SPX, a multi-industry, Fortune 500 company, has launched a new print advertisement, which features a branded QR code. This particular ad was spotted in this week's Bloomberg Businessweek magazine.

Located in the upper right hand corner of the ad, the QR code that SPX has created is branded with a green "X" in the center of the code, which plays off the green "X" in their logo (see bottom of ad). From a branding perspective, this makes a great deal of sense and illustrates what companies can do with respect to branding and customizing a QR code.

To the left of the QR code is a couple of lines of instructive copy, which provides information on how to read/scan the QR code and, if need be, how to download code reader software from the SPX website if someone doesn't already have such software on their mobile device. When someone goes to the download page, SPX gives instructions to enter a special URL on their mobile device and, once done, SPX will recognize which type of device it is and provide the most appropriate QR code reader. Most other companies do not go to this extreme, so it is a nice service to offer and makes the user experience that much easier.

Getting back the branded code for a moment. To know that the capability to customize and brand a QR code is readily available, and at no significant cost, I wonder why most companies don't do this and more fully integrate the codes they generate with their brand. To a certain degree, a QR code can and should be considered as an extension of the brand. Would you agree?

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