To be or Not to be, American Apparel and QR Codes?
(Click the hi-res photo link on the right hand side, scan the QR code and see where you go!)
American Apparel’s brand image is clearly represented by their heroin-chic spandex wearing employees who are cooler than you. The look is clean and simple mixed with gritty sexiness and a splash of dorky is the new cool.
QR Codes are those white square with a black dot design in the middle. They’re widely popular all over Japan and did not enter the US with the bang QR Codes were expected to have.
Question: Should American Apparel put QR Codes on their clothing tags?
Most consumers have their cellphones on them (100%). Besides using their cellphones for phone calls, many people use their cell phones for: texting (92%), internet (86%), photo texting (82%), social media (88%), photography (76%), in-the-moment research (76%), applications (74%) and for shopping (44%).
People are actively and constantly engaged with their cellphones, sending data, receiving data and using it for photography, the internet and the need to “Point-and-Know” information and even shopping. The engagement and behavior required necessary to use a QR Codes is already ingrained within the target market and people: 15-34 yrs. old. They already have the behaviors necessary and crave the immediacy of what they want.
When shopping many consumers talk on their cellphone (61%), send photos to friends for their opinion (49%) and take photos of things they like (40%).
When actually shopping over half of consumers are engaged with cellphone and already using their cellphone in the store.
When consumers were asked if they’d like more information on the variety of way can wear American Apparel’s versatile clothing over half said “sure” while the rest were mainly indifferent.
More consumers want more information, while others consumers are indifferent but not opposed. Therefore, there is low-risk of opposition to giving consumers more information.
Majority of consumers acknowledge Japan as ahead of the technology curve (66%), while others weren’t sure.
While QR Codes have not widely caught on in America, they are highly popular in Japan. American consumers acknowledge and recognize Japan as the forerunners in technology. But are still hesitant to adapt to new technology behaviors. QR Codes have not been widely used in America. It’s the slow adaption of technology by American consumers. Also, there needs to be smartphone and application advances.
Additionally, mobile adaption is happening 8x faster than traditional web adapation. Mobile web adaption has changed consumers’ behaviors. Today, more consumers pend more time on their mobile devices than desktops. 2015 forecast has more US internet users accessing the web through mobile than desktop.*
Based on brand and target audience research, my recommendation is American Apparel should USE QR Codes on their clothing tags and inside their store locations.
And in the future, American Apparel should look into using QR Codes on their clothing tags and in their ads. Check it out below…
*Qualitative and Quantitative research was conducted for this article.