The young woman receives a bouquet of a dozen roses. The card reveals that they are from her soldier boyfriend deployed overseas. He has been gone for months, and her heart leaps with joy that he has remembered the anniversary of their first date. She opens the bouquet and is amazed to discover that each rose has imprinted directly on it, in the color gold, “I Love You!” Then she notices that one of the roses also has a rectangular icon printed on it that looks like a diagram of a tiny Scrabble board gone amok. She knows what to do. She picks up her smart phone, clicks on the “QR App”, and scans the icon. Instantly, her beloved soldier is speaking to her on video, saying how he has had much time to think about them, declaring his undying love for her, and then, he drops to his knee, and proposes marriage. This new technology has this kind of enormous emotional and communicative power, and it is emotion and communication that best drives business.
It is a “QR Code.” The term means, “Quick Response,” and these programmable icons can be linked to almost anything on the web from videos that deliver personal and marketing messages, to websites and blogs, phone numbers, and an almost infinite array of social media and commercial content. In the Promotional and Advertising Products business, they are certain to be a huge explosion of opportunity for advertisers, and for brokers, distributors and suppliers of printed advertising products. For the opportunity seeker, a company in Utah, Speaking Roses, will license their technology for both printing on flowers and programming them to QR codes in this way, a system they call “Vidit.” QR codes are also easily obtainable at websites.
Printed promotional products including those fun give-aways such as pens, key chains, and calculators, along with incentive products and imprinted wearables, comprise an industry that totals nearly $20 Billion in annual sales in North America. The established professional structure of this industry is over a hundred years old, led most notably by the Promotional Products Association International, and the Advertising Specialty Institute. Both of these organizations are now employing QR code technology for convention and trade show registration and rapid access to their website services.
Promotional products add up to such a huge industry because they are highly effective for end users in sales, marketing, advertising, fund raising and many other fields. The advantage they have over other advertising media, are a very tight and efficient targeting focus -they are gifts delivered directly to the prospect; they are fun and involving -people enjoy using them; and they are extremely durable as an advertising message -people don’t throw them away because they are useful items. Because they are gifts, they break through the corporate “gate keeper;” that receptionist, secretary or personal assistant who filters the decision-maker’s mail and phone calls. The gift gets delivered. And, with QR codes, that gift is a Trojan horse with a much expanded message and far greater impact than ever before. online QR Code scanner
Imagine an executive receiving a bundle of fine chocolates wrapped inside a coffee cup. The cup has a logo printed on it, along with that cryptic QR code icon. The executive recipient is inevitably overcome with curiosity and scans the icon with a smart phone or holds it up to a webcam. We are all drawn in by the latest technology. Many of us who are now using QR codes accompany them with the mysterious tag line, “What’s this?” in order to boost that curiosity. When the code is scanned a video pops up and delivers the friendly greeting and conveys the professional marketing message that never would have penetrated into the decision-maker’s inner sanctum otherwise.
QR codes are extremely easy to obtain, program and utilize. Visit your app store for a variety of free downloads. It is probable that soon, new phones will automatically scan QR codes without any download application. QR codes can be generated, free of charge, in about 30 seconds at a variety of websites. A Microsoft application now generates codes in multi-color and within corporate logos. Simply seek “QR Codes” on your favorite search engine to select a website. They are incredibly easy to use, asking you to simply type in the link -URL, phone number, whatever, and the code is instantly generated. Then you can cut and paste the icon to your photo and graphics file for a multitude of uses. Promotional products distributors can send this art to their suppliers for imprinting on thousands of different products.