Piloting the first-of-its-kind direct-to-consumer platform

Oreo, the world’s best-selling cookie with more than $2 billion in global annual sales, was pivoting towards an e-commerce and customization strategy and, for the first time ever, began selling directly to customers but in a way that was personalized and engaging.

The Challenge

 

The owners of the Oreo brand, Mondelez, wanted to test a direct-to-consumer business model for its cookie brand, demonstrating the potential margins it could obtain and the foundational infrastructure needed to implement and remain competitive in e-commerce.

Our team was asked to design and prototype a pilot that would explore how Mondelez could collaborate with manufacturers and an ecosystem of partners and processes towards demand-based production and mass personalization.

The Approach

In a move that tapped into the publishing craze for adult coloring, Mondelez invited Oreo fans in the US to customize the packaging of original Oreo cookies online or on a mobile device, adding color, graphics and the recipients’ names in a social gifting campaign.

The build of an online platform to support the campaign, and the logistics for customized packaging, required an holistic approach to manage a complex system of stakeholders – from the customer experience and user interface to the technologies and processes that supported the digital designs.

"

Customers shifted from buying what was available to co-creating what they wanted to buy

"Dutch MacDonald, Managing Director, Global Design Lead

To define what needed to be accomplished, we applied experience blueprinting to identify the many touch points across the customer journey, while simultaneously collaborating with Oreo and its agencies, production partners, and packaging manufacturers to invent an e-commerce strategy that gives customers control over the final product.

With the blueprint in hand, we prioritized our ideas to build the ideal customer journey and sought to create a new business model that was viable, scalable, and produced real returns.

 

The actual build of the platform included an IT infrastructure analysis of the existing architecture from which we could customize data systems to transfer new data elements and information to the fulfillment and manufacturing partners.

 

We also designed the end-to-end e-commerce experience and our innovative UX design enabled users to send custom designs from their computer or mobile device to a digital manufacturing line.

The Impact

  • 1.

    Customers shifted from buying what was available to co-creating what they wanted to buy, dramatically reducing marketing costs and increasing margins

  • 2.

    Created proprietary methods for handling order-level attributes for mass personalization of goods, including data architecture

  • 3.

    Personalization enabled the 100-year-old brand to become disruptive

    Looking into the Future

    The success of the Oreo campaign has encouraged Mondelez to develop and build an industry-leading e-commerce snacks business for the entire company portfolio with the objective of increasing its e-commerce revenues incrementally.

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