Bacon? Bacon, bacon, BACON!
Wait! What do you mean you were only joking? I can’t actually buy bacon-flavored mouthwash? What a cruel April Fool’s Day joke. In a stunt that has gone viral on social media for a couple of years now, Procter & Gamble seems to be unveiling bacon as the latest in trendy, savory flavors for mouth refreshment.
How did this new product hoax go viral while so many other new product launches fail to succeed? In the Heath brothers’ book “Made To Stick,” they lay out a communication framework for lasting ideas:
Years ago—sadly—bacon was just bacon. Now, even though this mouthwash is an April Fool’s Day joke, bacon is a flavor in all sorts of new products. We, the bacon-lovers of Escalent, heartily embrace the inclusion of bacon in new products. Those of us who fancy ourselves adept in the kitchen have held employee bake-offs. Bacon brownies, anyone? Savory, salty and sweet simultaneously? Yes, please!
Bacon-flavored products that are designed thoughtfully to be “sticky” ideas (and actually taste good) endure while others remain only a joke. Ideation research, an area that plays very heavily in flavor and other trend identification, is a strong suit of our qualitative group.
Quality ideation research underpins many of today’s stickiest ideas. The goal in ideation work is to effectively lead a cross-functional set of your internal brand stakeholders and sets of creative external participants through a series of divergent and then convergent thinking exercises.
Ideation is serious work, but we make sure it is also a lot of fun so ideas can flow readily and the sticky ones can be identified.
The need for strong ideation work spans all industries. Take the case of an established health savings account (HSA) company that came to us wanting to maintain its leadership role by offering cutting-edge products with best-in-class features. Ideation was especially challenging given the structure of the HSA market with direct-to-consumer as well as B2B2C markets each figuring heavily. We are fortunate to have qualitative moderators with robust financial services expertise to lead such ideation.
Through a series of ideation sessions with executives, employees, and then consumers, a massive idea bank of hundreds of product and service ideas was generated to fill the development pipeline—some viable shorter-term, some viable longer-term, and others culled entirely. The most promising ones moved into quantitative testing.
The financial services industry has experienced significant feature “creep” in the past few years, with an array of new features that consumers aren’t aware of, don’t value and/or don’t use. We didn’t want that to be the case with any of these new HSA features. Applying a proprietary quantitative model, we determined the viability and ROI of each new product or feature to estimate take rates. Some of the pipeline ideas would be small evolutions of varying ROIs; others real industry revolutions. All of these distinctions were made clear before the company started implementing.
While bacon-flavored mouthwash may remain a joke, for now it’s proof that well-thought-out ideas can remain sticky for years. Ask us how Escalent can help you bring home the next bacon and other “sticky” ideas for your brand. For more information, contact Chris Barnes or Heather Mitchell.