How is Nestle balancing building trust in the era of AI? - Brand Innovators

How is Nestle balancing building trust in the era of AI?

In a marketplace where many consumers care deeply about how food ingredients are sourced, Nestle is largely focused on trust and building credibility. This foundation requires a delicate balance as the company looks at using AI. 

“You can’t use AI when showing food and ingredients,” said Liz Caselli-Mechael, global head of digital & content for Nestlé Corporate, on the Brand Innovators Influential Beach Stage at Cannes. “It has got to start from the reality on the farm.” 

“When seeing content from us, you need to know it is a real reflection of our products, our people, our farmers. That has to be very genuine and really reflect reality or we will miss the most in creating trust,” she added.

Does that mean that there is no application for AI at Nestle? No, they are using AI, but they take the Cambridge Guidelines in mind when executing. This approach means not using AI to alter the core of who they are and instead to use it to save time for technical heavy lifting.

“It is a tool,” said Caselli-Mechael. “It is there to help people get there, to put the talent towards higher return activities.”

The idea is to put creative energy into content that is delivering to an audience not to content that is delivering to a room of eight, she continued, to maximize the creative energy delivering to the audience.

Building trust

As a CPG company looking to convince consumers that their brands are sustainable, the focus is on the long term marketing journey. And it is not an easy task. 

“It takes a lot of work to convince them that when buying this product they are supporting the values they care about,” explained Caselli-Mechael. “Consumers have all been exposed to a lot of BS in this area and they are going to approach with a healthy skepticism.” 

“You can convince me that a coffee is creamy in 2-3 exposures, it is going to take a much more sustained journey to convince me that you are sustainable,” she continued. “Whatever you slap on a label is not necessarily enough to convince them.”

For the KitKat brand, the company recently ran the Breaks for Good campaign in Europe, which helped tell the story about how purchasing these chocolate bars would help cocoa farmers and their communities. The campaign focused on the tangible elements of how buying these particular cocoa products helped put kids in school and women owned businesses. 

“A huge part of it is finding the right audience from the get go,” said Caselli-Mechael. “Who really does care about that in their selection? And no matter how you find that segment, are you showing up for them consistently?”

Taking the time to build trust is important from a business point of view. “While it doesn’t show up in your sales per say, we are seeing more and more evidence that it is going to be a prerequisite in the effectiveness of the rest of your marketing,” she added. “You can’t afford not to be investing in trust.”