How MROCs helped Heinz to bring their consumer to life

Last week I already shared a review of the the Insights Valley Europe summit, offering 3 main trends that currently dominate our industry. One of the hot topics at the event was ‘Communities’, Discovery Channel and BBC News shared some great cases of how they ran their communities. Today I’d like to share more insights on the presentation of me and Joella Marsman from Heinz. Together, me and Joella presented a Heinz community case, with a specific focus on how to grow the value of a long-term community within an organization.

In search for a direct consumer line

For many years HJ Heinz Netherlands had been using qualitative and quantitative research methods which gain consumer insights. Of course all these studies are very useful for gaining consumer insights, but the information is often rather fragmented and abstract, which makes it difficult to boost consumer feeling. Heinz set the goal to really inspire marketers and create a platform where marketers and consumers can be in direct contact, thus making consumers more tangible and giving marketers a chance to experience consumer reality first hand. This resulted in the Dutch ongoing research community in 2008 referred to today as “Food&zo”.

Building a Wall of Fame for our community members

Heinz communityTo grow the value of this food community, the first step is to keep the community active and turn it into a source of inspiration for all key stakeholders. To get the best out of our members, we use various tools & techniques to create engaging experiences on the community. For example, one of the key motivators for members to join this community is impact on future offerings. Sharing feedback is fundamental to boost this feeling. However, we wanted to make this feedback more explicit. That’s why we designed our very own “Wall of Fame” in a separate section on the community. This gallery displays all products and campaigns that were inspired by the community and that our members collaborated on. This wall of fame is a great way to make each other proud of what you have accomplished together.

Engage internal stakeholders with great stories & inspire with actionable insights

Once the community is engaged and active, we must not forget about the colleagues at Heinz. To bring the community results to life within the organization, we have to go further than simply sharing reports. One technique to engage the marketers is by inviting them to participate in a quiz about a new trend or topic. In this game-like experience, marketers learn new insights through instant feedback. And it’s also a great way to start a healthy competition between colleagues. Other ways to bring the consumer to life is by spreading stories in the office (offline). Engaging stories are not enough, though. In order for the community to prove its full value, stories should always be in balance with actionable insights.

Growing the value of an ongoing community is an evolution, not a revolution

Today 9 brand teams collaborate with the food community on a structural basis. However, at the start of such a community, it is better to kick off with a pilot for a smaller group. From there, it’s important to gradually grow the value of the community, so users can experience the benefits of the community for themselves.
For more learnings & examples from the Food Community, please view our presentation of Insights Valley Europe below, or contact me.

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