What if Your Products Could Speak?

We all love a good story

8 years now that we've been traveling around the world with Fair Trade Connection, visiting fair trade producers in order to collect photos & videos. One inevitable thing when you carry this kind of lifestyle is that you meet a lot of people on the road, and with each new encounter comes the ritual of explaining what you do.

This large experience of telling people what we do taught us one important lesson: people love to hear a good story!
Especially one that transports them to distant realities, shows them that they could have made different life choices and makes them discover exotic cultures.

Fair trade is NOT trendy

Telling people that you work in fair trade also teaches you that the universal comprehension of what fair trade stands for is rather low. The average person really doesn’t know much about fair trade or why we should buy ethical products.

Why is it that despite its very simple and noble promise – producing & selling goods without exploiting other people or the planet – the fair trade movement hasn’t been able to “seduce” more consumers out there?
In other words: why isn’t fair trade more trendy?

We believe that the answer to that question is: because we haven’t figured out how to leverage today’s communication tools to show the impact of fair trade.

Indeed, many organizations involved in fair trade are focussing on the wrong audience, thus crafting the wrong messages or neglecting to invest in the right channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Online video or even Pay per click advertising. This, most of the time, is due to a lack of understanding of these digital platforms and the crucial role they are playing today in terms of reaching consumers and influencing their purchasing decisions.

Creating the connection

When Fair Trade Connection was founded in 2011 our main goal was to create that missing link between the fair trade consumers and producers. To do so we invested our meager resources into a video camera, a microphone and round-the-world flight tickets. The plan was straightforward: show the world the positive impacts of fair trade with our videos.

8 years later we are still here, doing the same job. The only difference is that today the 50+ organizations we've visited and the 200+ videos Fair Trade Connection has produced have earned us a reputation in the industry. We successfully bootstrapped our way to being the go-to people for making videos about fair trade!

Best way to do it

Producing all these videos about the fair trade producers and observing how our customers (the retailers) were using them to communicate with their audience on their websites and social media pushed us to really consider what would be the best possible format to deliver the producers' stories to the consumers. What would be the fastest and easiest way to connect both ends of the chain?

A few years later it finally clicked: it had to be via our smartphones, the one device that accompanies us everywhere and gets so much of our daily attention. We invented a video marketing campaign that uses QR codes to attach a story to every ethical product. For those of you who still don't know what a QR code is, it stands for Quick Response code and looks like a black & white square made of dots and bars that can be scanned with a smartphone. What it does is lead you to a specific URL, it's like a hyperlink but has the power to connect offline items to online media.

Among the thousand possible ways of telling the fair trade stories, we have chosen the QR code Project for its ability to connect a product with its maker and its simplicity of use.

We can make your product speak

This was the original name of what we now call the QR Code Project. We gave it this name back in 2012 because thanks to the QR codes we found a way to give a voice (and a face) to the fair trade products, creating that direct connection between the producers and consumers. All this via our smartphones.

Fair Trade Connection uses the video material and interviews collected during our visits to the fair trade producer groups to edit short videos. Each video tells the story of a specific artisan or farmer. Our videos focus on 1 or 2 positive impacts fair trade has on that person’s life and shows how the product is made and in which environment. We then link these videos to QR codes and by integrating the QR’s on the products’ packaging we create our direct link between the product and its maker. Voila!

The largest library about fair trade

In 2018 we are proud to say that Fair Trade Connection owns the largest video library about the fair trade producers. Our ambition is to create and attach a story to every fair trade product on the market and we have a plan to do so!

We believe our impact stories and video marketing campaign have the power to make consumers adhere to the fair trade message and increase fair trade sales. We will soon make this library of fair trade stories available to all organizations that wish to communicate about the impacts of fair trade.

If you wish to implement this video marketing strategy in your organization or simply know more about the QR code Project, feel free to contact us.

Need Stories for your Company?

Get in touch and tell us more about the project you have in mind!