Thursday, November 10, 2011

“Who’s YOUR Santa, QR Code?”

The gift of a second chance is given to quick response (QR) code technology - and by none other than the good people of J.C. Penney!  (I know; I was surprised too. Back in business school, we would have NEVER thought to chart “Innovative” and “J.C. Penney” in the same quadrant).
Since its recent inception, the QR Code has been used primarily (and not well) to direct customers to mobile websites, forms, and special promotions.  But J.C. Penney has taken quite a different (and might I add, brilliant) approach.
Check out the “Santa Tag” in action:
Not going to make it home for Christmas? As the video indicates, you can record a message and the JCP “Santa Tag” will store your sentiment for playback under the tree Christmas morning!
There’s that brand stickiness again.
With “Santa Tag,” J.C. Penney stakes its claim over the holiday gifting budget of tech-savvy shoppers.
“(Santa) Hats off” to JCP for repurposing QR technology to spark curiosity and delight; putting a little more magic into the holidays!
What do you think? Is it time to dust off our QR Code reader apps and get gifting, JCP-style?

UPDATE (11/11/11): It’s not about being “the best.” It’s about “delight.”
I received a number of emails challenging yesterday’s applause for J.C. Penney’s “Santa Tag.” 
While I agree that people will look to other, arguably more advanced, new-technologies when connecting with loved ones this holiday – (Skype, text and picture messaging just to name a few) - that’s not the point.
Think of the Santa Tag as the proverbial cherry on top. A small gesture, both surprising and charming.
Its intent is not to replace more substantial means of communication between gif-ter and -tee this Christmas.
Rather, it exists to go beyond the gift - bringing a brighter smile to the face and incremental warmth to the heart.
It’s icing on the cake.
Nothing more and that’s precisely the point. :)

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