May 17, 2017

Ceding Control To Your Customers

Customization is the trend de jour when it comes to the food world these days (actually, let’s be honest, it’s a trend throughout all retail industries).  However, for food businesses the realities of customization may not be feasible – especially when ingredient and nutrition labels come into play.   

Oreo, yes – that Oreo of your childhood, has come up with a unique way to offer customization by giving their customers control of choosing the next cookie flavor.  Using social media and the hashtag #myoreocreation, Oreo has invited cookie lovers to create the next flavor and offers a $500,000 price to the recipe that is ultimately chosen.

This is not unlike what Lays has done in the past with their Do Us A Flavor campaign where Lays lovers concoct flavors for the chip with one ultimately being crowned champion and being turned into a real Lays chip flavor that is sold on retail store shelves.

While you may or may not be able to offer a cash price, you can still take a page from this playbook and engage your loyal users and customers by inviting them to create flavors for your product.  This could be as casual as asking them what flavor they like better out of several to choose from to an informal Facebook poll on what the next flavor should be. Alternatively, you can go all out and ask your customers to submit recipes – even without a cash price per say, you may find that your customers are so excited to be part of a product they love that they are eager to share their ideas (and even more excited to see it come to life if you ultimately choose their recipe).

In today’s hyperconnected world, there are a number of ways to engage with customers not just from a customer service standpoint but also by asking them for feedback and ideas about what they’d like to see next from your company.  This can be a great way to stay on top of the trends that are important to your customers and, if nothing else, can give you great insight into what it is they need and want.

This seems to be the perfect time to ask what types of articles you’d like to see more of from this site.  Shoot me an email at info (at) smallfoodbiz (dot) com or share your thoughts below in the comments.  The more I know about what questions and issues you’re facing in your business, the better I can craft the content here to meet your needs.

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