Innovation of the Day OLO & BMW

Automaker BMW partnered with restaurant tech firm Olo to trial in-car food ordering in the US. While on the road, drivers in the US can order a preconfigured or previously-ordered meal from two restaurant partners across the country: Nektar Juice Bar and Portillo’s Hot Dogs. The navigation system then guides drivers to the relevant drive-thru to pick up their order. The trial is open to customers with a compatible 2015 BMW model or later. 

Mmmm, hot dogs. Two takeaways for your business:

Expectation Economy. Consumers live in an on-demand world that routinely delivers once-insane levels of instant convenience. Hungry? Uber Eats is now testing delivery of McDonald’s via drone; oh, and they’re trialing delivery to the airport gate, too. Hungry and bored? W Hotels now offer a room service menu that lets guests partake in the mukbang livestreaming phenomenon. This new play from BMW is an attempt to answer the question: in this environment, what kind of on-demand services do drivers start to expect? It’s the story that sits at the heart of all new trends: innovations fuel new consumer expectations, and brands respond. So as we head into 2020, here’s an exercise for your team: name three brands, startups or innovations fueling new expectations that you must respond to next year.

New Channels. This innovation is a reminder that the connected car is a powerful new channel via which brands – restaurants, retailers and more – can reach out to customers. In Germany, Mercedes is trialling a service that allows drivers to use their car as a parcel delivery point. Meanwhile, Uber recently announced a global partnership with Cargo, an in-car commerce startup that allows Uber drivers to carry a small vending machine of snacks, electronics and beauty products. Of course, channel innovation goes far beyond cars: Reebok, for example, recently launched a new pair of sneakers via Alexa and Google Home.What innovative channels can you leverage to reach out to new customers – and reach existing customers in new ways – in 2020?

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