Smith’s Chips introduces Open Innovation Competition for “the next great flavour”

by | May 25, 2009

As I was running on the treadmill this morning, I found myself watching a television advertisement for an Open Innovation competition from Smith's Snack Foods  (in this country the equivalent of Frito-Lay - we all grew up with Smith's! Indeed, Smith's Snack Food is owned by PepsiCo). I find this an excellent example of Open Innovation - the contest is for any consumer to come up with the flavour for the next range of chips. There is about two months to go to submit a catch-phrase together with a "creative image".

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What I really like about this venture from Smith's is the following:

  • The competition is backed up by a very meaningful financial incentive - the winner gets $30,000 in cash PLUS 1% of the sales revenue of the brand. Very motivating.
  • The website design is excellent - smart, refreshing, web 2.0-like, and inviting. You are not disappointed when you land at the site.
  • The campaign is backed up by significant media advertising and exposure. Not only is there paid advertising, but tonight one of Australia's most popular current affairs shows -A Current Affair -  is doing a segment on this campaign. So the marketeers at Smith's are very smart - they are looking to get this campaign as much publicity as possible.
  • The top four flavors will be chosen by a panel of judges and then these flavors will be put to the public for voting. Just excellent. A combination of seeking the solution to a problem from the consumer, and then involving the consumer in the voting process
  • Each week the twenty five most interesting entries will be posted for public discussion. This really will generate ongoing interest in the competition

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The ingredients for success (no pun intended) of this promotion are certainly there - Open Innovation, financial reward, clever marketing, ongoing excitement, crowd sourcing in the voting process - and even a pilot trial of the top four contenders.

I will certainly be watching the outcomes from this promotion with great interest.

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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