Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pepsico’s Social Media Transformation

July 29, 2011 | By Quentin Hardy

What kind of assumptions should a traditional consumer products company make about how much social media will change its business? At Pepsico, the assumption is that social media will change pretty much everything. The trick is to figure out how that will happen, and find cost-efficient ways to learn what is valuable.

“Long term, every product may be a computer, with a small chip inside the packaging for inventory data or a consumer message,” says Bonin Bough, director of social media at Pepsico (who also contributes to Forbes here). “We have opportunities for the package to be a kind of two-way media. We may be deploying more technology than Apple -we can have relationships with consumers like we’ve never had before.”

There is a lot of learning between here and there, but the point is to start engaging. I recently spent a couple of days looking at Pepsico’s efforts in social media. It’s a big, diffuse effort, involving hundreds of brands, from Pepsi and Propel to Quaker Oats and Doritos a la Turca –a brand of Doritos in Turkey, one of 200 countries where Pepsico operates. Pepsico has a significant presence not just in the grains and fruit of Fritos corn chips and Tropicana orange juice, but in an expanding Russian dairy business and grains, like drinkable oatmeal in Latin America.

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