Don’t just wow. KitKat wow.
25 March 2021 – Quick question for you. How many flavours of KitKat are there?
If you think you can count them all on your fingers, starting with the Chunky and adding the odd seasonal “special”, prepare for a shock… It is likely that the number tops 2,000 or more.
There are 200 different varieties of the chocolate snack in Japan alone. The weird and wonderful flavours sound like something out of Willy Wonka’s factory. Wasabi or baked potato KitKat anyone? Or how about the Asian bestseller, soy sauce KitKat? In 2019, Nestle brought out a DIY version here in the UK that allowed fans to create up to 1,500 unique concoctions involving ingredients including rose petal, meringue and ruby chocolate.
This is a brand that never stops trying to ‘wow’ its customers. The innovation never ends and, even when a flavour sounds more terrible than toothsome (apple cider vinegar flavour? No thanks), at least it gets people talking.
Before I fell in love with the technology industry, I had a brief stint in the food and drink sector. For a short while, I worked at a popcorn manufacturer. It popped corn for cinema chains around the UK, and provided small servings for certain luxury hotels.
One day, I had a brainwave. I approached one of the guys behind the old Phileas Fogg snack brand. He had a pretzel factory in the north of England. I bought the biggest bag of mini sour cream and chive pretzels you have ever seen and mixed them with our salted popcorn in cartons. Customers went wild for the combination of flavours. This was one of the ‘wow’ moments of my career.
We all know that businesses should surprise and delight customers but it’s hard to know how. The popcorn experience taught me that you need to do more than fulfil a customer need. People are hungry and want a delicious snack, of course. But you have to do it in an unexpected way that gives them far more than they bargained for. Ideally, you combine two or more things they want or need and serve it to them in a frictionless, fun and cost-effective way.
At BigChange, we are all about the “wow” moments. There have already been a few standout milestones when we surpassed all expectations. The launch of the Network, for example, which is helping customers to grow faster and reach further than they ever imagined. We are now allowing BigChange users to team up, collaborate and support one another in a totally seamless and efficient way. But we want to do even more.
This is why we have just announced plans to spend an additional £5m on innovation, supercharging our R&D over the coming years. I’m currently working with our chief innovation officer Johann Levy on a roadmap that will revolutionise the BigChange technology stack. We have always said our solution is “five-in-one”. Well, now it’s looking more like “seven-in-one”.
We are looking at exciting features combining automation, analytics, and artificial intelligence. Customers have told me they run their lives on their smartphones, from banking to booking a plumber to ordering dinner. That’s what they expect from our technology and that is now a priority for us over the coming year: our customers will be able to run their entire businesses with just a few taps.
Whether it’s intelligent finance features, dynamic stock control or a new customer portal, we want every customer to experience that “wow” moment when they use our technology. “Wow, how is this so easy?” “Wow, that was fast!” “Wow, I’ve never been so in control of every aspect of my business.” And, most importantly, “Our turnover and growth rate have never looked this great – wow!”
When we look at the brands that have stood the test of time, they have all innovated. Customers expect businesses to consistently strive for better – and if you don’t, then a competitor will. So what’s your KitKat strategy? Tell me how you are wowing your customers today!