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Are QR Codes Replacing Social Media Links on Product Packaging?

With the advent of mobile marketing, Quick Response (QR) codes may be the next big thing in product packaging.

Smart packaging design already leaves room for displaying websites and social media connected to a given product. Check out “packaging diva” JoAnn Hines’ blog for insight into how brands are using Twitter on their packaging.

Hines is right on target: smart brands realize that their most devoted fans-–the influencers who will convert their friends and family by constantly spouting off about how much they love a product (we all know someone like this)—want more from the brand than just the product they purchase. Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, stories, games, promotions—anything goes if it helps feed the addiction to Diet Coke or Nike shoes.

 If including social media is the packaging trend of today, QR codes are the trend of tomorrow.

Most product packaging already includes a QR code that’s scanned during inventory and checkout. But, as Lisa McTigue Pierce writes in Packaging Digest, the QR codes of the future will be designed for the consumer, not the salesclerk. 

For example, a QR code on a bag of flour could lead to a website bursting with recipes, extensive nutritional information, and pictures of the farm where its grains were grown. A QR code on a shirt’s tag could lead to a video of a celebrity endorsing the brand.

While QR codes will likely be portals to the same type of content that social media provides today, they have more potential than adding Facebook and Twitter logos to the package because QR codes are more immediate and direct. Today, most smart phones have QR code scanners pre-installed and more people have come to expect immediate informationScan this!. Consumers won’t go home, boot up their computers, open a browser, and type in a web address (which they’ve probably already forgotten). Instead, they’ll whip out their smart phone, scan the code, and consume the content directly on their mobile device…all while they’re still standing in the grocery store or shopping mall.

This isn’t a futuristic prediction—it’s happening right now. Brands like Mountain Hardwear and Heineken already put consumer facing QR codes on packaging.  So find room on your packaging for QR codes and build online content for your customers or risk missing out on the next big trend in consumer loyalty and engagement.


This article originally appeared on the Informous blog. Informous is a new content marketing resource for the plastics and packaging industries

Join The Conversation

  • Jan 28 Posted 6 years ago KDREW (not verified)

    Micro qr technology has been in use for quite some time in industries where space is limited. I see no reason why QR codes won't do the same in larger product packaging.

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