The NOW Gen

CPG

PepsiCo Labs: Faster, Stronger, Better through Tech Innovation

Innovation, start-ups, and the everchanging consumer’s expectations are challenges the NOW Generation brands are experiencing. In this episode, Jenny Oh, GM of PepsiCo Labs, tells us about everything that they are doing to integrate new technology from dynamic and innovative tech startups to launch one of the world’s best-known CPGs for the future. From looking for solutions, and having quick trials, to understanding data that allows them to find the best fit for their consumer needs. Her conversation is delightful and filled with knowledge. Listen to this episode to learn more about her approach to life and work.

Guest

Jenny Oh

KEY POINTS:

  • Her role in Pepsico Labs.
  • Emerging Tech Solutions.
  • Constantly changing consumer demands and expectations.
  • Using data to effectively target your audience.
  • Brand innovation.
  • Having fun in what you do.

RELEVANT QUOTES:

“So just to explain, in a nutshell, what we do at PepsiCo labs, in my role, we’re all about bringing in emerging tech solutions, really focusing on startups that solve critical business problems for Pepsi.”

“One key area is enabling our business to respond to, you know, the constantly changing consumer demands and expectations.”

“If you think about a company like PepsiCo and the areas where consumer expectations and demands are evolving, I think you can kind of think about it in three buckets. One is around our product. The second bucket is around our brands. And then the third one, which increases by the day, is around, kind of social values.”

“So with the wealth of data out there, consumers more and more wanna be spoken to in a way that resonates with them. And so if we can use that data in an effective way to provide you the content that you want, I think that’s another effective way and tools that we’ve brought in to enable personalization at scale.”

“And I think brands like Pepsi need to test and learn. Now, I think we’re at the stage now in the hype cycle where we can test and it doesn’t have to be, you know I think people are forgiving of certain misses at this stage.”

“We go out looking for the solution and while things are quickly evolving, some of the things that we look for are building competitive advantage and building an advantage that is sustainable for some period of time. So, you know, while there may be hype around certain things, we wanna make sure that it’s a solution.”

“I actually consider it successful that we don’t let every company that we pilot get through to scale up because that would not be a workable model.”

“And I think traditionally CPG companies have thought about innovation as in, okay, what products are we putting out there, but with the quickly changing piece of technology today, it’s really and again, kind of on that point, technology is no longer just in the realm of it. So it’s really every single, as you mentioned, every single area of our business is touched by this culture of innovation.”

“I think the other part has been having fun in our roles, which is kind of novel in some ways, I think you have fun in your role. And everyone on my team super loves what they do. So I think that enthusiasm carries through every time we start a program and we partner up with our different business partners.”

Brand Purpose and Engaging Marketing Strategies for The NOW Gen

Client engagement is essential for any brand, but it should always come with solutions. Jos Harrison, Global Head of Brand Experience and Design at Reckitt, tells us all about connection. His experience in different industries, from interior design to consumer packaged goods, has given him a broad understanding of this matter. Jos also talks about the way brands manage to connect with people on The NOW Gen and create a meaningful purpose and connection between them. This episode is full of invaluable insights and great tips.

Guest

Jos Harrison

KEY POINTS:

  • From the interior design industry to the CPG and OTC industry.
  • Delivering solutions is of more importance than engagement.
  • Engagement needs to have an inner reason than just connecting.
  • Brand-consumer engagement comes from understanding their needs.
  • Changes in the creative industry are the most rewarding.

RELEVANT QUOTES:

“I don’t think there’s such a thing as a low engagement category. If we are asking people to hand over their hard-earned cash, uh, in exchange for a product or service, then it’s simply not that engagement. You know, it’s, it’s something that we, we as brand owners have to respect. I think we’ve got to deliver solutions that, um, that can engage with people all the way through their journey.”

“The purpose has to sit at the heart of the engagement between the brand and that that end user because if it doesn’t have a reason to exist why would I buy it? Why would I engage with it? I have hundreds of choices plus I can choose to find my own making a solution myself necessarily.”

“Everyone is managing their own individual brand platforms.”

“I think that demonstrating your empathy with the person that’s trying to solve a problem can come in 70 different ways. And that’s what tends to generate those little moments of gratification, because that person feels that you actually care as a brand. You prepare to take action based on that.”

“The constant changing is always massively and refreshing. And I think anyone in any creative industry probably feels that same constant refresh of the challenge, which is brilliant. I would have to say that the work I do now is by far the most rewarding.”