How to Create a Brand Identity with QR Codes

Creating a unique and well-designed brand identity is a key factor for marketing success, especially with how much competition there is across international markets. A highly complementary tool for brand identity creation is QR Codes. Their external appearance and internal content are completely customizable for every brand and even work on print and digital platforms.

What is a brand identity?

Brand identity is the reputation that’s associated with your brand, your values, and all the different elements of how your brand is displayed across marketing channels. It often acts as a company’s “personality,” which represents how products or services are promoted and encourages a certain type of interaction from customers. 

Why does brand identity matter?

Although the term brand identity is typically associated with a logo, there is a whole lot more to it than that. The concept of branding, in general, is what creates a particular “face” for companies. This “face” is basically the foundation of a brand that then influences things like trust among customers, impressions of advertising, and how your mission statement is viewed. The below image of Coca-Cola is a great example of how brand identity evolves over time but still sticks to core elements.

The evolution of the Coca-Cola logo from 1886 to 2007
How the Coca-Cola logo has changed over the years. Source

All the aspects of brand identity influence how Coca-Cola has developed its marketing and advertising strategies. You can see this in the image below that compares different ad campaigns and the related brand values that they want to convey. If you take the brand out of Coca-Cola, it’s basically just a weird, brown sugar drink that no one would be interested in. So, they’re actually one of the greatest examples in history of just how far branding can take you. 

What does brand identity have to do with QR Codes?

Branding is becoming more and more important as global markets create intense competition, but Coca-Cola certainly didn’t have the same level of competition when they started compared with what newer companies face today. This makes brand identity an absolutely essential part of what makes a company stand out from competitors.
When considering how to develop a brand identity, companies have to consider how they want to appear across marketing channels – both print and digital. Here is where QR Codes can help. First off, QR Codes connect print to digital. Without QR Codes on print ads, marketers don’t have a way to track ROI (return on investment) and readers don’t have a way to conveniently access links. This, in turn, is what enables multi-channel marketing that’s entirely trackable from all angles.

Tracking metrics for scans over time, by operating system, top countries, and top cities.
QR Code tracking metrics viewable with QR Code Generator PRO.

Secondly, QR Codes are completely customizable. Both the QR Code image (what a reader scans) and the display page (where your content is shown) can be styled according to any brand design requirements. You can add things like brand colors, CTAs (calls-to-action), particular headlines, and more. The following section goes into further detail about how this works.

The QR Code customization panel in QR Code Generator Pro
QR Code customization panel within QR Code Generator PRO

How to design a brand identity with QR Codes

Brand identity extends to every single design that’s associated with your company. This includes colors, font, logo, business cards, and any related marketing and sales materials. Because we at QR Code Generator know how crucial brand designs are for your success, we’ve made it possible to develop every aspect of brand identity with QR Codes, including:

  • Brand colors
  • Logo
  • Business cards
  • Website
  • Email design
  • Social media
  • Print ads

Just to note, the below images are based on fictional examples to help inspire your own brand identity.

Brand colors

What it is: Brand colors are the core colors that will be used to represent your brand. Most companies choose 2-3 core colors, and then maybe 1 or 2 more secondary colors. It depends a bit on the look you’re going for, but the colors you use convey a lot. For example, red, orange, and yellow are considered uplifting, energetic, and youthful colors (Coca-Cola chose well here), whereas green is most commonly associated with sustainability and nature. Blue is considered a calming color and appears to the widest demographic, while pink is most often associated with women.

QR Code on a window display prompting people to scan to learn more or schedule an appointment and a visual of the landing page once scanned
A business consultant uses blue for its brand colors both on print ads and on digital content

How to design it with QR Codes: A business consulting firm has promoted its services with a billboard ad in the above image. They’ve used the brand colors blue and white (very common to give off a professional appearance) and added a Business Page QR Code to encourage appointment booking. They’ve used their brand colors both on the ad, the QR Code image, and the connected QR Code display page. When choosing brand colors, they’re often written as hexadecimal values (HTML color codes) so that the exact color is always used.

What it is: A logo is a single image that represents your company. It’s the one graphic design that should remain consistent across marketing channels, contain all your main brand colors, and the values that you’d like to convey. Airbnb is a great example of wrapping all these elements into a logo. They combined symbols for belonging, location, and comfort and transformed into something truly spectacular. This concept has actually inspired a lot of logo development since Airbnb launched their latest logo.

QR Code on a wireless printer insert prompting people to scan to view the user manual
A QR Code with a logo in the middle boosts branding  

How to design it with QR Codes: You can add your logo to the middle of your QR Code design. We absolutely recommend doing this whenever possible, because it increases the branding of whatever you use it on, and also helps readers trust that the QR Code comes from an authentic source. In addition, QR Code display pages can also show your logo on their loading screen. In the example above, a PDF QR Code connects to a business manual.

Business cards

What it is: Business cards should also contain brand identity elements because they represent how someone will remember you after you’ve met. When designing your business cards, it’s a good idea to have the company logo so that your name is associated with that company.

QR Code on a business card prompting people to scan to get the contact, and the mobile-friendly details once scanned
A QR Code on a business card creates a digital business card

How to design it with QR Codes: One of the most common uses of QR Codes is to create digital business cards with a vCard Plus QR Code. These are extremely useful because they don’t have the same space limitations like print business cards and allow your contact details to be saved and shared automatically. If you attend something like a conference, you won’t need to print so many business cards, because you can print a few and then have people scan your QR Code to save your contact details instead. Here too you also have the opportunity to give the QR Code a logo and style it based on your brand.

Website

What it is: In today’s digital world, a website is often the first impression of a brand, so it’s one of the most important elements of brand identity. Your website should display all elements of your brand identity, including colors, logo, font, and any related graphic design styling.

Three different mobile-friendly custom QR Code landing pages
Examples of custom QR Code display pages

How to design it with QR Codes: With the exception of a Website URL Code that sends users directly to your link, all types of QR Codes come with a mobile-optimized display page. This display page can be customized in the same manner as a website, including the colors, a logo on the loading page, a CTA that directs users to a link of your choice, and the content you’d like to highlight.

QR Code on a picturing editing website prompting people to scan to download the app on their device
An App QR Code on a landing page fits perfectly with the brand identity on your website

You can also add QR Codes directly to websites to send users to mobile platforms or apps. They can also be customized here to fit with your brand style on your website. In the image above, a landing page has an App Store QR Code to make finding the appropriate app store links easily accessible.

Email design

What it is: Email marketing campaigns need to stay consistent with your brand identity as well. You also need to adapt the email design to what you’d like to promote. For example, if you’re sending out a webinar email campaign, you’ll probably have a really simple design. But if you’d like to share season fashion trends, you might have a lot of colorful images.

QR Code in an email campaign prompting people to scan to join the house viewing event, and the mobile-friendly event landing page
An Event QR Code in an email campaign enables easy event registration

How to design it with QR Codes: No matter what you add QR Codes to, they can be adapted for that particular design, and email marketing is no exception. In the image above, a real estate agent has created an email campaign for a property viewing event. Attendees can sign up automatically with an Event QR Code. This QR Code also perfectly matches the brand identity of the agency, including the custom frame with a CTA

Pro tip: If you’d like to use QR Codes for digital marketing, this is also possible due to short URLs, which enable users to view the same content on digital platforms with a link instead of scanning a QR Code image. 

What it is: Print ads need to contain all elements of brand identity in order for readers to associate a product or service with a brand. So whatever style elements are used in other graphic designs and the logo also need to appear in print ads, because they influence how readers respond and engage particular target groups.

QR Code in a print newspaper ad prompting readers to scan to watch an informational company video
A Video QR Code on a print newspaper ad

How to design it with QR Codes: QR Codes are the perfect addition to any print ads, because they make it easy for readers to view content on digital platforms. In the example above, a Video QR Code highlights the work of a creative agency in a print newspaper ad. The QR Code matches the newspaper ad because it’s been styled with brand colors and even makes the ad a bit more creative, which suits what a creative agency would want to convey.

Author
Adriana Stein

Adriana Stein is a Freelance Content Writer for Egoditor GmbH and is originally from Oregon, USA. She is now based in Hamburg, Germany, and specializes in creating and managing SEO and content marketing strategies for businesses across a variety of industries. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn!

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