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Bond No. 9 leverages QR codes to drive sales for new Internet-themed fragrance

Fragrance maker and retailer Bond No. 9 has brewed up a QR-code enabled strategy to drive sales for its latest scent, HTTP://

The neon yellow bottle for the fragrance is covered with a blue QR code that when scanned by a mobile phone, brings users to the fragrance’s mobile site where it can be purchased. It will be available only online during the launch period for the fragrance.

“QR codes make sense for merchants to incorporate into their 360-degree mobile marketing plan,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta, GA.

“As consumers get more accustomed to the idea of scanning a QR code, I believe the preference will lead that way versus an evasive NFC method that pings a consumers’ phone without warning,” she said. “Consumers want technology to become faster and better, but they also want to pick and choose how they receive data from brands.

“If a company were to incorporate a mobile component into each item on their marketing calendar, and it was done properly from email, flyers, banners, ads, media, newspapers, etc. – with gaining eyeballs on a screen to capture that consumer being the goal – QR codes, NFC and text are a few ways to initiate the customer engagement and deliver the content.”

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Bond No. 9 and spoke based on her experience in mobile.

Bond No. 9 did not respond to press inquiries by the deadline.

Digital village
Bond No. 9 is an artisanal perfumery, focusing on developing scents evocative of different New York  neighborhoods, such as Little Italy, Central Park West and Gramercy Park.

The company operates several locations in New York City with the line of perfumes also available at retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Harrods.

For the company’s latest fragrance, it decided to focus on the Internet, referring to it as a digital village that is the largest neighborhood in the world. HTTP:// features key ingredients such as tropical fruit and berry accords.

The fragrance made its debut on July 8 and is priced at $250 for 100ml.

QR codes are gaining with retailers and brands as a way to enhance their marketing strategies by providing another way for customers to engage with them.

However, there are also a growing number of examples such as Bond No. 9 where a marketer is using QR codes as the primary channel for sales. In most cases, these are brands that are focused on younger, tech-savvy consumers who use their smartphones for a wide range of activities throughout their day.

For example, last summer vintage t-shirt online retailer Junk Food installed digital displays inside a California mall that featured QR codes to enable shoppers to make a purchase, making it possible for the company to have a physical presence without the need for a store (see story).

The scent of mobile
Fragrance companies are increasingly leveraging mobile to drive customer engagements.

For example, Italian fashion house Prada recently created a Web application optimized for use on desktop and tablet devices that works as a digital collage-making tool to push the release of its new series fragrance N°14 Rossetto (see story).

“This is very innovative, and consumers will understand what it is and what they are supposed to do, for the most part,” Ms. Troutman said.

“ComScore reports on their last survey that one in three U.S. QR code scanners has a household income of $100,000 – for luxury brands this makes a lot of sense,” she said.

“The key is: Content is extremely important. You’re giving the consumer a way to ‘unlock the box’ so to speak.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York