Does anyone think QR codes are the answer to our marketing problems? Of course not. Anyway, let's hope not. But they are symptomatic of a bigger problem.
A recent article about the generally poor consumer adoption of QR codes got me thinking about all of the reasons that might be true. Then it hit me, probably because the article said it very clearly:
QR codes are pushed by brands, not people. This isn't the path to mass adoption.
That's absolutely right. We live in a world where people are in charge. People decide that Friendster, or MySpace, or Facebook, or Twitter is going to be the next big thing. Then brands race to catch up.
The other way around doesn't work. Kids today don't give a damn about what the brands are into. (Sorry, I just like saying "kids today." Makes me feel old.) But brands better know and care about what the kids are into.
I think it's funny that Rebel gets branded as an out of the box thinker. We don't sit around and come up with wild ideas. Instead, we go out into the world, and on the web, and make sure we know all about what consumers want, and what they're already doing.
Our best ideas come from identifying things that consumers already like to do, and then thinking about all of the ways a client make those things better. We think about how brands can give back to culture, and then how to use that to create business results.
This is the future of marketing, and the present. If you aren't thinking about how to make people's lives better, what are you thinking about?