Quick response or QR codes are used on everything from sales racks at the mall, to houses for sale, even gravestones. They give people the chance to scan the code with their smart phone, which takes you to a website.
"I haven't seen it take off as much as everybody thought it would," says Tom Jelneck, CEO of On Target Web Solutions.
Jelneck says he saw the popularity of QR codes spike about a year ago.
"The problem with them is they're a little bit clumsy, and let's face it, they're not the most attractive," Jelneck explains. "It's a bar code, so it really doesn't help embrace your brand."
But that's not the case with snap tags. The round tag can have anything inside the circle, including the company's logo. The code is actually embedded in the breaks and dots on the circle itself.
"See where the circle points are here," Jelneck shows us, "these can be rotated around a little to lead someone to a different place."
Like QR codes, you can use a free app to read it.
"It's actually taking it automatically," Jelneck explains. "[You] don't have to push a button."
One for Coke Zero takes you to a text message. That's another big difference from QR codes. The snap tag can send consumers anywhere, to text conversation with the company or a Facebook page. Jelneck likes the idea of snap tags being more targeted and specific.
"Great for consumers to get more information…information they want, and great for a brand because now they can really establish that relationship with the consumer," Jelneck says.
Unlike QR codes, snap tags can also be used with non-smart phones. "Dumb phones" can simply snap a picture of the snap tag to be used later, or sent in an email or text message. But don't get used to the round logo codes just yet.
Because companies have to pay a third party to create and manage the snap tags, only large companies are likely to embrace the technology at first. QR codes will still be around, and they're free for anyone to create.
One downside to the current QR codes is there's no way to tell exactly how many people are using them. But with snap tags, companies pay for a service that keeps tabs on how many people snap a photo of one of the codes.