Visitor Destination Marketing

The Chronicle Herald: Halifax firm offers smart brochures the size of cards

The old-fashioned brochure has had a 21st-century makeover.

Halifax firm offers smart brochures the size of cards, July 4, 2012 – Chronicle Hearld


The old-fashioned brochure has had a 21st-century makeover.

The traditional, crowded racks of folded paper are making room for chic and modern tags, no bigger than a business card and equipped with a Quick Response (QR) code, thanks to a made-in-Halifax business that sees the future of marketing a little differently.

“We’ve developed a product that is far more advanced than anything else in the world … because we’ve incorporated the QR code,” Blair Brown, co-founder of RedCap Marketing Inc., said Wednesday.

“The idea of the mini card isn’t new, but with the QR code, we can outperform a brochure a thousand times over.”

Each information tag is unique to the business it represents, while the Quick Response code gives businesses a cost-effective way to reach potential customers and promote deals and discounts.

Blair got the idea after a stay at a posh Toronto hotel three years ago.

A serial entrepreneur with experience in marketing and publishing, he researched the simplified cards and found a multinational company in Amsterdam behind the trend.

The rights to the Canadian franchise had already been scooped up, but Blair saw opportunity for the brand in smaller centres such as Halifax.

Today, RedCap Marketing Inc., is a registered North American franchise that Blair said has already piqued interest from aspiring entrepreneurs in New Brunswick, Ontario and Alberta.

Printed on recycled paper using vegetable ink, the small tags, by nature, are a fraction of the cost of a traditional brochure and always up to date.

Businesses without a mobile-friendly website can also tap into RedCap’s web development services to ensure their customers get the full online experience.

“And if the customer really wants to hug a tree, they don’t have to take the card,” Blair said. “They scan the QR code on their phone and have all of the information they need.”

Local franchisees Shelley and Jonathan Rose said they jumped on the chance to set up the service in Halifax.

“This is where traditional advertising is going,” Shelley said. “We don’t want to replace anyone, so to speak, but it just makes sense. It’s more economical and eco-friendly. They look more uniform in the racks and for women like me who carry a purse. We’re not dragging a dozen brochures around all day. … I’d much rather tuck a dozen cards in my wallet.”

The compact displays, called Infostations, are set up in nearly 30 hotels throughout the municipality and restaurants, pubs, regional tour companies and local retailers are signing on every day.

Scott Travis, general manager of Cambridge Suites Hotel, said the new format fits well in any hotel lobby and is already a hit with visitors.

“We had people in today and they instantly went to the display and put cards in their pocket,” Travis said.

“It’s an easy transition … there’s less paper and it’s less of an investment. What’s the downside?”

Read on the The Chronicle Herald