Branded QR for CRM – Ralph Lauren

Sep 29

Branded QR for CRM – Ralph Lauren

Sorry, I am lazy today. This one from Luxury Daily and Mobile Marketer Daily email. And to my first blog post of today, naughty Barney’s in NYC for execuing a print campaign with QR codes, when their site was not mobile optimised! Doh!

How customized QR codes can drive CRM

By Rachel Lamb

Ralph Lauren's customized QR codes

Luxury brands have been using QR codes in out-of-home, print, in-store and online displays, but those that take it a step further by customizing them can increase brand loyalty and build CRM.

Since there is usually no doubt knowing whose code it is when they are customized for brands, this technique will help to increase brand awareness and encourage customers to engage. Furthermore, since affluent consumers enjoy being a part of an exclusive experience, they may be more apt to scan a code if they see it attached to a famed luxury brand.

“Customized codes are creating brand recognition and inspiring user engagement because the whole thing about a luxury brand is the name,” said Matt McKenna, founder and president of Red Fish Media, Miami. “It’s a prestigious thing.

“Black-and-white QR codes are anti-productive,” he said. “When you see a black-and-white code, you don’t know where it’s going or who it belongs to.

“But consumers will want to scan the code if they see that a logo or name of a brand that they love.”

Red Fish Media has designed customized QR codes for Ralph Lauren, Coach and Perry Ellis.

Window shopping
Customized QR codes can be used for any kind of luxury brand or company.

For instance, Ralph Lauren placed customized QR codes in its store windows that, when scanned, took consumers to a page where they could sign up for a chance to win tickets to the 2012 men’s US Open finals and a $3,000 Ralph Lauren wardrobe (see story).


Ralph Lauren’s QR code in the store window

Other luxury brands have used QR codes to incentivize in-store purchase or to build awareness.

For instance, automakers Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz have customized QR codes that lead to their mobile sites where they can locate dealerships, browse models and get in touch with the brand for a test drive.

QR codes can also be used anywhere and in varied marketing channels.

For instance, Italian designer Gucci used customized QR codes on print ads in Japan, according to a report from Japan Marketing News.

Hoteliers, research agencies, cosmetics brands and virtually any company can implement QR codes into their marketing strategies because the brand can decide where the code will take consumers, such as Facebook pages, mobile sites, mobile commerce pages or opt-in email lists.

“As a graphical element, QR codes have traits of a brand in their own right,” said James Alexander, founder/CEO of Vizibility, New York. “When used in advertising and marketing, QR codes in essence become a sub-brand or ingredient brand.

“This can be quite valuable for luxury brands that want to be associated with traits like technical savviness, leadership, usefulness, playfulness or youthfulness,” he said.  “The value to luxury brands is even greater when you consider that QR codes are effectively free to use and don’t present uncontrollable risks to the underlying master brand.”

Missing the bar
The biggest mistake that luxury brands make is developing promotions just for the sake of doing so. This is still true with customized QR codes.

Indeed, Mr. Alexander believes that brand damage can occur when that expected experience is not delivered.

For instance, department store Barneys New York had good intentions with the placement of QR  codes in the New York Times newspaper, but since the landing page was not mobile-optimized, the retailer may have missed an opportunity to connect with consumers (see story).


Barneys’ QR code on a print ad

“Too often, QR codes are being implemented by marketers just because they’re cool,” Mr. Alexander said. “Little or no thought is going into the extended experience being delivered.

“People who are scanning QR codes today are statistically a more technically savvy, affluent group of consumers,” he said. “Like a brand, QR codes represent a promise for a useful, usable and delightful experience.”

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