Friday, October 1, 2010

OLW, Kraft and Chiquita leads the way in "user generated content" marketing

A hot marketing trend at the moment is to invite customers to participate in the creation of labels and products.
In Sweden people have been invited to create OLW chips flavors and vote for the best one. And last Christmas the iconic chocolate box Aladdin from Kraft Food made a decision to kick one of the chocolates out and replace it. Instead of upsetting the Swedish population by changing the traditional assortment, they created a contest to let the people decide which of the chocolates who had to be voted out.
In Australia we were all invited to come up with a name for the new version of Vegemite (with cream cheese). It was a nerve-wrecking exercise, since the name that won was hated by everyone. It turned out that Kraft had simply invited everyone to the contest but not to pick the winner, which was horror. They immediately had to change the name again.

Chiquita is another brand that has engaged consumers, by letting people create new stickers on bananas. Users create and post their versions of faces in the oval brand sticker, with some 25,000 faces were posted in the first six months.Eighteen winners will be chosen and featured on bananas in November.

Another example is Knorr Bouillon, now soliciting consumer-generated content for its labels – in the form of recipes. The Spanish-language community site set up for the contest,  received thousands of rice-centric recipes from which three semifinalists won $2,000 each and the opportunity for their faces to appear on Knorr's 2.2-pound bouillon jar labels. "Recipes with Knorr products have been passed down from mother to daughter, from friend to friend — it is a multigenerational, everlasting tradition," says Knorr Marketing Director Donna Barker.
The phenomenon is called crowdsourcing or user generated content (UGC) and is the way to engage people, make people involved and emotionally connected to the brand. In this time, we are not happy with just watching - we want to be a part! We are not happy with just being told - we want to co-create!
If you as a brand does this well, you make your customers happy. People crave attention, to be seen, to be valued. Make us feel that way and you get our love.

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