Messages les plus consultés

samedi 30 juillet 2011

Nostalgia, nostalgia: Diet Coke + Mentos = 1st huge e-WOM

Remember, remember...

Five years ago, in early summer, the first huge viral effet began on You Tube, thanks to Diet Coke & Mentos. A simple soda (eg. Diet Coke) combined with a candy (eg. Mentos) causes a reaction of carbonated beverage that leads to a geyser. 

According to Wikipedia: "The numerous small pores on the candy's surface catalyze the release of carbon dioxide gas from the soda, resulting in the rapid expulsion of copious amounts of foam. The bottle's narrow neck increases the pressure of the contents, causing a geyser-like effect."

Coca-Cola marketing was slow, if not reluctant, to embrace the idea that a viral effect could run with such a phenomena. But the marketers of Mentos had no such qualms. They quickly invited  two guys (Grobe and Stephen Voltz) from Eepybird.coma website devoted to "Entertainment for curious mind" — to make fountains with Mentos-Diet Coke, near the company's North American headquarters in Erlanger.

In few months, a dozen of backyard experiments became an international cultural phenomenon.  Look at what happens when you combine 200 liters of Diet Coke and over 500 Mentos mints! Grobe and Stephen Voltz are the guys behind this famous video.

To date, 14 051 850 people have seen this video on You Tube. Fantastic ! 

 But, it's not the world record. A Guinness World Record of 2,865 simultaneous geysers was set on October 17, 2010, in an event organized by Perfetti Van Melle (Philippines) at the SM Mall of Asia Complex, in Manila, Philippines.

vendredi 15 juillet 2011

Marketing : Five Rules for a Successful Consumer Co-creation

1. Give a real power to the consumer

With co-creation, one must give the consumer a golden opportunity to express him or herself but also to get involved with all the different steps – like imagining new communication forms or participating in the development of a prototype of a product or service. Not only the opportunity to vote for a product idea or send some tweets or "likes". Practice and knowledge of online communities facilitate and increase the possibility of consumer participation.

2. Co-creating with masses of people does not work

It is wrong to think that it is possible to co-create with any old consumer. One must use methods that allow to identify and screen a specific target of consumers – those which anticipate trends and thrive in co-creation : the lead-users. Being able to pinpoint and describe these individuals – who can foresee market needs and provide the best solutions for brands is an outstanding challenge for marketing research.

Clearly, only this small number of people are inventive and in tune with market desires. It defeats the purpose to carry out co-creation projects with masses of people who will produce varied results, leaving interesting ideas as difficult to locate as a needle in a haystack. Five groups of methods exist in order to identify lead-users.

3. Do not forget: it is the company who leads the innovation process

The main risk is in forgetting that it is above all the company – in particular the research and development (R&D) department – that is responsible for product innovation. You must not think that the consumer can replace this function. Engineers must keep the leadership of innovation. Co-creation stimulates innovation, but does not replace it.

Ideally, good co-creation is a symbiotic relationship with synergy between marketing and R&D departments and the consumer. Co-creation is the source of ideas which nourish the innovation process, which in-turn must continue to be run by the company.

4. Co-creation seen strictly as a trend to follow is inevitably going to fail

Today, some marketing managers are excited not only about the fact that consumers have ideas, but that they are also capable of co-producing, to make well-performing ads, or even develop products. However, certain companies are joining the co-creation movement simply because it is the latest managerial trend: this fad is a little scary. 

If a company is just going to take part because it is trendy, co-creation will not work. On the other hand, if there is a real approach, if there is an exchange with a group of consumers and not just any group of consumers, then it’s really a win-win situation. 

For companies, the 4 important questions to ask are: 
  • How do you choose “good” co-producers? 
  • How do you integrate co-creation into management? 
  • How could co-creation renew the value chain? 
  • How can you share value from co-creation with different stakeholders?

5. Start progressively

Companies that want to get started with co-creation have every reason to do a first test just to experiment and learn from this new strategic process. Before dedicating oneself entirely, these companies should associate themselves with experts in the field, like marketing consultants – and also turn to academic researchers who work on the subject. They can start progressively by doing a first test and then, after correcting the aim, go for the kill!

Excerpts from an Eric Vernette's interview conduct by Indre Liepuoniute and posted on July 11, 2011, e-Yeka

lundi 11 juillet 2011

Marketing : Imagine Better Product Concept with Lead-user or Emergent nature consumer ?

From the rise of "Lead-user" concept...

The Eric Von Hippel's (1986) concept of "lead-user" is clearly innovative and represents a powerful target for marketing. First of all, lead-user “live in the future” relative to representative target-market users, and so "experiencing today what representative users will experience months or years later". Consequently, idea generation studies must identify lead users and learn from them, both within and well beyond intended target markets : "Lead users found outside of a target market often encounter even more extreme conditions on a trend relevant to that target market. They may, therefore, be forced to develop solutions that are novel enough to represent “breakthroughs” when applied to the target market".

A well-known article "Performance Assessment of the Lead User Idea-Generation Process for New Product Development" from G. Lilien, P. Morrison, K. Searls, M. Sonnack and E. Von Hippel has been published in Marketing Science in 2002. It reports authors experience in 3M company. Results show that the lead-user process involves substantial profits for the company. "Annual sales of LU product ideas generated by the average LU project at 3M are conservatively projected to be $146 million after five years—more than eight times higher than forecast sales for the average contemporaneously conducted “traditional” project. Each funded LU project is projected to create a new major product line for a 3M division".

For the idenfication of a lead-user, five methods exist. Unfortunately, research can't determine if they are convergent or divergent. A great challenge for market researcher ! the birth of "Emergent Nature" Consumer

Recently, D. Hoffman, P. Kopalle and Novak T. have proposed in Journal of Marketing Research (2010) a new status for consumer : "Emergent Nature", defined as the "unique capability to imagine or envision how concepts might be developed so that they will be successful in the mainstream marketplace".

Authors distinguished the emergent nature construct from domain-specific lead user status and the dispositional innovativeness trait, as well as related personality traits and information-processing styles, such as openness to new experiences, reflection, verbal and visual processing styles, experiential and rational thinking styles, creativity, and optimism. 

How to identify them ? See our post on this topic.

The concept to improve is a SmartBox, depicted in the left drawing. Four mutually exclusive groups were created : a high emergent nature, an innovativeness, a lead user status and a control group. A total of 24 respondents completed the study. 

Respondents had to read following instructions: 
"Regardless of whether it’s laundry, dry cleaning, groceries, or most anything else, the SmartBox should make home pickup and delivery secure and convenient even if noone is home. Presuming you had a choice of many styles, sizes, and installation locations, please imagine that a device similar to this is on, by, or close to your home—or, if you live in an apartment, that a cluster of them is by your building. Suppose that FedEx, UPS, and the Postal Service as well as grocers, dry cleaners, and anyone else you want to authorize could use it to make secure pickups and deliveries. Built-inintelligence enables authorized deliveries only and sends notification to both consumer and merchant whenever a delivery is made".

631 consumers were randomly selected from a global online panel to evaluate the four concepts. The high emergent concept (M = 1.77) were the more highly rated concept, followed by the high lead user (M = 1.19), high innovativeness (M = –.61), and control group (M = –1.27) concepts.

Results suggest that consumers high in 'emergent nature' are right consumers to use.

Why ? 

These kind of consumer had specific traits and competences, like openness to new experiences, reflection, verbal and visual processing styles, experiential and rational thinking styles, creativity, and optimism. And, as a result, such people "are able to engage both in a process of successful idea generation to enhance original concepts and in logical analysis to refine and develop concepts further". In another words, their intuition and instictive vision lead them to a powerful understanding of new concepts, by visualizing latent uses through a sequence of affective and associative perceptions, and they also engage in logical and analytical efforts to evaluate and refine the concepts.

Our comments

These results are challenging. Nevertheless the measure of lead-user concept used by Hoffman and his colleagues could raise some psychometrics questions.  So, it seriously differs from Franke & al (2006) scale which is considered like the most valide.

Secondly, the smart box concepts have been elicited by only one emergent consumer group and only one lead-user group. Can we generalize these results? Clearly not. To gain a substantial external validity, one needs replications of these studies.

samedi 2 juillet 2011

Pepsi vs Coca-Cola : humor & comparative ads

Tell me, what do you prefer : Pepsi, Coca or....nothing at all ?

Launch : 2008 November - 94 849 Views on You tube(July 2nd 2011)

Launch : 2006 October  - 2 426 295 Views on You tube  (July 2nd 2011)

 Launch : 2006 October - 770 799 Views on You tube (July 2nd 2011)