Brainstorming Games Create Change
At Kellogg, we all have a competitive spirit. This was definitely the case for the Kellogg employees who participated in KUBIC LA, an online brainstorming game that fosters collaboration and diverse thinking to surface the best ideas on cost-saving measures.
Gabriela V., KLA Cost Innovation Procurement Sr. Manager, and her team first heard about the brainstorming game after one of her colleagues was asked to participate in the KAP regional version. Mirtha C., Cost Innovation Sr. Head, ended up winning that game, even though she was based far away from the Asia Pacific region. This led the team to think about how having that “outsider’s perspective” might be leveraged in Latin America’s offices, too.
“We were very happy that KLA won the prize in another region,” said Gabriela. “It has proven to work for Kellogg in other regions, so we wanted to try out the platform to generate new and different ideas for cost savings.”
The KUBIC game, which uses the same platform run in other regions, focused on end-to-end cost savings ideas. Over a five-week period, any KLA employee, using an anonymous nickname, could submit any idea to the platform. Participants can comment on other submissions, and earn points by attracting votes for their ideas.
By keeping identities hidden, participants feel safe to submit their ideas in a judgement-free and creative environment. “We didn’t want any bias to come in depending on what part of the company you are in,” explained Eduardo A., KLA Savings Sr. Head.
The underlying idea behind the game is that good ideas can come from anywhere. This was proven by the winner of KUBIC LA, who works in the sales department, not supply chain management.
“The fact that we have a winner from a different department is very motivating for us,” said Gabriela. “We think this is one of the best examples to support Diversity & Inclusion.”
Besides the overall winner – who gets a four-day, all expenses paid beach vacation – there are 45 ideas, out of 452 total, that the KLA team will be pursuing. There are already plans underway to repeat KUBIC LA in 2020, and roll out a separate version to Kellogg Brazil.
“In previous ideations sessions, it was the same people, in the same areas,” added Gabriela. “With this kind of platform, we have the added value of including different people with different perspectives in the ideation process to yield exceptional ideas.”
Inspiring Young Influencers Lead Kashi Toward the Next Generation
Millennials today often get the most focus in the world of consumer marketing. But it’s the post-Millennial generation – Gen Z – that has captured the attention of Kellogg’s Kashi brand managers. Diverse, connected, aware, socially and politically engaged, Gen Z’ers are set to be a major cultural and market force.
In 2018, Kashi began a collaborative partnership with a group of accomplished Gen Z’ers who share the brand’s passion for creating nutritious, delicious food and who have shown strong leadership in health, fitness and environmental activism. Together, Kashi and the kids, referred to as the Kids Crew, developed the Kashi by Kids line of healthy, ready-to-eat cereals and snacks.
“Kellogg Company founder, W.K. Kellogg, was a passionate advocate for the importance of kids’ wellbeing. Our range of cereal and snacks takes this a step further by empowering kids to guide the taste, nutrition and positive benefits of the food we make,” said Jeanne W., Marketing Director of Kashi. “We saw this as an opportunity. It’s really important that we don’t just look to adults to encourage their kids to live more healthfully.”
The Kashi by Kids cereals include tasty flavors like Berry Crumble, Honey Cinnamon and Cocoa Crisp, and are made with unexpected, and nutritious, organic ingredients, including “superfoods” like chickpeas, lentils and purple corn. The cereals all contain at least 18 grams of whole grains, three grams of fiber and nine grams or less of sugar per serving.
Jeanne said the Kids Crew placed a high priority on environmental sustainability and healthy, affordable offerings – principles that have always been baked in to Kashi’s brand. “They feel that organic and Fair Trade ingredients have to be embedded in what we do, and we see eye to eye with them on that,” she said. “That’s important to the kids – they are about equality of food for everyone.”
But the Gen Z collaborators, who ranged in age from 12 to 16, also pushed Kashi to think differently about what they were creating, from flavor combinations to cereal shapes and packaging. “They gave us license to be more creative than we would have otherwise,” Jeanne said.
Since the initial Kashi by Kids cereal and snacks launch, the team continues to co-create products with the Kids Crew. Jeanne says they provide valuable input to capture the thinking of Gen Z and the collaboration has already made a lasting impact on the Kashi team.
“You’ll hear from anyone on the team that these kids humble us, because they’ve done so much good, already in their lifetime,” she said. “Our goal is to create a brand that contributes to making the world better place. With this talented Kids Crew, we feel confident we can get there.”
Dragons’ Den Competition Fires Up Growth with Cross-Functional Collaboration
Every year, the Leadership Summit brings together Kellogg’s most senior leaders across the European region to discuss business strategy and key initiatives for the coming year. The focus of the event was on “igniting growth” through agility and unleashing the power of cross-functional teams to drive top-line incremental growth across Europe.
In addition to these goals, the Summit organizing team also wanted to inject a sense of fun and inclusivity into the event.
“Our aspiration was to leverage the collective and diverse brain power of our leaders by getting them to think more creatively and with more agility to amplify our big opportunities in the region,” said Steph Atkinson, Project lead for the Agility Power Team, KEU.
Steph and the Agility Power Team took inspiration from the popular TV show, Dragons’ Den, where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of discerning investors. For the Kellogg version, Leadership Summit participants were divided into cross-functional teams and given a month before the event to come up with ideas for incremental growth within four broad categories.
“The ‘ask’ was that they tap into the talents and creativity of each team member to come up with inspired ideas. We wanted ideas to be incremental and implementable because our commitment was to make the winning idea a reality,” said Steph.
The results, says Sinead C., another leader in the power team, exceeded expectations.
“By leveraging diversity of thinking and bringing together different functions and nationalities, and harnessing their competitive edge and creativity, we managed to identify ideas to ignite our growth,” said Sinead. “Diversity of thinking was a real booster to team performance. We saw high levels of engagement and creative tension, in a positive sense, and a hunger to come up with a winning idea.”
The winning team, working on the Direct-to-Consumer category, presented ideas on how to leverage insights on the Happy Inside product line and the gut microbiome to promote sustainable growth. But all finalists walked away winners, as the European Leadership Team asked each team lead to work on making their ideas a reality outside of the Dragon’s Den.
“Our experience of truly harnessing the diversity of our organization at the Leadership Summit is proof that D&I can and will make a difference to your organizational energy and bottom line,” added Sinead.
Kellogg’s Pakistan Ties the Pringles Experience to Ramadan Values
Every year, the holy month of Ramadan congregates millions of Muslims around the world on prayer, introspection and fasting. Food makes up an important part of Ramadan through fast-breaking meals and Eid celebrations, the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
The concept of Sadaqah, described as acts of charitable giving done out of compassion or love, is also an integral part of the Eid and Ramadan spirit.
At Kellogg’s Pakistan, Avik S., Sr. Commercial Manager (South Asia), saw an opportunity to link the concept of Sadaqah to Pringles. He created the world’s first “Sadaqah Ready Pack” that included a greeting card and two packs of Pringles in special packaging. The campaign differed from other brands’ Ramadan marketing in that it was themed around the act of sharing, rather than just gifting.
“Pringles as a brand stands for sharing and fun,” he said. “The concept of Sadaqah at its core also is about ‘sharing’.”
The campaign was a huge success, quadrupling sales, compared to 2017, in over 90 stores in five major cities in Pakistan. The team also earned three advertising awards for Sadaqah campaign.
“However,” said Avik, “the larger reward for us was the fact that people saw us as being a part of their culture and they accepted us more than ever.”
Following the success of the Sadaqah campaign, the Pringles team will continue to think of new ways to gain more relevance in developing countries in the region, like Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“True inclusion comes when as a brand, we are able to speak to all our audiences in their own language,” said Avik. “And diversity comes when we are able to do that anywhere in the globe and be as relevant to all.”