by Gareth GARDINER-JONES
Friday, March 1, 2024

Why it’s about time to start using a QR code to improve brand loyalty

Many producers and retailers have unique brand stories to tell but little way of getting potential customers to connect with their product to improve brand loyalty.  Your brand might have a long, interesting history, it might improve the livelihood of communities, or perhaps, is focused on sustainability efforts: All these vital and potentially unique selling points relevant to your brand reputation can be lost in the fog of the retail shelf, or on a crowded menu.  

Any product packaging has limited room to include all this information, so your unique brand may end up blending in with others. Maybe your brand already has a Quick Response or QR Code printed on its packaging leading to some static ingredient or promotional information but does not then take full advantage of the power to enhance brand reputation management or stand out from the competition.  Many boutique brands may still be at the stage of still trying to get consumers to even try their product, especially if its quality, sustainability or fairtrade origin push prices above others.   

 

Consumers want insightful QRs

Many also may not know that including a QR-code on their packaging, not only for digital payment but to display meaningful content, can improve brand loyalty. According to Statista data, a third of US consumers scanned a QR code in the last week while almost an additional third have done so in the last month. However, a QR code is only valuable if the content behind it is engaging or useful to the customer or, as analysis consistently finds, the consumer will simply switch off. Major criticisms include limited, unengaging or irrelevant content or the obligation to download an app. Many small to mid-size brands simply don’t have the time to create and manage product content despite it being shown to be vitally important to customers.

 

QRs boosts brand value with consumers

Recent research has found that:

  • Roughly three-quarters of US consumers surveyed say that a brand’s transparency of information is important or very important to them, with about five in every six of those citing traceability as paramount.
  • More than half of consumers want to feel more connected to a product by knowing its brand story. 

This analysis holds true not for products as varied as coffee, wine, chocolate or ham. Opportunities for boosting brand reputation that can be communicated via a QR code are often lost on the consumer who, after payment, may not see any value in scanning a code. A product like coffee for example, has multiple varieties, different strengths, flavors and pricing. It also has varying levels of sustainability in its cultivation and farming methods, from traditional smallholders to large plantations. All these differentiators make coffee ideal for QR code insights.    

 

Show your unique value  

Just some of the elements that should be communicated to consumers to enhance your brand reputation are:

  • Provenance and traceability information, on geographical origin of the product and transportation.
  • Any sustainability data on the sourcing of the product, its cultivation method, where relevant, and use of chemicals, processing and transportation, including if produced organically or by a fairtrade association.
  • What makes your brand unique, whether it’s its history, people or the product itself. Perhaps your brand has brightened the future of some of the most vulnerable people in society and given them a life of hope.

All these elements are impossible to communicate on product packaging, however, by including a QR, you open a world of better brand reputation management. For example, a QR can show how a farmer and their family’s lives have improved by working for your brand via a video, cementing your customers empathy and loyalty. Other first-time customers who care about their environment may choose to stick with your brand for good if they can see and hear about your efforts to use less water and avoid harmful pesticides and fertilizers. But, from the packaging alone, it will be difficult to prove your credentials.   

 

A world of brand marketing possibilities

Markem-Imaje brand Blue Bite has been one of the pioneers in connecting brands with their users for more than 15 years. We have been working with boutiques and major companies from fashion to wine and spirits to create unique digital experiences that reflect their products, engage their users and boost brand satisfaction. Unlike an advertisement, our Smart Products platform allows brands to share brand information with consumers where and when you want, turning static labels into interactive experiences with a simple scan.

Tell the story of your unique business in as much space and with as much detail as you want, giving more value and potential to your customers to improve brand loyalty and reputation. You can even tailor the information received by customers and further develop relationships with them with Blue Bite’s easy-to-use Experience Studio, according to your consumers’ interests.  If you have not started using dynamic QR codes on your product packaging, then you should consider doing so before your brand loses out to your competitor.

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