25th Jun 2022
Global innovation can’t live without cultural intelligence.
Innovation is a key component of any organisation at various points of their life cycle to remain relevant in the long-term, whether they are looking to further engage current customers or reach new audiences. But in a global and cross-cultural environment, this isn’t an easy feat.
There is a real need for companies to embed themselves into culture and use it as a starting point for their innovation projects. Patching an innovation/product concept to make it acceptable across markets and communities isn’t sufficient to create long-term success.
In the FMCG (food and beverage) industry, there is a lot of talk around “customer/consumer centricity”. We, at Creative Culture, focus on “culture centricity”, which we feel is one and the same thing. It is about understanding people, the context that surrounds them, and their behaviours in granularity in order to best meet their needs.
Our CEO Mélanie Chevalier hosted a live discussion with Juan Patricio Boido Senior Brand Manager for Eggo at the Kellogg Company for the Global Innovation Forum‘s (GIF London) Virtual event 2022.
“Mélanie: So looking at innovation specifically, can you tell us a bit more about the realms of innovation that you’re involved in and also if you’ve seen a difference in how brands addressed this throughout the last decade, and particularly since the pandemic?
Juan: Yes, and that’s a great question because the pandemic changed the dynamic of how to actually bring innovations to life, because you need to drive as a marketer again, it’s by the penetration or the buyer, right? Those are the problems of a marketer. So when you do an innovation, you’re trying to bring something new into the marketplace. So that’s how you do that. The pandemic created a lot of constraints, and that in itself is like, well, how can I share this innovation with the audience, with my consumers if I don’t have the space? Because actually they are locked down in their homes or they cannot reach the store or whatever that may be. And you’ve seen that in the market in the past few years. Many innovations failed, not probably because there were bad ideas. It’s just because they didn’t get the trial they deserve or they needed to be nurtured going back to this cultivated concept. So when you don’t have that opportunity, you need to actually tap more into the culture on the pull side, instead of less of the push, more of the pull. So try to actually tap into that pull. How do you do that through culture?
Like, when marketers give this brief to agencies, like, make it cool. What does it mean to be cool that you’re tapping into a cultural element, whether it’s something that a segment, it could be a generation, it could be gender, it could be whatever that may be that you’re tapping into. Like, everyone has those four elements of culture, so they have the sets of norms, sets of values, language, and symbols. How do you talk to them? What are you trying to convey? What are you trying to tap? That’s the key to my opinion, how during the pandemic, people were trying on great brands with no heritage, by the way, so that’s when you see that they did it, that they achieved that, they tap into those cultural elements to actually get the pull and be an absolute success, despite the pandemic. So they bought it online. So getting an innovation to be tried online, that’s awesome. Like, you haven’t touched the product and you’re buying it online. Well, that’s because of the cultural element. And when you see brands and we’ll talk about it later, probably, but when you see brands with no heritage at all, like zero heritage coming out of the blue and taking over a lot of market share, that means that actually they tap into something big of culture.
And we can name many examples. So the challenge for big brands is how do you actually stay relevant and stay cool? It’s basically culture. At the end of the day, the cool factor is culture. It’s a cultural one.”
You can watch the full discussion here:
About Juan Patricio Boido:
Juan Patricio Boido is a Senior Brand Manager for Eggo at the Kellogg Company. As Kellogg’s Innovation Lead for Eggo, Juan leads the long-term Portfolio Innovation Strategy and Pipeline for growth for the brand. Juan has also worked as the Senior Brand Manager on the Pop-Tarts brand where he led the brand’s strategy & vision, developing and deploying the Brand Book & Vis ID Guidelines, and launching “What Would Pop-Tarts Do?” new Creative Campaign and Experience Plan to optimise impact across all (multicultural) consumer touchpoints, which include a collaboration with Lyrical Lemonade and the launch of the first Día de Muertos product proposition in the category. Prior to Kellogg’s, Juan developed and deployed Jim Beam’s new visual identity across all global markets and led the Media & Activation plan optimization for Maison Courvoisier at Beam Suntory.
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