LAS VEGAS – Forget the unicorn startups. B. Bonin Bough wants to be among “the next wave of dragons” that create billion-dollar businesses on the backs of existing, scaled organizations based on sensing where consumers are headed.
Bough, who is Chief Media & Commerce Officer of consumer-packaged-goods giant Mondelez, addressed futuristic e-commerce in a session at the annual Nielsen Consumer 360 event. In an interview with Beet.TV, he cites companies like Amazon, Apple and Google that were able to sense where consumer trends were headed and create huge businesses faster than startups could.
“So there’s some model there, where if you take a scaled organization and you teach it how to sense where the future’s going, you can create faster growing billion dollar business and what I’ve been talking about as the next wave of dragons,” Bough says.
The wave could encompass product creation from scratch or a “direct-to-consumer, customizable experiences,” as Mondelez did last year with an initiative called Colorfilled wherein it allowed consumers to design their own Oreo packaging online. The result was “the first customized product that we have shipped on Oreo in 103 years direct to the consumer,” Bough says.
Before Mondelez, Bough was a senior executive at PepsiCo where he developed digital strategy that crosses paid, earned, owned and shared media. Now one of his passions is finding ways for brands to engage with the billions of people worldwide who spend enormous amounts of time in messaging apps and platforms. In fact, he predicts a sweeping change akin to what happened with social media but possibly even bigger.
“There’s no way there’s a world where brands are not going to communicate directly to consumers through messaging,” Bough says. “But right now there’s no ecosystem, no infrastructure, no thinking.”
No small part of the challenge is avoiding freaking people out. Bough sees one such scenario involving a parent messaging a child.
“Here you are communicating with your kid and maybe they’re not responding and you’re worried…and all of a sudden, some brand comes in and says ‘Hey, wanna buy four exclamation marks?’ You’re like, ‘No dude! I want to know that my kid’s okay.’”
This video is part of series produced at Consumer 360. The series is sponsored by Nielsen. Please visit this page for additional segments.