Commentary

Trident Gum Taps Startup to Leverage Wearable Data for Marketing

All that data coming from wearables like fitness trackers and smartwatches now has a place to go and, more precisely, it has a way to get there.

A Mondelez International brand is partnering with Strap, an IoT-focused startup, to leverage wearable data for brand marketing.

I’ve been tracking the Cincinnati startup for some time and now it has teamed with a major brand to take it into the marketplace.

Strap is partnering with Trident, of gum fame, and Kum & Go, the convenience store chain with more than 400 stores, to tap into the human data intelligence that wearables can provide.

Strap is one of the startup companies that Mondelez just announced is one of the winners of its Shopper Futures program, which links Mondelez brands with entrepreneurs to jointly and rapidly develop and launch an innovation aimed at transforming the consumer retail experience.

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Strap, Trident and Kum & Go will work together for 90 days to collectively devise how they will deploy and use the wearable data tracking technology.

“We don’t yet know the exact use case,” Steve Caldwell, CEO of Strap, told me yesterday.

Strap created a technology platform that captures and analyzes data from wearable devices, like fitness trackers, smartwatches and naturally, smartphones. The company takes a white labeling approach, including its technology inside a brand’s app.

For example, when a customer opens an app, like from Trident, a message could be displayed asking the person if they want to connect their personal device to the app.

If a person has a device such as a fitness tracker from Fitbit or an Apple Watch, they could select to authorize that their device data be shared with the brand.

“There’s a single opt-in point,” said Caldwell.  “Loyalty and ID data can be linked. We give them data science that supports their mission; we provide human data intelligence.”

Only the brand using Strap gets to see that consumer data from its customers and can integrate it with their own customer data to craft relevant offers.

Data is collected across four major categories: movement, sleep, body metrics (like height and weight) and food, as consumers log what they eat.

The venture will start with a 90-day immersion period where teams from all entities work together to device a market approach. That would be followed by a pilot, likely early next year.

I’ve seen some of the early data from Strap, with some early customers before the Mondelez deal. The data dashboard can show some interesting overall stats for a particular customer set. These include the average number of steps taken, the calories burned, how many floors climbed along with active and non-active minutes.

As anyone wearing a fitness tracker knows, these are typical stats a consumer sees from their fitness tracker app.

What Strap essentially is doing is providing an aggregate view of human body activity of a particular customer set and allowing a brand or retailer to combine that with what else they know about their customers.

From there, IoT marketing begins in seriousness.

6 comments about "Trident Gum Taps Startup to Leverage Wearable Data for Marketing".
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  1. Ted Rubin from The Rubin Organization / Return on Relationship, September 2, 2015 at 11:06 a.m.

    Can you, Chuck Martin, or someone else please explain to me what this can possibly do for a brand like Trident other than give the appearance they are progressive and innovative. I understand they are a Mondelez brand, and being they are supporting Strap they needed to throw some brand into the fray, but why Trident (available budget $'s at the moment?). I am not insightful enough to figure it out for myself. Thank you. 

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, September 2, 2015 at 11:16 a.m.

    Legit question, Ted. There were a number of startups selected, from a large number that applied. They are looking for innovation around shopping behavior at retail as well as the benefit of the brand being immersed into the startup culture for a few months. They look fo rinnovative technolgy and no one yet knows the usage patterns of Iot data, hence the selection of Strap. The use case has not yet been developed, so we will see what type of pilot they ultimatly launch early next year. I'll be closely tracking, so will keep you posted. Hope this helps.


  3. Steve Caldwell from Strap replied, September 2, 2015 at 11:57 a.m.

    Hi Ted, hoping I can shed some light in general terms. As Chuck mentioned, we have not nailed down the specific details for this program, but overall the Strap platform provides many consistent benefits to our partners, regardless of category.

    I'll start with one generic example: imagine that you're a marketer who wants to deliver a specific message half an hour after someone wakes up. With data from Strap, you have access to a behaviorial profile that illustrates daily behavior about sleep, so no more "spray and pray" marketing campaigns. Timeliness is a crucial factor to messaging delivery, so in this example our data enables new kinds of experimentation in that area. The goal is to provide new kinds of insights that haven't been seen before.

    There are parallels to the fundamental shifts which occured over the last decade as brands and retailers have moved away from panels and into new kinds of data like recieipts, social media, and web analytics. In the early days of those data silos, there were plenty of skeptics (and still are). Now that we have human data, we naturally expect there to be a bit of a learning curve as folks try to grasp why it is important (beyond health and wellness use cases), so let me know if I can help answer any additional questions you may have!

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, September 2, 2015 at 5:27 p.m.

    Thanks for weighing in here, Steve. One additional likely asset here is the passive data collection that can show an aggregated view of behaviors of a particular set of customers. That data may be used for other things, such as re-tooling overall marketing plans based on the gained insights.

  5. Steve Caldwell from Strap replied, September 2, 2015 at 5:56 p.m.

    Absolutely right Chuck! It's all about behavior. Human data tells us more than we have ever known before. 

  6. David Greci from Mondelez replied, September 3, 2015 at 4:37 p.m.

    Hi Ted - As for why Trident would be partnering with Strap, I think Steve's and Chuck's replies have covered it very well.  I would just add that Strap offers the ability to talk to shoppers in a completely new way, leveraging wearable data that until fairly recently didn't exist. When competing in a mature category like we do, that could be a powerful tool to fuel growth.  Whether it's Trident or any other brand looking to grow, that's something worth exploring.  The creative energy and enthusiasm from the Strap team was evident in the pitch they put together and I'm confident it'll carry over into our day-to-day work to bring a fresh idea to market.

     

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