Big name advertising, little name price.

The Quick Response (QR) code is the latest instant-access, smart-phone trend to hit the US market. Which is great – if you understand what it is. Basically, the QR code acts as link, whether it is to a webpage, a piece of text, or to a phone number. Smart-phones such as Android, iPhone, and Blackberry have software that enables the camera to act as a scanner. Aptly named, the QR code is designed to elicit instantaneous response from tech-savvy consumers.

We’ve seen some big players implement it. Blackberry has a Facebook app that develops a Blackberry user’s personalized QR code to quickly exchange BBM pins and Google has put generating QR codes into its bag of tricks, according to their Head of Webspam,  Matt Cutts’ twitter account. Even New York City utilized the new technology in Times Square when it celebrated Internet Week 2010 in June.

It’s great to see the big guys bring the QR codes out, but how can you adopt this new trend if your budget isn’t the size of Blackberry’s or Google’s? Whether your budget is Fortune 500-sized or more akin to a local business, QR codes are an economic way to put your brand out there. The benefit of QR codes is that they are not an expensive means of marketing – they are free to generate. Direct mail magazine Deliver reports that local green online retailer, Go Green Items, is using QR codes in mailers to give customers discounts. QR codes can be used in a variety of ways, such as on billboards on the side of buildings, point-of-purchase displays, or simply on a website; they are flexible to any budget.

Kidd Group is constantly developing methods that clients can use to save money while communicating their message and we’re having a lot of fun exploring the uses of the QR codes. Since we are working with our clients to implement the codes, we thought we’d have one of our own.  Get out that smart-phone and try it out for yourself! The code below was hand-crafted right here in the Kidd office. And who knows? You might win something. (Hint, hint!)

This may or may not lead you to a prize page.