New Product Launch Leverages Community Engagement of the Friends of Krispy Kreme eClub
Krispy Kreme's new product launch consists of doughnuts and frozen drinks that are wrapped around a county fair theme.
If you live in an urban area, you may not know that in the exurbs county fairs are annual events that are big deals. Season and/or Themed Launches add excitement to brands. So Krispy developed county fair theme flavors of Caramel Apple Cake Doughnut and Cotton Candy Doughnut during the peak county fair season, August 20 through September 30. Capitalizing on the growth of beverages in QSR's like Dunkin and McCafe, they are also launching Krispy Kreme Frozen Cotton Candy Chiller or Caramel Latte.
Social Media is Sexy. Don't Ignore Email Marketing!
According to the MLS Group latest research Clicks & Cravings: Social Media, Food & Moms, found that moms prefer e-mail over Facebook when engaging with brands. 52% of females and 56% of Moms with children under 13 prefer email. Krispy Kreme believes in email marketing as a powerful consumer engagement platform and has their Friends of Krispy Kreme eclub consisting of over 400,000 members. Members receive email updates on Limited Time Offers, (LTO), special events and promotions.
However the Friends of Krispy Kreme is also an important source of information and brand insights for the company. In other words, they listen to their customers when developing new products which is what all brands should do!
How to Use Email Marketing
A Better Way for New Product Development
I asked Krispy Kreme what was the stimulus for this program? In another words did Krispy see trends or consumer data to support these themed based new products?
"We surveyed our Friends of Krispy Kreme e-club to get some insight as to what trending flavors they would like to see Krispy Kreme incorporate into our offerings. We found that Carnival and County Fair flavors including Cotton Candy and Caramel Apple were amongst the highest. Our research and development team tried a few iterations of doughnuts and beverages and did some sensory tests with both the doughnuts and LTO and people were truly and pleasantly surprised by the recognizable flavors and airy taste of the doughnuts.
They gathered this information through an online survey by asking participants to review a list of potential flavor/flavor combinations and asked to "Indicate how you feel about the flavor or flavor combinations listed below." The choices ranged from Love It to Hate It. The company says "We also ask How likely would you be to purchase these doughnut options? The choices range from Definitely would buy it to Definitely would not buy it. And we also inquire as to How well you think these doughnuts fit with the way you think of Krispy Kreme? Choices range from Fit perfectly to Don't fit at all."
Krispy Kreme says that gathering insights from their communities, Facebook and Friends of Krispy Kreme e-club plays a significant part of our LTO planning. The county Fair product launch will be supported through Pinterest and posting on their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Borrow, Adapt, Adopt
There are so many articles in how to use e-mail marketing that I chose NOT create another article with information you have heard dozens of times. BUT you can learn from the large brands to support your food business. If you have an email list, can't you use it to ask your customers what they would want you to make your new product development more successful? Of course you could. You just have to do it.
There are far too many people who aspire to get into the food business and have their heads in the sand so to speak, focusing on their own little world and thinking what large brands are doing is not applicable for early stage food businesses. This is why so many food entrepreneurs fail. Wrong! My former marketing professor and now my colleague, Richard George, Department Chair Food Marketing at Saint Joseph's University consistently teach Borrow, Adapt and Adopt. Simply put:
- Learn from what others are doing, big brands included
- Take the best of what you see and adapt it for your brand
- Adopt this new knowledge for your brand