8 real-world examples of companies using them incorrectly, and one doing it right.

QR codes are scanned using mobile devices. This means the person will be viewing your content on a mobile device, so the page you send them to should be a mobile-optimized one. Clearly, there is still confusion within many companies in our industry. Based on what we’re seeing in trade advertising, QR code best practices are not being followed.

Flipping through the pages of LBM Journal and Qualified Remodeler, here’s my analysis of QR code usage in 8 building product advertisements.

  1. Chase: Of these 8, only Chase’s code led to a mobile-optimized page, which was also designed to detect the type of device you’re using and provide the appropriate link to download their app via the Apple App Store, Android Market or Blackberry App World. Perfect use of a QR code, and kudos to Chase for doing it right.
  2. Simpson Strong-Tie: Their ad had a good call-to-action: “scan this code with your smartphone to easily find the right fastener for your job” and their tool is a good one…but it isn’t easy to use on a mobile device. Perfect opportunity to develop an app or a true mobile site, but save the QR code until it’s ready.
  3. Acclimated Entry Systems: AES didn’t give a compelling reason to scan the code and sends you to their normal website – accomplishing the same thing as the website URL listed at the bottom.
    Acclimated Entry Systems
  4. ECi Advantage: ECi didn’t even bother to tell you why to scan the code; it’s just there on the page serving no real purpose and leading to their normal website.
  5. ODL Doorglass: ODL did the same as ECi – they simply added a QR code at the bottom without a specific purpose to it.
  6. Kilz: Kilz cleverly made the QR code look like part of a paintbrush, but missed on sending people to a mobile site.
  7. Geberit: Geberit made their QR code compelling by adding a good call to action – “…for immediate information on Geberit” – but they missed the follow through by simply taking you to their normal website.
  8. Capitol Lighting: Another ad with compelling reasons to visit their site – “$25 Starbucks gift card and a $100 initial discount” – but their program sign-up is not mobile-optimized and, as a result, not easy to use.

It’s not just QR codes – marketing departments are frequently guilty of using new technology for no good reason. Whether Facebook and Twitter over the past few years, Flash websites 10 years ago or QR codes today, make sure you are using new technologies for a purpose, not just to keep up with others or look like a trend-setter.

Sources and Additional Articles

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4 Comments

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  4. Rick Rolston on May 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    BuiltSpace.com takes QR Codes for building products to the next level. We put them on assets in buildings allowing you to connect with owners of installed product.

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