Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What's a Nice Little QR Code Doing at a Fresh Produce Market?

Have you seen the little square bar codes that seem to be popping up everywhere? I think I first saw one in a magazine, but then I started noticing them on boxes, labels, and billboards. They're called QR Codes, and they're packed with information.
The concept of QR Codes originated at Toyota as a way to track parts used in manufacturing. It didn't take long for people to figure out the codes had other applications in fields such as marketing, education, and communication. For you newbies, you scan the QR Code with a special reader, and you'll immediately be linked to a website, photo, video, or written text. The really cool thing is that the readers are available on most smartphones so anyone can unlock the QR Code. By holding the phone over the little square bar code, you'll be taken to an expanded level of information.
We've started experimenting with QR Codes at Daisy Mae's Market at Findlay Market. We have codes that link to our Facebook and Twitter pages, and we have codes that link to "How-to" videos such as how to grill vegetables. I was thrilled last week when I saw two young customers literally "flip out" when they tried the codes. One of the girls actually said, "I feel like a kid with a new toy!" In a matter of seconds, the girls had become fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter.
We'll see where the future takes us as QR Codes become more commonplace. For now, take out your phone the next time you're at Daisy Mae's and see what you can learn from our QR Codes.

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