Not a Sweet Use of QR Codes

Krisda, the Canada-based manufacturer of an all natural sugar-free sweetener, has started to use QR Codes on their product packaging. When the QR Code is scanned, consumers are brought to a mobile website, which is supposed to offer information about Krisda benefits, the company, product offerings, recipes, where to buy and free stuff (I love when companies refer to “stuff”). I write “suppose,” because the mobile website did not function past the home page; all of the links were dead and lead to error pages. To get a sense of what the mobile site was like, I had to revert to the company’s main website and, once there, I was able to tell that the mobile site was essentially a mirror of the regular site. Because there is not a lot of use of 2D on consumer product packaging, I was looking forward to seeing how this campaign played out but, as you can imagine, was disappointed by the non-experience.

Even if the mobile site worked the way it was suppose to, the information that can be viewed and is currently listed on the site’s home page (recipe, benefits, featured product) is dated August 2010. First, why have dates associated with this information? Second, if the dates had to be on the site, why not simply re-post the information from time to time, so the date seems a bit more current? Just seems to be an odd way to display information, almost like posting a newsletter or blog.

While it is great that the company wants to help consumers find Krisda in the store, why stop at listing the names of supermarket chains (as shown on the company’s regular website)? Why not create an interactive store locator map? Wouldn’t this enhance the consumer’s mobile experience with the brand and save the consumer steps in the long run?

In regard to the QR Code itself and the instructions that are provided, Krisda does a good job relaying information in English and French (a given in the Canadian market), however, there is no real call to action, no information about where to find a code reader app and no information on where the scan takes the consumer. Also, while it might be on another area of the package, I don’t see a URL address for the company’s regular website. This information should be near the QR Code in case a consumer wants additional information, but is unable to scan the code.

To know the potential for a 2D application such as this (i.e., product packaging) it’s too bad Krisda’s marketing team 1) did not think this campaign through strategically, or at least that’s the impression I get, and 2) is not up to fixing the mobile website.

2D Barcode Litmus Test: FAIL


5 thoughts on “Not a Sweet Use of QR Codes

  1. I would like to offer a counter-point to this “non-experience” while preparing coffee (assumption based on box front) which is closer at hand, considering your immediate time commitments (work/school/breakfast,etc) one's phone or one's laptop or PC. I give it a B plus for placement, and of course an “epic fail” on delivery and follow through. My 2nd observation would be whom is really at fault for the fail? the corporation or the marketing agent? The consumer of course will blame the name on the box….and THAT my QR friends is what I mean by needing “more plow than wow”. Looks like several ducks were unaccounted for in this “simple” QR “experience” delivery. Would be interesting to get a post-mortem on this from the shop that put this together…

  2. SafeCycle: Thank you for the comment. I'll give Krisda an A+ for placement but, at the end of the day, all the best placement in the world can be easily and totally negated by poor and/or non-existent execution (scan resolve). So, I agree with what you say. And, you are right, the consumer will only find fault with the brand. I can try to follow-up with Krisda to learn what is happening with this campaign but, based on my experience, I doubt they will be willing to talk.

  3. Thanks for the review guys. Our new packaging hit the shelves before we could finish our mobile site.

    We've taken your suggestions and implemented them, for the most part. We'll be adding more sections to it, one at a time but at least now all the links are working.

    Again, thanks for the advice.

  4. I don't understand why you are making me, the consumer, click on a button to see the full menu…why is it not all there in the first place?

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