Post by BEcause XM
QR codes have proven to be a good way to allow consumers to access content. They have been widely adopted within integrated campaigns as a means to enter a promotion, visit a URL or download information and freebies. This is great in principle but the reality is that, for many people, the user experience is very clunky. Firstly, you need to have downloaded a QR code reading app and then take a clear picture of the printed code and only then can you start to receive relevant data. So although QR codes are functional there is a new technology being introduced which will remove the barriers: Near Field Communication (NFC).
NFC facilitates the transfer of information between two NFC enabled devices, via radio communication. It works when users bring the devices into close proximity (within 10cm). NFC is what makes contactless card payments possible for example. This technology is now being integrated into many new smart phones, with Apple tipped to add the technology to the iPhone 5.
NFC presents a massive opportunity for brands as it allows consumers to access content, share information and carry out mobile payments. Like QR codes it is a way to expand a real world experience into a digital domain but it is a much smoother experience. Being able to seamlessly spread a campaign across real and virtual touch-points often produces integrated experiences that have a good impact. In terms of brand experience, this makes the technology very exciting. As NFC works without the need for extra applications it is also bound to extend engagement and reach.
As corny as it sounds “the possibilities are endless”. We can think of many different uses, including:
- NFC enabled point of sale fast tracking, promotional entry or voucher download.
- Friend-get-friend mechanics activated via NFC content sharing.
- Real time social community building during live activations (maybe even as a condition of participation).
- Brand Ambassadors with NFC enabled uniforms.
- Fast track to purchase via “buy now” NFC touch-points.
QR codes will evolve, but we think they will eventually become redundant. Before NFC starts to pose a real threat there are other applications that are likely to erode the use of QR codes, such as Mobile Visual Search (MSV). MSV allows the user to take a photo of any product or logo to access content. Its wrap-around and three-dimensional recognition capabilities are interesting, but it will be NFC which lands the fatal blow to the content accessing model pioneered by QR codes.
Post by BEcause XM
Designers have never really played with conventional barcodes. The stark black and white lines have remained a practical tool for pricing and information. But there is a new code in town, the QR code, the design of which is becoming more and more elaborate and intricate.
QR codes can open up a wealth of information, fun and interactive experiences for the user and are a fantastic way for brands to share content with consumers. So why wouldn’t brands want to make the gateway to this content stand out from the crowd? Here are some creative QR code designs.
Post by BEcause XM
After a detailed analysis of Korean lifestyle and the day to day patterns of consumers, Tesco created an ingenious campaign to increase its market share. The retailer has taken its shops underground, providing consumers with an opportunity to do their weekly shop whilst on their morning commute. QR code technology teamed with the conventional look of supermarket shelves has generated a huge sales lift in a market dominated by one other, settled, competitor.
We think this is a fascinating and novel campaign, sparking intrigue and opportunist one-off purchases simply for the experience. But could it also signal a future where retailers look for fresh ways to extend the shopping experience beyond the store and into the path of consumers?