Mondelez Incubator Hatches Social, Sampling Platforms Conceived by its Employees

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Everyone wants to find the next WhatsApp or Snapchat. And that includes major CPG brands as well as investors.

That’s why Mondelez followed in the path of PepsiCo, Target, Nike and other major brands and launched its Mobile Futures initiative last year to spur mobile innovation within the company behind brands such as Oreo, Trident and Cadbury. The incubator helped the company form ties with digital startups, some of which stemmed from the ideas of Mondelez employees.

And now Mondelez is ready to show its recent fruits of the program: Prankstr, which will allow users to prank their friends and share the gags via social networks, and Betabox, which aims to distribute product samples through e-commerce companies.[more]

Mondelez’s own staffers are partnering with venture-development firm Prehype to launch the startups. The ideas came from Mondelez employees through a 90-day incubation process in which Prehype actually built and launched test versions of the two platforms, Mobile Marketing Daily reported.

Last year, in the first phase of Mobile Futures, Mondelez paired brands such as Trident and Sour Patch Kids with outside startups to put mobile pilots into the market within 90 days. The company told the publication that two or three have the potential for national rollouts.

Most important, the two startups hatched from the loins of Mondelez seem to have potential to help the brand sell more cookies, crackers and gum. Prankstr is meant to help consumers craft funny content and then share it socially, and there’s no reason branded content couldn’t include prank videos. Betabox enables brands to target consumers by inserting samples into the outgoing boxes of compatible e-commerce companies—a program very similar to Unilever’s and P&G’s tie-up with Exact Media to stuff product samples into outgoing orders from Beyond The Rack and Coastal.com. 

“Encouraging our marketers to come up with concepts like Prankstr and Betabox shows how bringing a startup mentality to our company can deliver innovative technologies to market and truly spark intrapreneurship,” said Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez.

That’s one way to foster employee engagement.

Connect with Dale on Twitter: @daledbuss

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