creative ways to use qr codes, qr code on wall with blue round sticker and origami dog

2022 has come to a close and boy, was it such a great year for QR Codes! As the world continues to open after the pandemic, we are seeing more and more industries adopting the QR Code technology. More than being a contactless way to transact with customers, QR Codes are so versatile that businesses have so much use for them. We have written a number of blogs and tutorials on how to use them in restaurants, shops, hospitals, gyms, schools, libraries, and even video games. And we’re not done yet!

In this blog, we will give you 23 creative ways to use QR Codes in 2023. Have fun reading!

1. Play Meditation Music While Writing on Your Journal or Planner

Filipino paper company Viviamo, which produces some of the nicest journals and planners, among others, has used QR Codes even before the onslaught of the pandemic. The coupons in the Belle De Jour Power Planner had QR Codes a participating store scans for a customer to avail the discount or freebie.

This year, I received the Everything is Possible planner for Christmas (the only reason I didn’t get the BDJ Power Planner). Each monthly calendar includes a QR Code that you can scan to play meditation music on YouTube.

I think this is a great tool to accompany the planner, as it allows users to visualize the things they want to achieve and accomplish. You can use the same strategy if you are involved in a similar business. You can definitely link your users to other music players, like Spotify or Apple Music.

2. Link Your Customers to Your Product Assembly Tutorials

Do you still read user’s manuals? If not, then how can you expect your users to read them? Yes, user’s manuals have accompanied products for decades, helping customers assemble and understand their purchases. But their usefulness has dwindled for the past years, especially with the popularity of video-based platforms like YouTube and TikTok.

Even if user’s manuals still have their audience, it would also be beneficial to provide video options. After all, some people learn better with 

demonstrations. Some don’t understand the language manuals are written in. Also, let’s admit that some user’s manuals are just poorly written, making them difficult to understand.

You can create video tutorials to accompany your products instead and create a QR Code that links to your YouTube videos. Most times, videos are relatively easy and cheap to produce. And customers would appreciate that they don’t need to manually type and scroll through hundreds of videos to find your tutorial. Add the QR Code to your tutorial on your product packaging, including a clear call to action that tells the customers to scan for assembly instructions.

3. Cooking Demos for Your Pre-mixed Products

Some people would frown upon pre-made cookie or cake mixes, microwave meals, and recipe boxes. But millions benefit from these easy-to-make meals, like busy college students who left home for the first time. In this case, QR Codes that link your customers to cooking tutorials would be great.

Although cooking and preparation instructions on food packaging are relatively simple, wouldn’t it be nice to have complementary videos as well? Gen Zs especially are more likely to watch video tutorials for virtually everything that requires instructions. A QR Code that leads to the specific cooking or baking video tutorial they need will be useful.

The same could be said for instructions for brewing coffee beans or preparing the best hot chocolate. Print a QR Code onto the packaging that links your customers to a tutorial for your best brew!

4. An Interactive Addition to Your Mystery Book

Growing up, I loved detective novels. I think I would love to see a book that has a QR Code integrated into the text that I can scan to hear a voice recording or see a secret message! It doesn’t matter if the QR Code helps solve the mystery or serves as a red herring. That will be an awesome experience as a reader.

If you’re interested to know more about using QR Codes as an author, we have written an article just for that. Click here to check it out!

5. Message in a Liquor Bottle

Marketers in various industries have now seen the benefits of adding a QR Code on product packaging and the wine industry is no exception. Some wine bottles have already started doing so. Scanning the QR Code can lead to a list of foods best paired with that specific wine, the taste they can expect, or the story of your winery. How about a QR Code that directs first-time customers and wine amateurs to a quiz that determines the best wine to try?

Whatever information or immersive experience you want to include in your QR Code, make sure that it blends well with the overall design of your packaging. Include a clear CTA so your customers know what to expect when they scan your QR Code.

6. Coffee and QR Code: the Perfect Blend

A previous article discusses in detail why you should integrate your QR Code into your coffee and beverage cups. Coffee cups and cup sleeves are already a perfect opportunity for advertising.

You can use a QR Code to link your customers to your social media account. And, just like our recommendation for wines, you can create a fun quiz that determines the cup that perfectly blends with your customer’s personality and preferences! That would surely steal their attention and encourage them to try the blend next.

7. Game Idea: Limited Redemption Freebie for Your Next Party

Admit it: everyone loves prizes! This is why games are a staple in many parties – from birthdays to weddings to company year-end shindigs.

If you’re an event planner, chances are you have already researched all the favorite and often overused games. If that’s so, why don’t you try creating a limited redemption QR Code for your next party?

For this game, attendees will have to scan the QR Code as fast as possible to get the prize. Using a dynamic link, you can add a limit to the number of scans, making it a limited redemption game.

Another idea is to generate various QR Codes and scatter them all over the venue. The first to scan the winning QR Code will receive the prize. You will have to limit the number of scans to one, though.

8. Stories in the Side Lines: Book Readers Get First Dibs to a Hidden Story

I have mentioned adding a QR Code as a clue or a red herring in your detective book. This time, what do you think about including a QR Code that directs readers to an extra chapter or a side story?

Any writer that has been published knows that publishing a book is gruesome and bloody. Entire chapters, even ones that the author deems special, can be scrapped by editors.

A QR Code that leads to a related side-story that does not fit with the final version of the text will be a great addition to your book and a nice treat to your readers. This could be in the form of a web page link or a downloadable PDF (made using a Dynamic Link).

Of course, some of your readers will be so generous as to share this extra chapter or short story to the whole internet community, so make sure you’re okay with the possibility of not earning a dime on your story. But if you post the story on your blog, you might still be able to earn revenue with ads.

9. In-Game Stories for Video Games

QR Codes are also a great way for video game players to have an immersive and interactive gaming experience. You can give them clues, link them to additional stories, and bring them to hidden words by embedding a QR Code inside the game.

For ideas on how to integrate QR Codes into your video games, click here.

10. Introduce Characters to Your TV Viewers with Resume QR Codes

This year, I saw a QR Code on a primetime television series that leads to the curriculum vitae of one of the main characters. I believe this is a unique opportunity not just to use QR Codes on TV, but to introduce characters to the audience.

Of course, it makes sense for this particular TV series to use a resume QR Code because it is a business-oriented story. But no doubt this is a great marketing strategy for TV series and movies to get their audience’s attention and increase engagement. Just imagine having the ability to know first hand how many viewers scanned your QR Code at a specific time. Luckily, dynamic QR Codes allow you to do just that. If you want to learn more about this tracking feature, read here.

11. Video Resume QR Code

Now that we are in the subject of resumes, how about a QR Code that leads to your video resume? A video resume is, well, a resume in the form of a video. Here, you can introduce yourself, discuss your qualifications and skills, and demonstrate to potential employers your confidence in presenting yourself. You can upload it on YouTube, other social media profiles, or even your Google Drive and set it for public viewing.

Once you have uploaded your video resume, you can create a URL QR Code using a QR Code Generator. Insert your QR Code onto your resume, and add a CTA that encourages your future employer to watch your video resume.

You may read this article for a more detailed discussion of how to use QR Codes for job applications.

12. Wi-Fi

With smartphones being an everyday stable comes the necessity for Wi-Fi. After all, what’s the use of a phone that functions as a computer without internet? Now, most restaurants, shops, offices, schools, and homes have Wi-Fi to allow people to be connected to the internet all the time.

If you’d like to know more about how you can make a QR Code for your Wi-Fi connection, click here.

13. Singing Virtual Greeting Cards

If you’re old enough to experience receiving greeting cards, you would have enjoyed those musical ones. Like music boxes, these special greeting cards played a wordless carol once opened.

You can do the same with QR Codes! Using QR Pages, a special feature included in your QR Cloud subscription, you can create a page that plays an audio file once opened. Now, you have a virtual greeting card! You can even place an event countdown to go with your digital greeting.

14. Smart Doorbell

One of the newest uses for QR Codes is as a smart doorbell. This is a contactless way to conduct transactions and receive visitors. All your delivery staff and guests have to do is scan the QR Code and choose from the options on how to contact you.

If you’d want your own QR Bell, Read this article on how you can make your own smart doorbell using QR Pages.

15. Historical Sites

If you’re setting up a historical site or creating a walking tour for your city, you would do very well with QR Codes. They can be used to complement or in lieu of complete text. They can be used to provide additional information that can’t fit in your frame. Moreover, you will have data analytics that would quantify the success of your project, like how many visitors scan your code.

This will be great for tours of places with historical significance.

16. Exhibits

Like using QR Codes for historical sites, you can definitely integrate QR Codes into your exhibits and displays in libraries, museums, and other venues. Doing so will save space and you can also provide additional information or features like hearing audio narrations or watching a relevant video.

17. Pet Tags

Responsible pet owners know that they cannot confine their dogs and cats inside their homes. Our playful fur babies need their physical activity to thrive, so allowing them time to run outside regularly. But of course, our pets getting lost is always a risk.

Pet tags are a relatively cheap way you can protect your pets from getting lost. If you’re interested to learn more about creating QR Codes for your pets, click this article.

18. Toddler ID

You can print the QR Code on transfer paper and iron it on their clothing articles. Once someone scans the QR Code, they see the parent’s or guardian’s contact information, so they would know whom to reach out to when they find your toddler.

19. Easter Egg Hunt

Kids and kids at heart love Easter Egg Hunts. Why not do it with QR Codes? Instead of spreading out physical items, you hide QR Codes around the area. You can either set a limit on the number of eligible scans or allow everyone the chance to redeem its contents. You can include digital coupons and vouchers.

20. Cycle Menu

Cycle menus are great if your restaurant’s menu changes throughout the day. When you scan the QR Code, you see the menu offerings available for that specific time period. This is especially useful if you have different offerings for, say, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For details on how you can create your own cycle menu using QR Pages, read this article.

21. Registration Details on Motorcycle Plate

Government agencies can print the unique QR Code that includes the registration details of the motorcycle right onto the plate! This way, traffic enforcers don’t have to have physical contact with the driver when asking for apprehended riders’ registration documents. They simply have to scan the QR Code on the motorcycle plate to get the information.

22. Comics on Candy Packaging

Now, this one’s a personal wish. Being a 90s kid, I remember there was a brand of gum that had a short comic strip in the inner portion of the packaging. It’s honestly part of how I developed my reading skills.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have something similar in today’s candy packaging? Candies are small and individually wrapped, so there’s not much space for a comic strip. But there surely is space for a small, scannable QR Code that leads to a comic strip!

Not only are these a fun inclusion in your candy experience, they may also help improve reading literacy!

23. One-Page Campus Paper

The campus paper is a must in every school, but producing and reproducing it is costly. With budget cuts in educational institutions, finding ways to finance the campus paper is becoming harder for student journalists and advisers alike.

A relatively cheap way to get your campus news and features out there is through regular one-page campus paper. That’s just one printed page that contains the headlines and the QR Code that links to the web page that contains the full article. You can post this in bulletin boards and classrooms, or distribute it to students. All they need to do is scan the QR Code to read the article.

Bottom Line

There are so many unique and creative ways to use QR Codes. In this blog, we have listed 10 ways, but there are still more! Try any or all of these ideas to maximize this versatile technology for your upcoming project.

If you’re interested in learning more about QR Codes for marketing, read our other blogs and sign up with our QR Code Marketing Suite now.