I don’t how you are with iPhones, Droid phones, laptops, iPads and assorted technological innovations, but Mrs. Tiedemann and I embrace them with a degree of intimidation and at times reluctance. While at the same time, I love my laptop, smart phone, the use of social media and other rapidly changing forms of technology.
I marvel how the younger generation has adapted to computers and technology so quickly and with such ease. My 3½-year-old grandson, Adler Carris, already carries around a used cell phone (it does not work) and has pretend conversations, uses his mother’s laptop and talks about getting an iPad. My 14-year-old grandson, Noah Tiedemann, programs his frustrated father’s cell phone for him. All of this technology has changed the way we live, work, gather and process information, how we make decisions and, at times, taxing the patience of us “baby boomers.”
One of the forms of technology being used today are Quick Response Codes, also known as QR codes, which are two-dimensional barcodes that can be read by a smartphone, dedicated scanner or some other type of reader. The QR code is linked directly to texts, emails, websites, videos, telephone numbers and much more. The scope of use for QR codes is simply huge…especially for advertising and marketing of products, services, brands, real estate and just about anything you can think of.
When we were considering using QR codes in our commercial real estate business I asked a 30-something marketing person why we should do so. His response: “I want information instantaneously. I don’t want to have to wait to get it. I want to get the information, make a decision and move on quickly.” Perhaps so goes the world.
I think this speaks to our society. We are impatient folks and want things instantly. From traffic signals to grocery lines, we just don’t like to wait on things any more. And QR codes are a quick way to get or give information. You see QR codes in magazine ads, on billboards, on real estate signs, on business cards, on banners, in windows and on just about on any other flat surface. They provide information quickly and efficiently.
So what about the wine business? QR codes are being used on wine labels, table cards, shelf displays, tasting notes, neck tags…just about any place wine is advertised or marketed. These are great tools for both consumers and wineries. QR codes are very helpful in conveying information to customers such as tasting notes, reviews and ratings, pairings, pricing, ordering information or links to social media page such as Facebook or Twitter
QR codes allow us to interact and engage with the winery and create a relationship to educate ourselves and, perhaps, to help us make decisions at a given point in time. These little smartphones have empowered us in some exciting and wonderful ways. My wine distribution business is using QR codes on wine labels, tasting notes, shelf displays, business cards, etc. The idea: we hope to inform and educate you on our fine wines.
So how do I get started?
1) Have a smartphone such as an iPhone, Android or Blackberry.
2) Get an app. You will need a QR code/barcode reading application (or app as they are called) to read the QR code on your phone. Most apps are free and they are easy to download from iTunes, the Google Play store or other app providers. There are a number of readers available. I have ScanLife on my smartphone, but other readers available are: RedLaser, QR Droid, i-nigma and QR Barcode Scanner to name a few.
3) If you have not tried scanning, it is easy to do. Just launch the app on your phone. When the scanner is ready, a scanner window will appear on the screen. Position the scanning window over the QR code so the app can capture the image and the phone will do the rest. Almost instantaneously your phone will be linked with the site or information the QR code is linked to. From that point, it is just a matter of navigating the site and retrieving the information you are interested in.
By the way, if you have trouble with this process…just ask your children or grandchildren and they will do it for you effortlessly. Happy scanning.