Product launches from The
Not this time.
Coca-Cola North America recently used the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform to gauge America’s thirst for Valser, a premium mineral water that has long been available in Europe.
The campaign gave early backers an opportunity to be the first in the U.S. to purchase 750-ml glass bottles of Valser Classic (sparkling) or Valser Silence (still) – shipped directly from Switzerland – and provide feedback on its taste, brand proposition and price.
The company exceeded its crowdfunding target for the one-month campaign and is now piloting the brand in select restaurants in Atlanta.
The effort supports
“Given how rapidly consumer tastes are changing, our team is challenged with taking risks, testing, iterating and cycling through ideas quickly to see what works,” said Dave Preston, vice president, innovation,
The platform yielded “transactional learning” as well as two-way feedback from and dialogues with the Indiegogo community. “We were able to follow up with both people who bought Valser and those who didn’t, and understand why and refine if needed,” Preston said. “We saw this as a unique launch platform but also a way to get a clear read on what consumers want.”
Slava Rubin, Indiegogo founder and chief business officer, said other leading CPG companies such as Procter & Gamble and Heineken have used the “enterprise crowdfunding” platform as part of their product development strategies. “By using Indiegogo, companies of all sizes can connect with our passionate community of backers in an unprecedented way,” he said. “Innovation teams are now using pre-order transactions as a new kind of real-world validation to learn what people actually want, and using those insights to decide which amazing new products to bring to market.”
Lifting and Shifting
A unique benefit of
George Parker, director of innovation platforms for
Valser’s Indiegogo page shares the story of “Coca-Cola’s Secret from the Swiss Alps”, with photos and details on the “made by mountains” mineral water, which
This unique story and proven track record in Switzerland appealed to Indiegogo trend-savvy community, said Preston, who said his team is considering similar tests with other brands from Coke’s global portfolio.
“Walk into a natural foods store today and you’ll see an array of offerings from around the world,” he said. “Consumers are interested in experimenting with new ingredients, foods and beverages.”