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Bear Naked digs claws into mobile customization via IBM-powered granola-maker

Bear Naked is bringing a new spin to finding the right granola flavor via a mobile-optimized site that leverages IBM Watson to customize flavor suggestions based on users? responses, offering the closest match for their tastes.

Consumers will be able to choose from more than 50 ingredients for their own granola concoctions, which they can start making by choosing one of several bases. Once all other toppings have been selected, visitors may name their granola blend, select a bear illustration for the packaging and check out via Bear Naked?s mobile site, after which the product will be delivered straight to their homes.

?Customization is one of the most crucial, and often times, uniquely challenging aspects to a successful marketing strategy ? and it?s something that brands have been striving to deliver for a while now,? said Mary Beth Keelty, chief marketing officer at PM Digital. ?By empowering its customers with this level of choice, Bear Naked is truly letting each customer own his or her experience with the product, which in turn will likely garner increased engagement, loyalty and brand affinity. 

?The data collected from customers will allow the brand to provide in-the-moment, customized experiences, while also learning some longer term behavioral patterns and taste preferences that can be carried over to further personalize future marketing efforts.?

A beary customizable blend
Granola fans can visit on their mobile devices or desktops to take advantage of the personalization-heavy tool, which is powered by IBM Watson, a system providing cognitive capabilities to a slew of industries.

Individuals are first tasked with choosing one of three available granola bases: honey, cacao and cashew butter or chocolate. Once they have made their selection, the mobile site will show that IBM Watson is ?thinking? before bringing them to the next step of the process: choosing ingredients.

Consumers can read a brief description of each ingredient ? with choices including cinnamon, freeze-dried raspberries and cracked black pepper ? to inform their decision-making.

Finally, site visitors must select their favorite bear illustration, which will appear on their personalized packaging. Each of the five available cartoons has a distinct personality and look.

Users are also asked to give their masterpiece a name that is 13 characters or less. Although they may choose to use one of the brand?s displayed suggestions, such as ?Beary Spicy? or ?Pawfect Blend,? they are encouraged to create their own whimsical name.

After the name has been entered, users will be brought to Bear Naked?s mobile checkout page, where they will be able to review their order before submitting payment details. One package of customized granola is priced at $9.99.

Customers can then opt to check out as a guest, or sign into their Bear Naked account to complete the transaction.

Personalization on top
The mobile-optimized site functions as an optimal way of bringing consumers beyond the standard cereal-buying experience, and giving them free reign to customize their granola in a way that best suits their tastes.

Consumers can either let IBM Watson suggest various ingredient combinations, or opt to see the entire list themselves, from which they can pick and choose.

Bear Naked is reportedly the first CPG brand to provide Chef Watson-inspired snacks.

However, IBM Watson has been adding a plethora of other brand partnerships to its belt as well.

Under Armour is leveraging IBM Watson?s cognitive computing technology to bolster its UA Record mobile health app with a slew of features, including evidence-based sleep coaching and data-backed fitness tips (see story).

Additionally, Kia drove anticipation for its Super Bowl ad with a social influencer-supported campaign that used IBM Watson's platform to go beyond standard metrics of choosing participants in favor of harder-to-quantify qualities such as personality (see story).

?Bear Naked?s utilization of Chef Watson sheds light on the critical opportunities available when we bridge technology and the customer experience,? Ms. Keelty said. ?IBM?s capabilities, particularly with Watson, are disrupting and enhancing the ways that we can understand the consumer.

?We can gain valuable insights about how our customers think, behave and interact ? leveraging the speed of technology to get them what they want, when they want it,? she said. ?Chef Watson will provide Bear Naked customers with an experience they likely can?t get elsewhere, which gives the brand a major competitive edge.

?It also positions Bear Naked as innovative, forward-thinking and hyper-focused on its customers? needs.?