipped out their mobile phones and decoded the QR code.

7. A definite call to action. As any marketing professor would tell you, a call to action is very important. It's okay to say that "Product X is only $5" but it's much better to say "Buy Product X now for only $5!" QR codes are no different, more than clarifying what people should do with them, a good QR code campaign should use a good call to action.

Remember that creating the code and getting it printed and included on your marketing materials, brochures and Web site represent only half of the challenge of creating a good QR code campaign. Freebies, a good call to action, exclusivity, among others, all work to help you persuade your target consumers to scan your QR code. But remember that you should be able to provide to them the best online experience they could get from you and your products.

Reposted with permission from BeQRious.com

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CustomQRCodes.com provides eye-catching, beautiful and intuitive designs for you.  We make sure that our custom QR codes match your requirements and can even match your current designs.

Furthermore, we have a team of graphic artists who are also custom QR code design experts and have an understanding of how brands work.  We can translate your brand into your custom QR code design!