Heinz introduces Mayochup

Heinz is attempting to increase consumer product involvement by incorporating consumer ideas. Companies look to increase product involvement in order to increase loyalty and positive word of mouth. Creating involvement for CPG items is a tricky goal because it’s hard to make consumers identify with a more or less commodity product. To circumvent this, Heinz started a campaign to increase product involvement as well as product differentiation by leveraging the community and making them feel valued.

This strategy is smart for various reasons. For one, having consumers directly tell a brand what product they would like to see cuts down on some of the R&D costs of the company. The company knows that the consumers want this product because they told it so. In order to generate buzz and to be alerted to the other fans, Heinz created a Twitter poll asking for votes whether the company should release a ketchup-mayonnaise sauce mix. Besides the near one million votes that the poll earned, it also garnered quite a few comments–17,000 to be exact. This likely made consumers feel like they’re a part of a community and that their comments mattered. To further increase the feeling that the consumers have an impact on the actions of the company, Heinz asked the consumers to come up with a name for the products. With so many passionate replies, Heinz decided not to pick just one but to print several dozens. Seeing these various names in stores will make consumers feel like they really had an impact on the product and that this is truly a company that cares about consumer opinions. It will also likely make them think back to some of the comments that they read throughout the campaign and will make them laugh.

Nonetheless, this is not a foul-poof strategy. Heinz needs to ensure that the combined formula has the same taste as when the two condiments are in their own bottles and put on separately. Also, just because consumers said that they wanted a product doesn’t mean that they will definitely buy it. The good thing is that Heinz will likely not incur any high start-up costs because it is using the same capabilities that it does for making ketchup and mayonnaise. Thus, there will only be marginal costs. So, as long as the revenue is larger than the marginal costs, the product will likely be a success.

Would you buy this product? Do you think that it’ll be as big a hit in stores as it was on Twitter?

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