What are those black and white digital looking boxes that have been all over the place lately? Simple answer: QR codes. These little coded QR code icons have been popping up all over the United States for about two years now.
QR codes, short for “quick response codes,” are black and white matrix bar codes. This image is encoded for quick access to any website using a camera-enabled smartphone. The customer uses a free application on their phone to take a picture of the QR code. From there, the user is instantly taken to the allocated web page via their smartphone. This forum of mobile access easily lets customers connect with the information you want them to know. How can this help your storage business? Well, it’s a simple way for self storage companies to inexpensively promote their company brand.
Major corporations like Pepsi Cola as well as small businesses are taking advantage of this new technology. It seems as though consumers have heard the QR code message loud and clear. Comscore, a digital data resource company, showed that in June 2011, there were 14 million mobile users in the U.S. and 6.2 percent of the total mobile audience scanned a QR code on their mobile device. Most QR code users are tech efficient young professionals, about 40% female and 60% male, aged 18-34, who utilize their phone as a main source of internet access.
QR code generators can be found for free at many websites like quikqr.com and qrstuff.com. Businesses can input the web address, and then the generator instantly gives a downloadable link to your new icon. Save this icon as a .jpeg file and you have an easily accessible code that you can use on virtually anything.
Here are a few great places to put QR codes to help promote your self storage company:
- Business Cards
- On Promotional Products (calendars, cozies, water bottles, key chains etc.)
- Print Ads and Mailers
- Price Tags on Packing Products
- On an Invoice (both email and paper)
- The Back of Staff Tee Shirts
- On a Customer Thank You Card
- At the end of a Youtube Video
The only real drawback to QR codes is the fact that the QR code reader is not an application that comes with the phone automatically. Yes, many (if not most) QR code readers are free applications, but people who are not tech savvy, may not even know what a QR code is. So, if you decide to start promoting your company through QR codes, be aware that it might be an educating process. I have been asked many times, “What is that little bar code thing?” I am always happy to tell them what a QR code is, and how they can begin to use them to their advantage as a consumer.
I believe that QR codes are part of the new digital way to promote and market business. The future of the QR code relies on how much the consumer uses this free application to their advantage. Once these little black and white icons become common knowledge to the consumer, I guarantee there will be no end in sight.