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Searching for a QR code generator? Here are some things to consider before taking on the trend.

Searching for a QR code generator? Here are some things to consider before taking on the trend.

Once upon a time, the handy dandy hyperlink was something we didn’t trust right away. Skeptical internet users found themselves carefully clicking links in fear that they would lead to a malicious site, spyware or illicit web destinations. T

Today, we’ve swapped mouse clicks for smartphone scans, thanks to the trendy QR code. Consumers and marketers were quick to adopt this new way of browsing the internet. But I still have questions before generating them en masse.

Why are we so confident in QR codes?

We see a QR code on a sign that says “scan me.” But do we know where this will take us? To me, tech-savvy consumers are sometimes quick to pull out their device on demand. Meanwhile, some overzealous marketer has converted every single link to QR codes without considering one very important detail: why should a person trust this call-to-action?

I ask this because the majority of QR codes look like a glyph from some 80s sci-fi film. Unlike a regular hyperlink that has a domain name or a “slug” that tells us what to expect when we click it, looking at the average QR code tells us absolutely nothing about the link’s destination. Replacing the center of the code with an official company logo can fix trust issues, but it still leaves me questioning the gesture.

Ideas to help standardize QR codes

One of the things I love about my job is that I test and play with the latest tech trends to see just how useful they’ll be to the companies I serve. With QR codes in demand, I offer these simple tips to help raise code confidence.

Colorize your QR code with your official brand color. Don’t know your brand colors? Ask your brand strategist or graphic designer to create a brand kit just for you.

Add your official logo or brand marque in the middle of your code to help scanners identify that this QR belongs to your organization.

Include branded text or decorations around the QR code. Avoid putting text over the code to ensure the integrity of the scan.

Accompany your QR code with a hyperlink (or shortlink URL). This lets your skeptical users know that there is a real link associated with this QR.

Don’t go QR crazy. Limit your brand’s codes. This one is tricky. Your website has a trusted URL. I believe in a trusted QR that is reliable and always functional, only changing it when its no longer needed or becomes corrupted. I understand why some people disagree and would rather QR codes be disposable. However, I believe a brand’s creations — including the QR code — should have long-lasting real estate, especially on marketing materials, flyers, business cards, or other physical asset. After all, how embarrassing is it to have a QR code that doesn’t scan? It’s awkward for us all.

What do you think about QR codes? Do you use them in your marketing strategy?

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