Mars Bar Incubators, Twitter Stories And Voice Commerce With Barcadi
January officially felt like the longest month ever and February whizzed by. Can you believe March is next week? No time to waste, so let’s jump straight to it shall we? Ladies and gentlemen, sit back, relax and sip on your tea as we shine a spotlight on our digital contenders that include a chocolate bar, a little blue bird and a drink named Barcadi.
Mars is at it again. The chocolate giant is extending its internal incubator programme into brand development after its success in testing new marketing ideas. To ensure the company remains relevant and innovative when launching new products, it has created an internal incubator unit, known as the New Venture Studio. The launch comes after the success of the company’s Launchpad open innovation platform, established in 2017, which allows all brand managers within the Mars group to submit a business case for testing and evaluation.
For big food companies looking to gain exposure to new, exciting, potentially faster-growing categories, starting an incubator or accelerator is becoming increasingly popular.
This strategy ultimately introduces big businesses to young challenger brands who are disrupting the market. They may even have first option on taking an equity stake in the future of the business. It’s an alternative, cheaper way of tapping into the food industry and trends of the future, meaning they can have a larger piece of the pie (or chocolate bar) as new ideas come to fruition and be part of the disruption.
Are Twitter Stories coming? it seems that way if a recent acquisition is anything to go by. Twitter has acquired Chroma Labs, the company behind the Chroma Stories app — a short-form video and photo creation tool that offers Stories templates and filters for creating Stories on various social sites.
Stories have been around for some time on Instagram, Facebook, and even youtube, Snapchat first brought them to life. At the beginning of the “Stories” inception, they were initially a big draw for younger users, but that’s no longer the case. Stories have become a key tool for companies, gaining broad appeal across platforms like Instagram and Facebook from consumers. Twitter is the one major social platform that lacked any similar storytelling feature — but that is likely to change now that the company has added the Chroma Labs team to its product group.
Believe it or not, Twitter Inc. has a perfectly respectable mission statement.
Our mission: To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.
Stories could potentially give people more creative ways to express themselves in conversations on Twitter which could mean a Stories feature is coming to Twitter — or, at the very least, more creative tools for posting content. Either way, marketers should pay attention to Twitter updates as these changes could offer some creative ways to spice up wordy content.
Voice commerce is the next big thing in retail so it makes sense that marketers are paying attention to sonic branding. Bacardi is experimenting with voice commerce and ASMR-inspired ads leading its chief marketer to say that the “sound” of an ad is now just as, if not more, important than how an add “looks.”
The drinks giant has been undergoing a massive digital transformation looking to drive more sales through e-commerce channels. Part of this transformation has experimented with voice commerce along the way. Bacardi was one of the first to trial Amazon’s Alexa Skill through its Patron brand of tequila. Called ‘Ask Patron’ as it offered cocktail recipes to those that engaged as well as facts about tequila.
Now is the time for every brand, big and small, to take their knowledge of sonic branding to the next level, and hone their unique sound. Brands that are at the forefront of innovation are starting to consider how a brand sounds versus how it looks.
We are predicting that Voice-based platforms and messages communicated through audio will become more desirable for audiences, especially those looking to reduce visual stimulation in their day to day lives. That’s why it will be important for brands to start crafting a distinct and identifiable sonic identity that they can start implementing into their own marketing strategy.
That’s our rundown complete. In other Ecrubox news, if you are interested in learning more about the latest trends in e-commerce? Why not join our co-founder at next week’s event hosted by The Marketing Meet-Up.