Frito-Lay scores by personalizing consumer experiences
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
Speaking at the IRI Growth Forum, Jennifer Saenz, chief marketing officer for Frito-Lay North America, said the “world around us continues to change at an incredible pace” and expectations for interaction with brands are set by the extreme individualization allowed by smartphones and other digital phenomena.
The message for brands is that consumers now want and expect:
Personalized experiences: “This doesn’t necessarily mean one-on-one engagement,” but “also listening to [consumers] and offering solutions that are meaningful to them. You can do that on a mass scale.”
Frictionless contact: As an example, Ms. Saenz pointed to Starwood Hotels’ mobile app that lets guests check-in and to use a code to open the door. “There’s no waiting in line; you bypass all check-ins,” she explained.
Contextual relevance: Using intention-based targeting versus demographic-based approaches. Ms. Saenz noted how a 28-year-old man who’s just welcomed a baby into the household “is far more likely to pay attention to an advertisement with a baby than a 28-year-old man who’s just figuring out the dating scene.”
Then, Ms. Saenz said, brands have to deliver these types of experiences in ways that include these characteristics:
Shareworthiness: Experiences should be worth sharing on social media, such as Instagram and Facebook. “It must be beautiful and it must live up to consumer expectations,” she said.
Simplicity: Today’s consumers have little tolerance for “slow and complicated experiences.” Consumers are increasingly valuing time over saving money.
Magic: Not only do individualized experiences need to remove friction and so on, they must do so “in a way that leaves people simply in awe,” Ms. Saenz said. “That’s what makes it hard to stay one step ahead.”
To do this, Frito-Lay searches for “overt” clues to what consumers are doing, such as patterns in the websites they visit and purchase from. It’s also important “to understand latent characteristics, silent signals” of consumer wants and needs, she said, “that give us a peek as to where they might be going next.” Historically, Ms. Saenz conceded, “that’s been challenging.” But “the beauty of today is that data and technology are unlocking a better understanding of those latent characteristics. It’s no longer a guessing game. And you have to listen.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What type of interactions do consumers now want and expect from brands that are different than the past? Which of the three types of characteristics around brand interactions mentioned in the article — shareworthiness, simplicity, magic — do you think is most important to success?