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QR codes really are one of the most versatile innovations since the internet. Ok well maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but it amazes me how little they are used for helping a customer do something valuable.

That’s right, as you know your brewery customers frequently are on their smartphones while relaxing at your brewery. They might be on Untapped, Taphunter Facebook, Twitter, email, Snapchat or who knows what. Chances are they are communicating about what they are doing and what they think about it. They could also just want more information on one of your beers, for example when it was brewed, tapped, the IBU or the ABV. The same situation is also valid outside of a brewery at the store when looking at packaged goods.

Having said that though what I see time and time again is that the QR code is linked to the breweries main URL website. Then I hear from the brewery that people just didn’t use them. I find that’s typically because the use was not innovative, interesting, or even helpful. For example, using a QR code to get to your main website (especially one the customer is already at your brewery) is just not that helpful or useful because most websites are short in length and easy to type into their phone. If you find better ways to help your customer with a QR code then you’ll see an increase in their use. If you use QR codes to actually reduce friction on an activity the customer wanted to do anyways you’ll sell more beer and attract more customers.

The uses really are endless. QR codes basically can turn something that requires a lot typing into a simple picture taking process. Think of it like this, every web page on the internet can have their own unique QR code and it can go on forever. Furthermore, since the contents of a page can be dynamic the code itself can provide up to date information that changes daily, hourly or even by the minute. No Joke. QR codes are like the access point to digital billboards.

QR Codes are generally better than straight bar codes because they can store more information, can be 100% unique, have error correction built in and generally can be used to simplify or reduce friction for your customer to do what you’re hoping they will do, like buy more beer. Here’s some of the possibilities a brewery can utilize QR codes for:

  • QR code link to a regular customer for frictionless sale of beer, growlers, kegs to go etc.
  • QR code link to a regular customer for loyalty benefits
  • Drive and Improve Production and Operational Processes (like we are doing with
  • Trigger an in-brewery trivia game custom to each table
  • Unique code per table to notify the staff of needing another round
  • A way to quickly Like your brewery on Facebook with one shot
  • On your menu to quickly provide detailed information about your beer (IBU, ABV, Brewers Notes, Batch Number, Brew Date)-especially since this can change
  • During brewery tours, each piece of equipment can have its own story that the patron can learn about with QR codes that trigger video or audio.
  • Use on your promotional material for contact information, driving directions, location hours, maps, beers on tap at that exact moment
  • To provide discounts or special offering. Use with a limited quantity to urgency or forever for those that find it.
  • Reserve a seat or table
  • Email you with feedback
  • Tweet about your awesome beer
  • Facebook share how great their experience is
  • Log in and share the exact beer they are drinking on Untapped with a simple scan
  • Be notified when a new beer is on tap
  • Sign up for your email list
  • Research specific details of your beer while sitting at the table
  • Update Yelp with a simple scan
  • Be a part of your loyalty club
  • Make a temporary tattoo and hand them out and then give discounts to each patron who applies it.
  • Send a text Message to their friends with a predefined message like “I’m at the Brewery, meet me here..”
  • Order them an Uber quickly and easily with a scan

Will QR codes save the world? Not likely but in this culture where we have massive information overload and find ourselves spending time typing or navigating to URL’s, a QR code can simplify that experience. If you find ways for your customers to save time and reduce friction in their experience they will enjoy more beer and tell their friends. The result is you will sell more beer.

#craftbeer #brewery #qr #business #marketing