Q.R. or Quick Response codes caught on in Europe and are in heavy use across the continent. Pass a restaurant and you are likely to see a QR code outside that provides you with the restaurant’s menu or a coupon. Turn over a product and a QR code on the bottom may lead you to reviews or other information.

But in the United States QR codes seem more of a novelty and are used poorly if at all. Maybe we need to be better educated as to the opportunity it presents. One thing I see done all the time is a business card with the name, phone number, and web address on the front, and a QR code on the back that also goes to the web address. That is just redundant. Here’s an example of how it can be used: a brochure about “Teach Your Baby to Swim” with a QR code that leads to a video of a lesson showing an infant swimming. A sculpture in an art gallery. The little card under the statue has a QR code that takes you to a bio of the author or images of other work. A real estate business card that has all the usual info on the front but includes two QR codes on the back, one that says “for buyers” and one “for sellers.” These codes would take the visitor to a page of the website that helped the buyer make a decision to use that realtor.

In other words, the QR code should be used to take the viewer to information that could not be presented on the printed medium either because of space restraints or format. The business card of a musician could include a QR code to a musical file or video of the musician playing.

You see, the QR code opens the door to other media, other information, other opportunities. Use it to express yourself and to promote your products in ways that a regular printed piece of paper could never do. Use your imagination or let us suggest ways!