A recent survey by Pitney Bowes reports that Quick Response (QR) code usage in the U.S. in 2012 rose to 19 percent—up from 5 percent reported in the previous year—making it clear that the technology has gone mainstream. With plenty of untapped opportunity remaining to use the tool as a means to enhance consumer interaction, Crown Closures North America is helping brands incorporate the codes onto product packaging by using the billboard space under the cap.
"QR codes are traditionally found on labels and product packaging, but they can also be placed on the interior of a metal closure used on food and beverage applications thanks to FDA-approved inks and printing technologies," says Sheila Heath, director of marketing, Crown Closures North America. "Brands now benefit from an additional platform to engage consumers without having to alter the external visual design of the package, which often has brand equity of its own."
A 2011 survey by industry site Mobile Commerce Daily showed that discounts on popular products, especially grocery items, were the main reason consumers were scanning QR codes. Codes printed under the closure can be used to promote and reward future purchases or encourage consumers to try different products from the same brand. The placement of the code is in itself a useful tool to differentiate products, since it includes a component that cannot be experienced on the shelf, encouraging the customer to make the purchase.
QR codes are also a popular means to provide additional information about a brand or product. Crown works with its clients to plan and print designs under the cap that drive consumers to different sources of information, including videos, recipes, social media sites and exclusive web content that has been optimized for mobile devices.
Alternatively, codes can be used as a key component of competitions and promotional campaigns that offer consumers a tangible reward if they make the purchase. Brands can then employ online tracking to measure the real-time results of these promotions and competitions, following trends and ultimately determining the success of a specific campaign. Brand owners can select from a variety of closure designs to meet their different needs.
One example is the Twist closure, Crown's most popular profile, which is suitable for hot or cold filled, pasteurized and retorted applications. Once customers choose a specific closure, Crown can provide different options for using and printing the codes themselves—whether that involves a single code on all the closures or multiple versions for promotions and competitions.
Source: Crown Holdings Inc.