When operating with an entrepreneurial mindset, one question deserves to be asked continuously: “What needs to be true for my brand to remain relevant with consumers?” Today’s landscape is dynamic and the constants are few and fleeting – seemingly changing from day to day. Even as the challenges seem never ending, the opportunities to execute revolutionary solutions exist. Brands are leaning into consumer-close ideas which include digital experiences, collaborations, adjacent category executions; and which are often solving for deeply-rooted consumer Jobs To Be Done.
COVID-related restrictions have resulted in fewer in-person opportunities for brands to engage with consumers. To stay connected, brands are leveraging digital strategies to reach consumers where they are – at home. Below, we take a look at digital executions that transcend eCommerce to connect consumers with brands in unique ways, independent of physical presence:
- Chipotle devotees have long had access to custom quesadillas from a “secret menu.” Last year, the brand conducted a pilot using build, test, learn practices which enabled them to leverage consumer feedback and pivot prior to launching the Chipotle New Hand-Crafted Quesadilla in March. This in-demand menu item is available to order exclusively online (app or web), and is prepared with increased accuracy and consistency using a new oven in the Chipotle Digital Kitchen. The new offering connects the brand to consumers with a consistent, handmade menu favorite that is crafted just for them and with 3 sauces/sides of their choice — to be enjoyed in their own home or on-the-go.
- With limited on premises seating in its restaurants, Yum! Brands is seeking to enhance the consumer experience off premises. It has recently acquired two different tech companies to integrate both AI capabilities and conversational commerce, a solution which allows users to interact with brands via social media and chat platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS, QR codes, and email.
- Mars Wrigley first launched M&M’s Messages in 2020 to foster connection and spark enjoyment and humor in everyday moments. Building on that, the chocolate confectionary packs now include a scannable code to access a curated Spotify playlist which brings the message to life musically and fosters connection to it. The messages and tunes give consumers reasons to purchase with 28 different message packs and corresponding playlists to be enjoyed alone or shared with others.
- Recognizing that the daily lives of consumers have been altered in the past year, Albertsons and Google are partnering with an effort to make buying groceries easier, more convenient, and more enjoyable. They are looking to transform the online and in-store experience of grocery shopping with personalized recommendations; predictive online shopping carts; hyperlocal store information to help consumers locate items quickly; and streamlined ordering, pickup, and delivery. Albertsons has also been using conversational commerce to handle the high volume of COVID vaccinations inquiries to respond to consumers quickly and accurately.
- Centenary-plus brand Oreo launched limited edition Oreo x Gaga cookies earlier this year with an intention to spread kindness. During our latest Courageous Minds Only Virtual chat, we heard from Lauren Flanigan, Senior Brand Manager for OREO, about how her team navigated an unexpected partnership rooted in a shared vision of spreading compassion. Pre-launch, and with physical interactions and traditional tasting channels limited by pandemic restrictions, the brand reached out to consumers with a digital scavenger hunt on Twitter which included the hourly posting of clues. And beyond the pink and green sandwich cookies, Oreo and Gaga announced “Sing It With Oreo,” a campaign that encourages fans to send musical messages to friends and family for the chance to win Lady Gaga swag and experiences.
How does your brand gain understanding of consumer needs? Is conversational commerce part of your strategy? At The Garage Group, we equip corporates with the entrepreneurial mindset and the tools to de-risk ideas and build innovation pipelines to grow amidst uncertainty. Get in touch with us >>>