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QR Codes Kill Kittens: How to Alienate Customers, Dishearten Employees, and Drive Your Business into the Ground Hardcover – October 7, 2013
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From the Author: Scott Stratten - The Kittens Are Counting On You
Think Before You QR Code
I don’t know where this QR code takes me when scanned, I wish I did. I tried to follow the “three easy steps” but I feel like one important step is missing.
Step 0.5: Don’t put QR code behind GIANT BAR
The code is unscannable. It’s taking up valuable space, looking fancy and modern, and doing absolutely nothing. This is my main issue with QR codes and so many of the things we try in business - they just don’t work. We need to be thinking about functionality for our customers. Did you know that 50% of people who scan a QR code would never scan one again? You know why? Because they didn’t work. They didn’t bring value. They made people jump through an unnecessary and all to often non-functioning hoop.
Those Poor Kittens
Step 1. Put QR code on door
Step 2. Make the code small enough that people need to get really close to scan it.
Step 3. As they approach, have the door automatically open into the person.
Step 4. Profit...
Where QR Codes Belong
Twenty years ago, QR codes were created for manufacturers. They were better options than bar codes when a lot of information needed to be shared.
They are still used for this purpose in many industries today.
So, if you see a QR code in your toilet, that’s exactly where it belongs.
From the Inside Flap
The kittens are counting on you.
If you knew that your terrible business decisions could cost a kitten its life, would you still do it? Of course not. No one wants to hurt a kitten, and no one wants to damage their own business through easily avoidable mistakes. But the trick is knowing which things are the wrong things to do.
Experts are constantly telling us how to improve our businesses. Hundreds of books on the market are filled with advice from these experts. But how can you filter out all of the bad advice, misinformation, and misuse of business tools that's waiting for you out there? None of us needs another list of what we should be doing. QR Codes Kill Kittens tells you what not to dowith advice that's easy to digest on mistakes that are easy to avoid.
It's like a picture book for the fed-up.
Using real-life examples from human resources, marketing, branding, networking (in person and online), public relations, and customer service, QR Codes Kill Kittens offers tips and guidance on how to prevent slip-ups such as:
- Using QR codes, and other bright and shiny technologies, because you can, and not because you should
- Insulting, ignoring, and generally avoiding those "pesky" customers
- Trying to profit from world events, disasters, and other self-interested social media practices
- Thinking we can automate authenticity
- Focusing on what's next, instead of working on fixing what you're doing now
- And so many more cringe-worthy errors in judgment
It doesn't do you any good to do a few things right and a lot of things wrong. Find out what not to do. If reading this book saves just one kitten's life, it's worth it.
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Top customer reviews
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The book is pretty bad. There are several pages, easily over 20, when there is maybe two or three sentences and a picture. These combined end up taking up less than half the page. There really is just tons of white space in the book. I really was hoping that this book would go into great detail, maybe with a few more statistics or examples, but nope. Just watch the youtube video. It's free, and you get the benefit of Scott's pretty good comedic timing.
However, while this book is fun and entertaining, as the title will hint at, then it is far from heavy on content. Many pages are mostly blank, with a screen shoot from facebook, a picture, and advertisement or similar illustrations then with a little, sometimes very little, text to highlight the point that Stratten is trying to make.
Some of the illustrations are money, others bear significantly less quality, and that's why I cannot give the book top marks.
I wish he had substituted some of the illustrations with some more text and deeper discussion of the topic at hand. He does a little of this on the last few pages of the book, but to me it seems like a case of too little, too late.
However, if you buy the book mostly for entertainment, then I'm sure you will enjoy the examples and quite certainly learn something along the way.
It is not that QR codes themselves are bad, it is that on the whole the implementation sucks and we use them for the wrong reasons - it is not customers who want QR codes, but rather the companies that think using them says something about how "tech friendly" they are, when in truth it normally says the reverse due to bad implementation.
This is not a how-to guide by any stretch of the imagination (see his two previous books for that kind of experience), but rather an affirmation that you are doing things right (or wrong).
Funny, clever, and vintage Scott, QR Codes Kill Kittens is the perfect present for the marketing or business person in your life.
Or just a great treat for yourself.
Scott is basically just asking marketers to think about whether a shiny new object makes sense for your business before making use of it. It's a very quick read and I can guarantee that we've all encountered many of his examples in our real world interactions. If we're being completely honest with ourselves, we've also probably done one or two of these boneheaded moves on occasion.
So, if you love kittens, read this book and learn to avoid the things that cause them harm.
Scott likes QR Codes but feels that they are being totally misused, and therefore turning people off of trying to scan them. Several of the mistakes that he points out in the book are ones that I see all the time, especially with employees that have no idea how to use Twitter or Facebook for a business.
I highly recommend this book, and suggest buying the hardcopy version rather than the ebook. I would also suggest that this book become a standard text for business school courses on marketing.
Most recent customer reviews
QR codes.Read more
Reading the the book is like watching a social media demolition derby.
It teaches you what not to do in social media.
Thank you Scott for saying what most shy away from saying!