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Adi is a social business blogger and community manager that writes for sites such as Social Business News and Social Media Today. Away from the computer he enjoys cycling, particularly in the Alpes. Adi is a DZone Zone Leader and has posted 1070 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

When packaging goes social

02.20.2014
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There was a time not all that long ago when the packaging our goods came in was largely a functional thing.  As long as it helped to get our products to us in good order it did its job.  Then companies like Gateway began to aim a little higher with their packaging, hoping to achieve a degree of branding with what arrived on our doorstep.

Of course, things have come a long way since then, and now it’s quite common for packages to be used as a marketing canvas, extending its use beyond the merely functional.  A nice example of a company that has taken this a stage further however is Cisse Trading Co.

Cisse are a food company that focus on Fairtrade chocolate based desserts and drinks.  Their food is sourced from the Organic Growers Dominican Foundation (FUNDOPO) in the Dominican Republic, and to reinforce these ethical credentials, they’ve turned to their packages to do so.

They’re including QR codes on all of their products to allow you to get in touch with the actual farmers that harvested the ingredients that went into each item.  The code can be scanned by the consumer, which then takes them to Cisse’s Facebook page.  Here they can leave a message to each farmer, which will then be sent along to FUNDOPO.

Ok, it’s not a seamless process, and you are of course relying upon the company to forward the message, but if it all works smoothly it’s a nice way to help connect consumers with the people providing them with their food.  There’s nothing to stop each farmer finding the comments left for them and engaging in a dialogue directly with the consumer.

In a world where Facebook (and indeed QR codes) can often be the home of the trite and insignificant, this is a nice example of a company that’s using both for a slightly loftier goal.

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