QR codes have been around for a while, but many companies are still trying to figure out how to use them. Some use them well, and some, well, not so much.
First the Good:
The Cybex Arc Trainer at my gym has a QR code printed next to the console.
Scanning the code links you to a useful mobile app that describes workouts designed for that specific trainer, and tips on maximizing the benefits. In fact, I've used the app several times to plan my workout.
The company manufactures a lot of products, but they've taken the time to link each product's
code to information about that particular product - and that's what makes the QR codes so useful.
Now, the Not-so-good:
I noticed a QR code on a bag of kale the other day. After my positive "QR Experience" with the Arc Trainer, I was eager to see where Glory Foods' QR code would take me...
I scanned it using my smart phone, and was disappointed to land on the home page of the Glory Foods website. There were two problems with this:
ONE: Take me to content that I can read on my phone.
The Glory Foods website is not designed to be read from a computer, but not a smart phone. The problem with that is that people don't scan QR codes with their computers; we scan them with our smart phones.
So, if you take us to a sight that we can't easily read, what's the point?
TWO: Make the content relevant to the product on which the code is printed.
The QR code brought me to the home page of the site, even though there is a separate page for its Kale greens, complete with recipes and nutritional information. The QR code should at least link from the product to the product-specific page.
If you're going to print QR codes on your products, take the time to link the code to (1) a site or an app that's designed to be read from a mobile device, and (2) contains product-specific information that will enrich the experience of using your product.