Start Up Blog

Kraft needs lesson in ‘Crowd Sourcing’

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on September 30, 2009

The bungled Kraft Vegemite iSnack 2.0 comes down to a really simple problem. Something they (Kraft) do all the time, and I should know, I used to work there.

They can never seem to fully embrace new ideas in their entirety. They want to innovate, but leave the final decisions to senior management. They tend ignore research, or take snippets from consumers. They only ever go half way.

Vegemite iSnack 2.0

Latest news is that they are changing the name – your jar might be a collectors item in 10 years!

What Kraft should’ve done:

Not ask for ideas to chose from, but let the crowd choose and vote – like Digg! It’s crowd sourcing 101. If you want an opinion from the crowd, then you’ve got to let them decide too. That way you have them ‘on your side’.  To choose a brand name for 48,000 is as pointless as letting a very uncool CEO decide. Which is ultimately what they did.

Startup blog says: Embrace the crowd entirely, or don’t bother engaging them.

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6 Responses

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  1. Michael Fox said, on September 30, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Trouble is, if you let the crowd vote you can end up with the situation NASA found themselves in where a group of people game the voting – http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Comedian_Stephen_Colbert_wins_NASA_space_station_name_contest

    And you really don’t think Kraft did it on purpose? You’d have a better idea than most having worked there, but this sort of publicity can only be good for sales. I’d not heard of the new vegemite until a few days ago and now I want to try it. :D

  2. Scott Carpenter said, on October 1, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Kraft have pulled a brilliant PR stunt and they are laughing all the way to the bank. The name couldn’t have been any lamer for the hip online crowd, which was dangled tantalisingly waiting for a bite.

    The evidence is in the news article ( http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,27753,26146533-462,00.html )

    “The “iSnack 2.0” jars would not be recalled and thousands of jars already containing the new label would continue to be distributed around the country for several months.”

    Millions of Vegemite jars are sold each year, yet only “thousands” of the “new label” were produced. iSnack was never meant to be around for long, but it has been delivered a healthy return for Kraft – hook, line and sinker.

    • Steve Sammartino said, on October 1, 2009 at 1:01 am

      Scott, It’s an interesting take. One I don’t believe given who and what I know at Kraft. I Worked there for more than 5 years. In any case I’ve put a few calls in to get the low down on what really transpired. I’ll post the actual ‘truth’ as soon as I find out.

      Steve.

  3. Michael Franchise said, on October 2, 2009 at 2:37 am

    I want to try it too! iSnack 2.0? You must be kidding. Sort of like iPhone and Web 2.0 all rolled into one…. and at the end of the day, it is only Vegemite
    The world would be a boring place without this sort of stuff going, though.

  4. Michael Fox said, on October 2, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Even Hitler doesn’t like the name: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-GNilv65Ew
    ;)

  5. [...] Shared Kraft needs lesson in ‘Crowd Sourcing’. [...]


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