South by Southwest, or what the "in the know people" refer to as the ultimate in Cool
You probably have heard the term SXSW or seen it on print.. so what is it? South By Southwest (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals "...offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery." Currently SXSW is running in Austin and has attracted over 20,000 attendees. It is a quirky mix of tech and lifestyle and is a a new product launch pad for the tech industry. It is the pinnacle of "buzz" and the hope of viral messaging for brands. If you still don't get it.. don't worry since I am still getting my mind wrapped around the mashup of music and tech.
New Product Launch Expert Julie Hall of Schneider Associates has been following the new product launches at SXSW several of which are food... no surprise since food is everywhere these days and digital is super hot in the CPG food sector. The Food Industry Summit focused on digital marketing and the effect on new product launches and changing consumer behavior due to mobile technologies. Look at the early entry of Whole Foods to their new edgy Dark Rye site that is solely focused on consumer engagement... notice there is no retail promotional efforts here... just lifestyle focus that hopefully lands more customers into their neighborhood Whole Foods store.
Doritos Jacked Launches at SXSW
Doritos at a tech conference? Sure thing... since it is a hand held snack to keep us satiated while we while away the time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr... or probably it is a meal for the techies sitting at their PC's developing programming from the next greatest iPhone app or Facebook rival. The Doritos Facebook site only has a teaser of Jacked, so we only know the flavors and the fact that it is a thicker Dorito... maybe less mess while we blog or play games on ouriPad?.
According Julie, the SXSW conference features free food and sampling, from other national brands such as Miller Lite and Monster Energy. The new product launch of Doritos JACKED, will be displayed in a six-story tall pop-up vending machine that needs giant oversized quarters to dispense the tasty snack food. They want to bet the buzz out on the Smoky Chipotle BBQ or Enchilada Supreme flavors... are you hungry yet? I wonder how many calories are being launched at SXSW.
Julie also found that SXSW has a Tex-Mex Taco Table manned by local restaurants... another example of the growth in Hispanic flavor profiles. Not to be left out, FedEx delivered food from their food truck.
Pesico is embracing digital marketing through a huge brain storming session with an enormous white board... sort of a "brain writing" session to get as much input from early adopters. No doubt Pepsi will walk away with future ideas for launching products and engaging their customers through social and digital mobile apps.
SXSW is the pinnacle of "coll" and of course Pepscio calls this their unconference. According to their website Pepsic says "What If? Unconference, where attendees will collectively brainstorm ideas about what the future might look like by applying digital solutions in surprising ways. Daily What If? Unconference insights, photos and videos will be captured at PepsiCo.com/SXSW." I feel cool just reporting on this!