General Mills has creates a portal, called G-WIN Digital, for the public’s ideas on its digital initiatives, including applications and games. Consumers with digital-product ideas can use G-WIN to send their concepts directly to the company’s marketing team.
So, consumers with digital-product ideas can use G-WIN to send their concepts directly to the company’s marketing team. Here’s how it works:
Those just bursting with ideas for a game involving Cheerios or a mobile app for Betty Crocker–or any of the multitude of General Mills brands, including Green Giant, Pillsbury, and Häagen-Dazs–are directed to the innovation portal to share their non-confidential idea, product, company, or technology. Once submitted, GM’s digital marketing group vets the ideas, and status updates are promised within three weeks. From there, a dedicated review team is at the ready to quickly hand intriguing ideas right over to the digital marketing operations. Specific ideas they choose to engage in will likely start out small and experimental with lessons and experiences applied on a broader scale.
Being first in the digital marketing space is important to General Mills:
This past April, it was the first consumer packaged goods company to use a daily deals service, offering consumers in Minneapolis and San Francisco a sampler pack of GM goodies for $20 on Groupon, a 50% discount. Also, in October the company announced an ambitious initiative called Trail View that creates a first-person, street-view style experience of national parks such as the Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon.
And General Mills is trying to act more like a lean start-up than a massive CPG corporation:
Addicks offers the mantra “create, iterate, learn, and scale,” which, he says, means becoming an agile, learning organization. “I don’t think that’s a small thing; I think that’s a big thing for organizations like ours. There’s a big cultural change that has to happen–you have to be very agile, ready to move super fast and you have to be in the moment. You have to learn. We call it ‘market while we research, research while we market.’ Those used to be discreet functions. Today, it’s finding partners, trying something on the brand and really watching and learning as we go and continuing to iterate.”