Scanning a QR Code One Year Later
By Heidi Tolliver-Walker on April 30th, 2013
This is one of the reasons I love QR Codes. I’ve had the QR Code for this landing page on my kitchen cabinet for a year. It was formerly stuck to a watermelon I bought in 2012. I scanned the code in the supermarket, found that it linked to some really interesting ways to cook watermelons, and determined that I would pluck it from the rind and keep it.
I’m glad I did, because one year — and a new phone — later, it was there when I needed it. Still works, too.
One of the enduring values of print is that people keep printed promotions longer than they do any other medium. Clips, postcards, and catalogs get stacked in piles, pinned to bulletin boards, and taped to refrigerators. One of my favorite case studies came from a personalized, oversized postcard my parents taped to the doorway to the kitchen.
QR Codes have the same enduring value. Once you’ve scanned the code, the landing page to which the code points stays in the phone’s history until you remove it. There are other codes I scanned that I wish I still had in my history, such as folk bands and micro-breweries whose names I’ve long since forgotten, but I’d still like to revisit some day.
The key is do create value that people actually want to return to. That’s what most marketers fail to do, and it’s why QR Codes have become the butt of marketing jokes and the subject of articles such as The Business Insider’s “The Greatest QR Fails of All Time.”
This QR Code from Nature’s Pantry was done well. It was placed in the right place, in front of the right audience, and took me to information of value to me. It offered such value that I went back to it one year later.
If this had been a postcard, I would have lost it. If it had been an email, it would be down around email #15,5654 in my inbox. But because it’s in my phone, it’s there indefinitely until I upgrade my phone again someday.
QR Codes aren’t a gimmick. They just need to point to something of value. It’s such a simple concept that I think it gets lost sometimes.