How smartphones will read customer attitudes


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Will QR codes become the mood ring of the new millennium?

Remember mood rings? Put them on and supposedly they would reflect whatever mood you were feeling by the heat you generated.

While QR codes (or Quick Response two-dimensional bar codes that can be read by a smartphone-based code scanner) aren’t new, we are just beginning to see the range of application they can have in marketing and capturing customer experience. Here is an interesting example.

Our local friends at Best Buy are currently experimenting with QR codes as a way to tap into attitudes. Imagine walking by a poster with a simple choice – it’s a good day today or it’s not. Whip out your smartphone, take a quick shot and in a moment you find out what percent of X people responded that way today. Since there are other posters hanging around the building, you also find out which location has the highest percentage of ‘thumbs up’ ratings.

So what?“, you may be thinking. Here is ‘the what‘….

1. Novelty. While there are many other ways to get the data, this one has novelty and may capture your attention, just because it is different.

2. Awareness. By raising awareness of this application, you likely elevate recognition of QR codes in other sites and applications. I start to take greater notice of QR codes in my environment, which I might have otherwise ignored.

3. Buzz. Most exciting for marketers is the potential buzz it can create inside retail settings. Maybe I’m in Best Buy and I rate some product; when I see the average rating I also notice that another product has an outstanding high percentage of thumbs up ratings. It’s in the store, so I walk over to see why.

A smartphone-based mood ring that can drive customer behavior? Maybe someday, but for now, hats off to the folks at Best Buy for their spirit of innovation and experimentation.

Don’t judge technology by what it can’t do today until you first imagine what it might allow you to do tomorrow.

Where have you seen marketing innovation using QR codes?

BestCustomerConnection, by Marc Sokol

This post also appears on the website of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Marketing Association.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Marc Sokol
A psychologist with an eye for the ways organizational dynamics make it possible or impossible to delight customers, I see the world from the eyes of customers, employees and leaders who strive to transform customer experience.


  1. I think the first time I saw them were in the bar code for blackberry phones to add people or to purchase something without going using merchants. I think they are credited to the phone’s plan, is that correct?


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