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Posts from the ‘Innovation’ category

Kiip, a leading mobile marketing and monetization platform, and Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, announced that they have successfully launched the first-ever blockchain mobile ad campaign.

This is a significant innovation for two reasons: it makes brand content more relevant to consumers and is a tremendous advance in fostering transparency within the mobile ad supply chain. The campaign is built around Kiip’s moments-targeting technology, which is being leveraged by AB InBev to break free of traditional interruptive advertising techniques to better connect with consumers in engaging, meaningful ways.


“We’re building a company to last for the next 100 plus years and that can only be done by disrupting existing paradigms through innovation and putting consumers at the heart of everything we do,” said Lucas Herscovici, AB InBev’s Global Marketing Vice President of Consumer Connections, Insights and Innovation.

“As the world’s largest brewer and brand builders, we take our responsibility for the stewardship of the category seriously through our approach to advertising and the ways we create meaningful experiences for consumers with our brand content. This campaign will increase transparency in programmatic ad buying and support the ways our brands earn consumers attention.”

AB InBev’s campaign — featuring the Bud LightBudweiserMichelob UltraEstrella JaliscoStella Artois, and Bud Light Lime-a-Rita brands — uses Kiip’s unique ad targeting capabilities to move toward an earned and owned mobile media strategy that relies on data to target and deliver content to the right audiences, while moving away from the historic model focused on interrupting consumers.

The campaign uses nascent technology, in the form of Kiip’s new “Single Ledger” blockchain product, to address fundamental issues, such as mobile ad fraud. Single Ledger enables all players in mobile ad sales chain to view and audit campaign data directly.

The technology allows for simple and clear reconciliation of campaign performance data among all parties, eliminating potential for fraudulent reporting by third parties and ad servers, and streamlining what has historically been a painful, laborious reporting and payment process.

In addition, Kiip’s Single Ledger helps AB InBev deliver on its commitment to ensuring every ad dollar is well spent on establishing meaningful connections with consumers in moments that matter, and at the times they are most likely looking to engage with AB InBev’s brands.

Read more at Marketing Communication News:

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The Starbucks Corporation could not be a more perfect example of the proverb, “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” Rampant global expansion, along with diversification and risk taking in the areas of product testing, employee relations, technology, and sustainability, have all propelled the coffee mega-chain into lifestyle-brand status.

But what happens when sales are up and the heart of your business—customer traffic to your store—is down? Starbucks’ 2018 first-quarter fiscal earnings report showed net revenues of $6.1 billion but also revealed a company that struggled to attract holiday shoppers (holiday traffic was down and limited-time holiday beverages and merchandise underperformed).


President and CEO Kevin Johnson, who took over for Howard Schultz early in 2017, says the decline in transaction comps is fixable. “We have a clear understanding of the issue and are accountable to fix it just as we did with throughput at peak,” he said during the first-quarter earnings call. “The strength of our core customers, the performance of our business through the morning and lunch daypart, and upcoming food, beverage, and digital innovation, gives us confidence that we will be successful in doing so.”

But how?

Perhaps some answer can be found in Starbucks’ official mission statement, which it rolled out in 2008: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” Here are five ways Starbucks plans to infuse that human connection into its future strategy.

Read more at QSR Magazine:

Kellogg, known for Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops cereals, says millennials are hot for its frozen foods, helping boost the company’s sales. Sales of Eggo waffles and MorningStar Farms veggie burgers, both in the frozen foods aisle, jumped more than 10 percent during the first three months of the year, Kellogg said Thursday.

“The millennial generation really thinks about frozen differently than other generations,” said CEO Steve Cahillane. “It’s kind of the new fresh and the new convenient.”

kellogg'sArtificial colors and flavors were recently removed from Eggo, which helped increase sales, Cahillane said. And the packaging of Eggo and MorningStar were also updated.

“We expect frozen foods to continue to grow,” said Cahillane.

Kellogg, which has struggled with falling sales as more people avoid processed food, has been working to change consumer perceptions of its food. In October, it bought protein bar maker RXBar, which promotes its bars as being made with just egg whites, fruits and nuts.

In the first quarter, Kellogg said total revenue rose nearly 5 percent from a year ago to $3.4 billion, beating Wall Street expectations. Besides frozen foods, RXBar and Pringles also sold well, the Battle Creek, Michigan-based company said.

It reported net income of $444 million, or $1.27 per share, in the three months ending March 31. That’s up from $266 million, or 75 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted earnings came to $1.19 per share, 12 cents above what analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Shares of Kellogg Co., which are down about 16 percent in the last year, rose 2.5 percent to $58.08 on Thursday.

Read more at US News & World Report:

Two years ago at the Housewares Show in Chicago, I saw the emergence of a new trend called guided cooking. At the show, companies like CucinialeOliso and Hestan Cue showed off early efforts to combine sensors, software, precision heating and content in an orchestrated experience that guides home cooks through the creation of a meal.

guided cooking the spoon

As I said of my effort to make salmon with the Hestan Cue, using a guided cooking system for the first time was something of a revelation:

“…this combination of the pan, burner and app and the guidance system they had built that really led me to see the possibilities around this new category. I am not a great cook by any stretch of the imagination, but I cooked one of the tastiest pieces of salmon I’ve ever had in about 20 minutes. The experience was enabled through technology, but the technology didn’t take me out of the experience of cooking. Further, I can see as I gain more confidence using a system like this, I can choose to “dial down” the guidance needed from the system to the point I am largely doing most of the cooking by myself (though I don’t know if I’d ever get rid of the automated temperature control, mostly because I’m lazy and it gives me instant “chef intuition).”

Fast forward a couple of years and the guided cooking trend continues to gain momentum. A number of companies talked up new guided cooking platforms at CES in January, from big appliance makers like Whirlpool and LG to big tech platform providers like Google and Amazon.

And at the Housewares show in Chicago this week, guided cooking was everywhere. Hestan Cue, now shipping, was on display this week in the Smart Home pavilion. iCuisine, a startup that utilizes a modular sensor to connect to everyday kitchen tools to a guided cooking app, had its own take on step-by-step cooking instruction. Vorwerk’s Thermomix showed off their all-in-one multicooker with built-in guidance and talked about the company’s online recipe platform, the Cookidoo.

Read more at The Spoon:

Starbucks says it has a plan to reverse a disappointing same-store sales trend.


Same-store sales (stores that have been open at least a year, or comp sales as the industry calls it) increased by only 2 percent during Starbucks fiscal first quarter, which ended Dec. 31. That’s down from a 3 percent increase the same quarter a year before, and down from 9 percent the year before that.

Investors and analysts keep a close eye on comp sales, which Starbucks kept at or above 5 percent until recent years. In 2016, former CEO Howard Schultz called the same-store sales growth slowdown an anomaly and blamed it on that year’s elections.

“Our focus is getting the U.S. business turned back to what we expect,” Starbucks Chief Financial Officer Scott Maw told investors, according to a Factset transcript. “Sometimes we lose focus of those long-term growth drivers that make Starbucks a pretty unique long-term investment opportunity.”

Maw went over ways Starbucks plans to stabilize and drive growth in the U.S., including increased personalization, more innovation and better operational execution in stores.

One thing Starbucks has done in recent weeks was to change the way employees are used in stores at different times, not just around peak times, which they adjusted after the problems with mobile ordering bottleneck.

Read more at Biz Journals: