How do you stimulate brand engagement and community?
Big Green Egg Europe
Intensify interaction with and positive perception of the brand
Design an interactive community app
Discovery track to define real value
Few companies have such devoted fans as Big Green Egg. Their iconic kamado barbecue is the pride and joy of their customers. To intensify brand engagement, Big Green Egg wanted to develop a community app for the owners of their high-end outdoor cooker. A place where they could interact with the brand and share their passion for the pure, characteristic flavours and aromas with other EGG fans.
But an app can never be a goal in itself. Like any other digital tool, it should offer its users real and functional value and be embedded in a long-term brand strategy. So, when Big Green Egg tendered for an app, we responded with a discovery track, involving both our teams and their end users.
App takes a flying start
From community app to masterchef tool
It was Big Green Egg's initial idea to create the app as a community platform and a medium to share recipes quickly. But our first concept and design workshops together made them realise that you can't create a community with an app, just from scratch. Big Green Egg users must first have a need to download this app. It should therefore offer them something that they really value.
During several creative workshops, we grilled EGG fans about what the Big Green Egg app should offer them. As it turned out, they were hungry for knowledge. Being genuine foodies, they'd love to use their EGG more often, as they lovingly call their kamado. They also wanted to better understand which techniques and EGG accessories to best use to unlock the unique flavours of their favourite ingredients to the fullest and combine these into new and exciting recipes.
App experience in tune with the brand
This insight changed the concept of the app entirely. We focused on ensuring fans could improve their cooking skills and use their Big Green Egg more often and more creatively. The key to obtaining this lay with Michèl Lambermon. He is the Executive Chef of Big Green Egg Europe and a big name in the gastronomy. This master chef knows how to configure the EGG to obtain the best results, with everyday ingredients. Every EGG fan loves to learn from him. So, the app team, consisting of digital experts from Big Green Egg and iO, challenged Michèl to share know-how instead of recipes, in a way that EGG hobby chefs of every level could learn and experiment.
“Participants found it particularly surprising that the app converts their favorite ingredients and cooking techniques into a custom made recipe.”
Amber Eekhout, Marketing Manager Big Green Egg Europe
A seamless connection to the ecosystem
We wanted the app experience to confirm the brand's reputation of a high-end outdoor cooker offering star quality results. So we had actual EGG users validate the prototype during a number of usability tests. Due to the corona pandemic, we had to conduct these tests remotely, as 1 on 1 interviews. This proved to be a plus. The Big Green Egg team got qualitative, first-hand feedback from their target audience and real-life insights into how the concept design was received.
The core of the final Big Green Egg app is a wizard that shows EGG users how to set-up your Big Green Egg to get the flavour they want using their favourite ingredients. It allows them to mix and match these to their own liking and save the resulting recipe in their personal recipe section.
Ruby on Rails middleware links the app to the Big Green Egg website and an email marketing system containing the user data. In a CMS we have set up, Big Green Egg manages all products, cooking techniques, seasonings, side dishes, and so on. In three different languages. Via a link to the middleware, all content comes together in the React Native app. When users compose a dish with the wizard, they are creating their own page in the app.
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App helps to increase use of the product
Six months after the launch, the Big Green Egg app already served 15,000 active users. They try out new recipes and save them onto their own recipe pages, allowing them to release their culinary creativity and get the most out of their EGG.
With future app releases, EGG users will be able to connect with fellow fans: they will be able to share their favourite recipes, post their own experimentations and comment on them. And this, worldwide. To raise the bar even higher, users will soon be able to challenge themselves at the Big Green Egg Academy. Full of inspiring videos where a master chef or expert teaches the basic skills, preparation methods and new techniques. These masterclasses as well as the app's content will inspire users to open the app every day and to also cook on their kamado barbecue well outside the sunny outdoor season.
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