Nestlé to open Digital Innovation Office in Silicon Valley in 2016
Nestlé: ‘Technology is fundamentally changing the way consumers buy our products and engage with our brands’
The move, as part of a coordinated Swiss presence within the ‘Swiss House’ at Pier 17 in San Francisco Bay, will strengthen the firms digital presence to build partnerships with startups and technology companies, and develop online experiences and services.
Silicon Valley Innovation Outpost
The company launched a Silicon Valley Innovation Outpost two years ago and the move is a continuation of that.
Together with science and technology counsellors based in Swiss embassies around the world, swissnex promotes Switzerland as a world-class location.
“Technology is fundamentally changing the way consumers buy our products and engage with our brands, there is a need to create highly engaging and meaningful experiences online,” a Nestlé spokesman told FoodProductionDaily.
“We rely on strong partnerships with both new and established technology companies to deliver increasingly innovative and personalized experiences that add value beyond the physical product we sell.”
The firm has already been working with a number of startups and technology companies to develop engaging brand experiences including Shopkick in Germany to reward consumers for engaging with its Maggi products in store.
It has also leveraged Blippar’s “4D” augmented reality technology to connect the online and offline world for products like Perrier, as well as creating ads on Pinterest
“Consumers today, in particular Millennials, have higher expectations towards brands than ever before. They don’t want to be spoken to. They want to be spoken with,” the spokesman added.
'One-way “push” advertising is a thing of the past'
“They engage with brands they trust and those that allow them to make personal connections. Traditional one-way “push” advertising is a thing of the past.
“For Nestlé to stay relevant, we must constantly create innovative digital content and experiences that we can deliver when and where it is most relevant in consumer’s busy lives.”
Nestlé will rotate people in its marketing and technology departments through the centre on a short-term basis to focus on technology trends, tools and development methods, and open innovation models to solve business problems.
The team is tasked with identifying relevant digital technologies and strategic partners for Nestlé. An important part of the job is to facilitate pilot programs between brands and startups to test digital technology on new projects.
Resources will include additional marketing professionals, a team of technologists and design thinking experts. It will also focus on scouting technologies and companies to build the next generation of Digital Marketing, Social and eCommerce services and platforms.
Downtown San Francisco
“Swissnex’s location on Pier 17 offers Nestlé a highly visible and centrally-located space in downtown San Francisco,” added the spokesman.
“It allows us to work directly with a vibrant community of creative minds who will bring expertise and insights around emerging trends and technologies.”
“Digital service can be any service that is related to our products and offers a way to deliver value to our consumers.
“It can be a partnership like the one between BabyNes and Withings, where we partnered with a connected device company to help parents measure the growth of their child.
“It can be also experiences like the partnership with Blippar, where technology (and in this case a smart phone) allows us to turn our packaging into online entertainment.”