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The Comeback Kid: QR Codes

Using Them to Enhance Your Brand

QR, short for “quick response”, codes aren’t exactly the newest tech in the business world. They’ve been around for years. (And if you remember their particular usefulness when it came to exchanging BlackBerry Messenger pins, congratulations — you’re officially old.)

But all jokes aside, QR codes have seen a significant resurgence in popularity recently, and they’re one of our top marketing and communication trends for 2023. While in years past, the usefulness of QR codes was limited largely by people’s access to smartphones and the tediousness of having to download specific apps to read them, today’s phones make it as easy as opening your camera.

And the COVID-19 pandemic, which increased demand for contactless solutions for commerce only further helped to drive the overwhelming return to QR codes. You really only need to consider how popular the QR menu has become to realize the impact.

The codes are an ideal tool for marketers and businesses, as they are now easy to both generate and scan.

QR codes allow businesses to quickly link customers to web pages, videos, images, or even other forms of media like audio or video files. This helps create a powerful connection between the customer and business without requiring them to manually type out URLs or search through websites.

And recent surveys indicate that QR code usage is going strong with some 45 percent of US shoppers reported using a QR code in the previous 3 months.

With such a diverse range of uses, it appears that QR codes are here to stay, at least for now. So, it might be time to explore how they can be used to enhance your branding and marketing strategy.

Why Bother?

We know, when it comes to marketing and communications, there are endless options to explore. You might be wondering if it’s worth spending time thinking about QR codes and their possible uses in your business. But, when it comes to comparing required effort and the possible returns, these small barcodes are difficult to top.

Easy and Versatile

QR codes are incredibly easy to use, and they can be scanned quickly and easily with a smartphone. This makes them an incredibly convenient technology for both consumers and businesses. QR codes can be used to access websites, redeem coupons, and provide additional information about products or services. They can even be used to access virtual events and conferences, providing a seamless and engaging experience for attendees.


QR codes can be tracked and analyzed, which provides businesses with valuable insights into consumer behavior. By tracking QR code usage, businesses can identify which products or services are most popular, which marketing campaigns are most effective, and which customers are most engaged with their brand. This information can be used to optimize marketing strategies and improve the overall customer experience.


QR codes are a cost-effective technology, and they can be used by businesses of all sizes. QR codes can be created and printed at a minimal cost, and they can be integrated into existing marketing campaigns and materials. This makes them an accessible technology for small businesses and startups, who can use QR codes to reach new customers and promote their products and services.

Diverse Uses

QR codes offer a range of potential uses to businesses of all sizes and across all sorts of industries.

Product Information

QR codes can be used to provide product information to customers. Businesses can include QR codes on their product packaging or in-store displays that can be scanned to provide customers with additional product details, user manuals, and how-to videos. Restaurants can also use QR codes to provide access to a digital menu, something we saw a lot of in the height of the COVID pandemic as businesses found solutions to more easily maintain sanitary environments.

Contactless Payments and Loyalty Programs

Contactless payments have become increasingly popular in recent years, and QR codes have played a significant role in this trend. With QR codes, consumers can scan a code and complete a transaction quickly and easily, without the need for physical contact or handling cash. QR codes can be used for a wide range of transactions, including mobile payments, online shopping, and in-store purchases. The codes can also be used as part of a loyalty program, allowing companies to more easily track customer purchases and reward them.

Promotions and Discounts

Businesses can use QR codes to offer promotions and discounts to customers. They can include the codes on their promotional materials, such as flyers and brochures, that lead customers to special offers or coupon codes.

Location-Based Advertising

QR codes can also be used in location-based advertising campaigns. Businesses can include QR codes in their advertisements that lead customers to a nearby store or provide them with directions to their location.

Event Marketing

QR codes can be used in event marketing to enhance the attendee experience. Businesses can include QR codes on event tickets, name tags, or signage that can be scanned to provide attendees with additional event information or to access exclusive content.

And if you need any more indication that QR codes are cool again, even Snapchat, a popular instant messaging app for phones, has incorporated them. "Snapcodes" are unique to each profile and allow users to quickly scan and add friends on the app. This is meaningful because of Snapchat’s user base and their behavior. Bloomberg estimates that Snapchat users are overwhelmingly young people (45 per cent of them are aged 18-24) and it is estimated that they watch more than 10 billion videos every day.

Snapchat also allows users to create custom Snapcodes that can be personalized with images or logos. This feature has been used by brands to create unique codes that link to their Snapchat account or a specific marketing campaign. For example, Adidas created Snapcodes with their logo on it, which when scanned by users, redirected them to a custom Snapchat lens featuring their products. The result? Snapchatters visited Adidas’s virtual store 3.4 million times.

The Takeaway

QR codes are simple and versatile tools businesses can use to enhance their branding strategy and marketing efforts. By taking advantage of these features, companies can quickly create direct links between their product packaging and digital content, thereby providing customers with added convenience and value.

These codes are quickly becoming a ubiquitous technology in everyday life. From contactless payments to trackable marketing campaigns, the benefits of using QR codes in 2023 are clear for both businesses and consumers.


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