Unilever unveils its Tinder-like Idea Swipe app

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Consumer goods leader, Unilever, launches its ‘Tinder for Ideas’ app to help the decision-making process during the concept phase. ©GettyImages
Consumer goods leader, Unilever, launches its ‘Tinder for Ideas’ app to help the decision-making process during the concept phase. ©GettyImages
Consumer goods leader, Unilever, launches its ‘Tinder for Ideas’ app to help the decision-making process during the concept phase.

Named Idea Swipe, Unilever believes the new app, which has taken design and functionality inspiration from dating app favourite, Tinder, will enable the company to optimise its creativity.

Making marketing easier

Developed in-house, Idea Swipe gives users the opportunity to swipe left or right to accelerate marketing processes in a bid to reach the company’s goal of creating “double the impact in half the time and cost”​, Stan Stanunathan, vice-president of consumer marketing and insights, Unilever, said.

Understanding the importance of consumer feedback in leveraging customer loyalty and advocacy, Unilever has used behavioural economics to produce open-ended questions. These are then used to promote co-creation and relay fast feedback from internal marketing teams on Unilever’s product portfolio concepts and idea testing.

Like a Tinder for marketers, professionals are able to like or reject an idea by swiping left or right in a convenient, on-the-go and rapid fashion  — and as an alternative to traditional marketing decision-making processes.

In-house thinking

At the IRI International Growth Summit in London, UK, on the 9th July, Unilever’s executive vice-president of consumer marketing and insights, Stan Stanunathan, highlighted: “How do you evaluate a mountain of ideas with a molehill of a budget? If you want to do concept testing you end up spending an arm and a leg and at the end of it you are no wiser. We need to figure out a quick way to get these ideas evaluated [faster],”Marketing Week ​revealed.

Commenting on the time efficiencies associated with the new app, Stanunathan commented:

“Usually you can get a response in less than 24 hours or 48 hours and this costs less than a fraction of the money [compared to traditional feedback] and is incredibly insightful.”

In a bid to “minimise grunt work”​, the app strives to “leave more space for the ‘so what’ or the ‘why not’. We want to outsource process as much as possible and in-source thinking.”

“If you don’t change you will be changed”

These were the words of caution given by Stan Stanunathan who noted that while many in the industry realise that the fast-moving consumer goods world is heading to mass customisation, it won’t stop there. Rather, “it is going to go from mass customisation to mass hyper-personalisation”

Emphasising the importance of embracing technology to avoid becoming a dinosaur, the VP also explained the rapid pace of technology and the timing of the app release, which is due to the fact that the “pace of change is never going to be this slow ever again”. ​AI should also be a neutral concept. Therefore, the black and white approach to it should be removed and replaced with a “frenemy-like status”.

Digital stance

Unilever appears to be in a rapid technological roll-out phase at present as it also recently released its AI-powered talent marketplace, FLEX Experiences, for its employees in June 2019. It aims to open up personalised opportunities to employees in real-time throughout the business. In the same month, the company also announced its commitment to digital safety through 16 global advertisers including Unliever, who pledge to collaborate to improve the current online environment.

Set up by World Federation of Advertisers members and advocated by the ANA CMO Growth Council, these dedicated efforts will see advertisers, media companies, industry experts and industry associations team-up.

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