7.20.2012

QR Codes and the Meaning of Like

Honora Winery, a small winery in Vermont, is running this print advertisement in local New England magazines, and featured in the advertisement is a QR Code.


When the code is scanned, the message which appears on the scan resolve page is as follows, "Like us on Facebook and tell us where you got our QR Code and we'll send you a certificate for a free tasting for 2 at one of our stores." Question, doesn't a person have to experience something before they decide whether or not they actually like it? This is the one thing I simply do not understand when it comes to likes on Facebook, but maybe it's just me. It seems as though companies ask for Facebook likes before a consumer even has a chance to experience the product, service and/or brand and, if that's the case, how meaningful, relevant, valuable is a like from this type of consumer?

Honora does a nice job offering an incentive for consumers to come and try their wines but, why not use the free tasting for two as a reward for scanning the code and then, should the reader of the advertisement go to the store and actually taste some wines, ask for the Facebook like then? Doesn't that make more sense?

What also irks me about a campaign like this (i.e., to do/offer anything in exchange for a like) is that it only speaks to people who are on Facebook. On the scan resolve page, if the reader of the advertisement wants to make good on the offer, they are instructed to touch a link that brings them to a Facebook sign-on page. But, what if the reader is not on Facebook, are they to be turned away from the offer? Are they to be considered any less of a potential customer and/or ambassador of the brand (in actuality, isn't that what companies should be striving for, brand ambassadors)? 

In my mind, if I were the owner of this or any company, I would want fans that are real fans, true fans, meaning they actually purchased and/or used my products and services. Not fans that simply like my company in order to receive a free reward. To me, that's a shallow customer relationship, one not worth having. 

Lastly, if the company wants to have a Facebook presence that's fine but, why not integrate the digital channels and have a Facebook link on their corporate site? And, going back to the use of the QR Code, if the scan resolve experience was so remarkable, which it really isn't, why not have a Facebook widget on the screen, so readers of the advertisement can immediately share that experience, the offer, the products, etc., with their network? Bottom line, not a well thought out strategy. 

2D Bar Code Litmus Test: FAIL

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