A Breifing on QR Codes

I just returned from the Small Business Centre 25th anniversary celebration. Rick Lambert gave a good presentation on social media to a crowd who I hope was listening to what he had to say.

Even with a top notch keynote speaker, a different moment of the evening sticks out it my mind. I met Michael, who showed me his business card which has a QR code that took me to his linked in profile on my smart phone.

Seeing a QR code in action really caught the interest of a few people who were networking nearby. It’s clear to me there is still a big lack of education on this, so here are the QR Code basics, how you can use QR codes, and some images which will show QR codes in action.

What is a QR Code?

QR Code is short for Quick Response code. It is similar to UPC bar codes which are the codes that are scanned at checkouts virtually everywhere, except that it is two-dimensional and holds more data than a UPC code. While a UPC code can only contain 20 numbers that identify a unique product, a QR Code can contain thousands of alpha-numeric characters.

People who own a smart phone can download a (free) QR code reader which allows them to quickly and easily scan a QR code using the camera on their phone. Once scanned, the QR code instructs the phone to perform one of several possible tasks, the most common being to open up a web page.  

It has been popular in Japan for over 10 years but is just starting to gain buzz in North America at this point in time. Speaking of Japan, let’s check out a QR code in action and get directions from Shanghai, China to Tokyo, Japan.

1) You locate a QR code which will look similar to this image.

2) You scan the QR Code using your smart phone.

3) The smart phone bring’s up the Google map URL I previously encoded into the QR Code.

Not an actual step, but I wonder what step 17 is like. Want to jet ski accross the Pacific Ocean? (Click for larger view)

I chose directions from China to Japan because I am personally a fan of this Google hoax, but imagine the value of including a map to your business on a business card or advertisement?

Some Practical Uses for QR Codes

  • Open a map to your business.
  • Like your business on Facebook.
  • Open your website.
  • Open your twitter page or linked in profile.
  • Open a restaurant menu.
  • Open a coupon.
  • Open a contact email form or quote request form.
  • Open a youtube video.
  • Open instructions.

The above examples are only some of many ways you can take advantage of this technology. QR codes can be printed on business cards, print ads, vehicle decals, product packaging, menus, receipts, and much more.

I hope this briefing on QR code basics was helpful. If you have any questions or comments on QR codes, comment away!

About The Author


At LOWD Media, we specialize in supporting entrepreneurs. We understand inspired entrepreneurs and business minded individuals. We then use this understanding to learn about your business and help you create a look and feel for your business – your brand identity. Our business startup packages provide everything you need to begin marketing your business effectively and at an affordable price. Once you begin marketing and growing your business, we strive to support you and grow with you. Long term success for your business means long term success for our business. Let your brand be heard loud and clear with LOWD.

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