kraft-2 Who would have thought that tech and Cheddar would meet in the digital landscape?  A recent Advertising Age article and a chance conversation at a local grocery store turned me on to Kraft Food’s iFood Assistant application for the iPhone.  The application delivers brows-able recipes, product information, cooking times, shopping lists etc. and it works with so users can organize and store recipes.  I find this very interesting and, frankly encouraging for my business, because it is one of those least likely examples that shows where the connection between brand and buyer is going.  Kraft has taken a universal, every day need and delivered a branding tool that fits the bill when it comes to the modern day equation of branding—Great Content plus Strategic Distribution equals Conversation.  Oh, did I mention that people are PAYING for the app?
Kraft has taken this equation to heart.  They are delivering brand related content that is professionally crafted, useful, relevant, and  personal.  The application ticks off every box on the list of prerequisites necessary to make the consumer feel he is getting true value out of a brand.
They are delivering the content utilizing modern technology to reach their targets when, where and how they want to be reached—on demand and on their terms.  And conversation is Kraft’s payback.  The information they are gathering from the application usage, registration online, etc. is exactly what a brand needs to improve its product and its dialogue with its target consumers.  It is axiomatic that the brand value in this kind of return dwarfs the aggregate dollars generated by the app.  That said, how great is it for Kraft that their effort is so good that people are willing to pay?!  Don’t all brands wish they could so overtly ask their consumers to cover the cost of effective branding?
All brands will be smart to follow suit, not only in terms of embracing widgets, apps, and the like, but by utilizing the new branding equation to dictate all of their marketing and branding initiatives.  Deliver quality content, to the modern day participants on their terms, and let them know you want to talk with them, not at them, and you will turn those consumers into loyal participants who live your brand. Think about it. If the brand conversation is this hot over cheese, one can only imagine the possibilities in the offing for sexy, cool products like appliances, paper products and detergents.

Peter J. Schankowitz