News Briefs

05/05/2022

Levi's Pilots Two Online Features to Prevent Returns

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Levi's new see it in my size offering

Levi Strauss & Co. is piloting two new capabilities on the Levi’s website to prevent online returns stemming from size and fit issues, while promoting an inclusive experience.

The new See It In My Size featurehelps shoppers to better relate to who is modeling products through authentic and inclusive representation, while the new What’s My Size? pilot is a sizing tool recommendation algorithm.

“One of our key innovation priorities is to enhance the online shopping journey and create truly personalized, seamless experiences for our consumers,” said Lara Lasisz, direct-to-consumer innovation lead at LS&Co. “With online shopping, one of the biggest obstacles the industry faces is how to transfer the fitting room experience to a digital environment. We’re dedicated to finding the right technology that will help our fans find the perfect fit from the start.”

See It In My Size

Often, retailers’ product pages feature one model for each product, lacking a diverse preview of sizes and body types. With Levi’s new featureonce consumers click the See It In My Size button on the website, they can select their size and an image of the garment will appear on a person more similar to their size, height, body shape and/or skin tone. This experience aims to cultivate an inclusive experience and give consumers a more accurate preview of the item.

To gather all the necessary images, the Levi’s team organized several initiatives with both employees and micro-influencers. Earlier this year, the retailer launched a companywide contest asking employees across the globe to submit photos in specific Levi’s products that would be featured on the website. The team also conducted photo shoots with micro-influencers across Northern California, the U.K. and Brussels, as well as a pop-up in North Carolina, to get a robust photo library across a diverse range of sizes.

The See It In My Size pilot is available on the desktop now in the U.S. and will be available across Europe — including France, the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Spain — in the coming month.

What’s My Size?

The pilot of What’s My Size? recommendation algorithm allows consumers to click a button and add their height, weight, and gender. From there, the algorithm will recommend the best size to select. After the consumers does this once, the recommendation will follow the consumer throughout their shopping journey and suggest the best size for each product being viewed.

What’s My Size is available on the desktop in six countries in Europe (France, Germany, the UK, Netherlands, Spain and Italy) and will be available on the U.S. mobile app in June 2022.

This article first appeared on the site of sister publication RIS. 

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04/29/2022

Mars Using AI to Innovate With Plant-Based Ingredients

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Mars brand storefront

Mars, Incorporated is diving into the plant-based space, leveraging deep AI insights to discover new ingredients. 

The company has entered into a multi-year agreement with PIPA LLC, which powers LEAP, allowing Mars to use biomedical databases and pipelines to design new products and address the growing consumer demand for healthy foods, beverages, and dietary supplements. 

LEAP will be available to Mars associates over the next two years. They can use the platform to accelerate discovery when compared to more traditional methods of ingredient identification and screening. Using AI and bioinformatics, the tech can help predict connections between foods and microbes and diseases to better inform product development. 

[Read more: Mars' VP, Demand Analytics Named 2022 Visionary]

For example, the tech created the model that helped Mars develop the RENALTECH diagnostic tool that predicts kidney disease in cats.

Nici Bush, VP, of innovation, science and technology at Mars said that PIPA is an important research collaborator for Mars. “Their science and technology strengths will translate into business impact, opening doors for Mars and the wider food industry."

Dr. Abigail Stevenson, VP of the Mars Advanced Research Institute (MARI), said the technology will allow them to create new products and services that improve the lives of people and their pets. 

"By joining forces with Mars, we are placing AI at the center of food, nutrition, and health,” said George Nikolaou, VP of product at PIPA. “We are bringing to fruition new methods for science discovery that mean business teams empowered by AI can unlock novel, high-quality insights faster and more cost-effectively than previously imagined."

04/28/2022

Creative Agency EIQ Brand Lab Wins 7 AVA Digital Awards

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EIQ BrandLab image

Marketing and creative agency EIQ BrandLab, operated by CGT’s parent company EnsembleIQ, has won seven AVA Digital Awards for digital excellence. 

The AVA Digital Awards is an international competition that recognizes excellence by creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design, and production of digital communications. They are awarded by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP).

Each of the award-winning entries were developed in partnership with clients ranging from CPG brands to enterprise technology companies. 

Platinum Awards

Gold Awards

Darren Ursino, vice president of brand engagement at EnsembleIQ said that EIQ BrandLab aspires to be “a true firebrand in business marketing.” He added the brand is honored to work with forward-thinking companies across the retail, healthcare, and hospitality industries. “We are very proud to have been recognized by the AVA Digital Awards for our work.”

Joe Territo, executive vice president of content and communications at EnsembleIQ stated that the company’s redesigned corporate website, which was created by EIQBrandLab, has been well received. 

“We are very pleased to have received this honor from the AVA Digital Awards,” he added.

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04/26/2022

Danone Is Modernizing Its Global Supply Chain With AI-Driven Insights

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Danone logo on mobile phone

Multinational food and beverage brand Danone is looking to revamp its global supply chain by leveraging AI insights to bolster its decision-making capabilities. 

The company is tapping 09 Solutions, utilizing its Digital Brain platform to fortify its collaboration between commercial, operational, and finance teams. Additionally, users will be able to perform real-time scenario planning to shorten decision-making timelines. 

Chakri Gottemukkala, co-founder and CEO of o9 Solutions, said that by leveraging the technology, Danone will be able to run its planning processes across every function and time horizon on the integrated platform. 

Farzana Allegacone, vice president of technology and data for design to delivery at Danone, stated that rising consumer demand paired with supply chain disruption are creating a need to digitalize the company’s end-to-end supply chain planning platform so that all stakeholders can collaborate in real-time. 

[Read more: Danone, Kellogg’s, Yum Brands Tech Leaders Join Analytics Unite 2022]

“The fact that the platform can facilitate end-to-end connected planning, including demand, supply, production, integrated business planning, and multi-echelon inventory optimization, was one of the key reasons we chose to partner with o9,” added Danone. 

04/25/2022

Walt Disney Company Opens Applications for Accelerator Program

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Accelerator program graphic

Growth stage companies looking to transform the technology and entertainment space can now submit applications for The Walt Disney Company’s Accelerator program. Now in its seventh year, the program is taking applications until May 13, and is looking to accelerate the growth of innovative companies from around the world. 

Disney is focusing on companies that are innovating in areas such as artificial intelligence, data and analytics, immersive experiences, machine learning, personalization, robotics, sports tech, and web3. Program participants will be able to connect with experts at Disney to receive guidance on their tech.

[More on tech: Yum Brands, Danone, Kellogg’s Tech Leaders Join Analytics Unite 2022]

Past participants include CAMP, the Family Experience Company, which launched in December of 2018 and was an RIS Hot Retail Startup in 2020.

“The Disney Accelerator introduces us to visionary companies that are leading innovators in their respective industries,” said Bonnie Rosen, general manager of Disney Accelerator. “We are looking forward to this year’s program and can’t wait to connect with the next generation of talent that will help us make bold decisions and identify new opportunities for innovation at The Walt Disney Company.”

The Disney Accelerator program will kick off in July, closing with a Demo Day in the fall. Applications are being accepted here

This article was first published on the site of sister publication RIS. 

04/20/2022

Crocs Taps Danone’s Deanna Bratter to Lead Sustainability Efforts

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Deanna Bratter headshot

Casual footwear brand Crocs, Inc., has created a new role: vice president of global head of sustainability. 

Deanna Bratter will assume the new role, responsible for helping the company achieve its goal to be net zero by 2030, as well as enhancing commitments and impacts across environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and corporate governance (ESG).

Prior to joining Crocs, Bratter was the vice president of sustainable development/One Planet. One Health at Danone North America. In that role, she oversaw the company’s push to address climate change, focusing on responsible sourcing, the restoration of natural ecosystems, sustainable packaging, and community support. 

Bratter also previously led corporate sustainability for WhiteWave Foods, managing the company’s annual CSR and ESG reporting. 

"Consumers are keenly focused on purpose, inclusivity and a sustainable future, and Crocs has set clear ambitions to integrate sustainability into every part of their business and products," said Bratter. "This is an iconic brand, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to apply my experience in creating more sustainable systems to Crocs, bringing collaborative and innovative solutions in an effort to ensure we meet our commitments and create a more sustainable and comfortable world for all."

Last year, the company committed to reducing its carbon footprint to become a more sustainable brand, outlining its strategy. Since then, the brand has transitioned to sustainable ingredients across its product lines. Changes were also made across the company’s packaging, looking at new ways to give Crocs a second life, transitioning to renewable energy, and investing in responsible resource use. 

Crocs CEO Andrew Rees said that climate change is an urgent issue that requires “meaningful and rapid action.”

"We have an equal responsibility to ensure we're doing our part to create a more comfortable world," added Rees. "We are excited to welcome Deanna into this key leadership position and are confident that her deep experience and expertise will help Crocs achieve its ambitious sustainability goals."

This article first appeared on the site of sister publication RIS News.