Pespsico: from crisps to “innovation incubator”

PespsiCo UK, the company behind famous CPG brands such as Gatorade, 7up or Walkers may not be a high-tech giant as such but it has a knack for joint innovation anyway. The company indeed created an innovation challenge entitled PepsiCo10, the aim of which is to reward 10 digital entrepreneurs in the fields of social commerce and mobile technologies out of 130 appplicants.

The challenge gives these 10 startups a unique opportunity to boost their businesses as well as “drive business value for PepsiCo”. The challenge is about creating social commerce or mobile applications related to PepsiCo products; each of these 10 business ventures will be granted the status of a “strategic business partner, working closely with [PespsiCo] teams, internally and externally”. Winners will also be awarded £10,000 in cash but PespiCo will take no equity in those businesses.

It’s such a clever idea, one wonders why a high tech giant hasn’t yet thought about it! While launching this programme in Europe (after last year’s successful creation of the US contest), PepsiCo is promoting itself as an “innovation incubator”.

There are 5 suggested categories in this challenge:

  • Social Media Community-based Marketing,
  • Mobile Marketing: On the Phone, Tablets and Beyond,
  • Place-based Technology,
  • Online Video and Advertising,
  • Gaming / Learning Platforms.

Partners of this campaign include high tech experts from OMD UK, Highland Capital Partners, Wired and Mashable. Last but not least, through this challenge, PepsiCo willl be saving on the development of innovative technologies which will help them promote their own brands … a win-win challenge and a clever Marketing trick!

more information about the 10 selected start-ups at

Chinese Internet industry ready to grow beyond borders (1/2)

Attribution Chinese flag photo, some rights reserved by Philip Jägenstedt

by Alban Fournier ( QQ ID: 1557637787

Alban Fournier is a graduate from Essec Management School in Paris. He has proficiency in Management, Change Management, Marketing and Consulting services. He has worked on various engagements with Schneider Electric and Tencent, the leading Chinese Internet company.

China will be the World’s next Internet giant!

Which Internet company generates the greatest number of micro transactions for virtual goods on a daily basis? If they were asked this question, most of our Western readers would undoubtedly mention Google, or Facebook and they would be wrong. In this piece, I will explain why China is virtually the only country that is able to compete with the United States of America with regard to the growth of its Internet industry.

China has the world’s largest Internet audience thanks to its population, the world’s biggest with more than 1.3 billion people. With the strong increase of its Gross Domestic Product, extraordinary engineering talent, plenty of venture capital, Chinese entrepreneurs and large firms have now the resources to compete worldwide.

What makes the the Chinese market stand out is that Chinese people use intensively their mobile phones. They are not just using their devices to communicate with other people : they also play games, issue payments and perform many other things online.

Overall, Asia is ahead of us with regard to the usage of mobile devices, Japan and Korea being the most advanced countries. This high and ever growing usage of mobile communications empowers local players such as China Mobile (70% of the market), China Unicom (20%) and China Telecom (10%).

[China Telecom phone booth image AttributionNoncommercialShare Alikesome rights reserved by mjaniec]

According to CNNIC[1], the total number of wireless Internet users in China reached 302.7 million at the end of 2010, representing 66.2% of the local Internet user base. Such high equipment rates were mainly driven by the superior wireless data infrastructure in the country and the availability of mobile applications such as WAP portals, Instant Messaging (IM) and social games. Secondly, while traditional Text Messaging (SMS) continued to develop after a year of strong growth in 2009, microblogging enjoyed explosive growth and emerged as a major social media contender in China.

Telecom is still a local industry in China … as of now

A characteristic of the Chinese technology industry however is that few of those Chinese companies, however successful, have decided to go beyond their own borders. There are counter examples with firms like Huawei which has now managed to become a global company and has clients in many countries, namely by providing infrastructure equipment to Western network and service providers.

And the winner is … Tencent

Getting back to the question I asked at the beginning of this post, the World’s leading Internet company in terms of the number of online transactions on a daily basis is neither Google or Facebook; it is a Chinese company and is name is Tencent. The next part of this piece will be dedicated to their success story.

… to be continued.

________________ [1]

Amex: members project case study

On March 29, at Blogwell, I attended that presentation by Pepper Roukas, American Express on the members project campaign

Amex has focused a lot about brand management on social media, but this particular business case is about how to drive business through social media.

Amex actually invented the term “cause marketing” with its restoration programme of the statue of Liberty in 1983 and many others in 93, 2003 an 2007 with the members project.

The questions was how to create a differentiated cause-campaign? The answer to that question was to educate consumers that small steps can make a big difference in their communities and provide the enablement tools.

Fish where the fish are

Facebook was the place where Amex’s fans were, so Amex used it as the main starting point.  The focus was on more engagement with members, sharing content and initiate dialogues. Members were encouraged to volunteer and earn membership points and donate them. Amex therefore helped people support their favourite charities.

Donations could be done straight from the card or by transferring membership points.

Wall postings

Wall postings were personalised by members, posting photos (right) but also videos. more videos were used by members than ever before. A number of apps were developed with which people could share their stories. The campaign was carried away in 360 format with on-air TV commercials and charity-themed sweepstakes. A partnership was set up with the Glee TV series.

All other social media channels owned by Amex were used to relay the campaign too.


  • increased brand relevancy and appraisal, namely with young people
  • more engaging content
  • listening and being more responsive
  • learn, experiment and iterate quickly
  • giving the community a role to foster advocacy

Describing The Social Web In Just 5 Tags

A while ago, I was asked to describe the Social Web in just 5 keywords. Here are the 5 tags which I have chosen to summarise it:

  • disclosure: the social web is about changing the way we communicate. It is therefore about transparency and stating clearly who you are, what you do and who your work for.
  • openness: is in my eyes one of the essential qualities required for those wanting to use the Social Web for business. It requires that you give away your “secrets”, and share openly. A creative Commons license is key. All the principles explained by Seth Godin in unleashing the ideavirus.
  • collaboration: in the etymological sense of the term, i.e. in Latin: cum laborare (to work together), that is to say that all users become contributors; UGC is at the heart of the Social (and even non social) Web.
  • quid pro quo: the social web and collaboration is about exchanges online and also off-line. Collaboration takes place when people share things together.
  • mutual benefit: lastly, collaboration implies that all contributors benefit from the common work. This is crucial because in the social web, there should be no winners and losers, just winners. If you don’t believe in that, maybe the Social Web is not made for you, and the fact that it’s fashionable isn’t really important (read meatball sundae).

why I chose to come to Likeminds and my key messages on Social Media

Here is a video clip about my keynote pitch at Likeminds in Exeter, courtesy of Devon Video Production. Their Website mentions that “[they]create exceptional digital video and communication resources” and I must admit that this video is really well produced. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed keynoting at Likeminds.

Don’t miss any of these other videos from Social Media leaders like Chris Brogan, Olivier Blanchard, John Bell, Joanne Jacobs, and Jonathan Akwue. I particularly liked Chris’s point about the fact that Social Media will soon be like a phone, like all these things we use and can’t even remember they are there … almost natual.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine