The Cell Phone Diet

Jan 25, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Atkins Nutritionals was looking for an innovative means to gets its brand’s benefits message out to new consumers while building a stronger connection to those following a low-carb diet regimen.

To deliver its important message and try to accomplish the twin tasks it set for itself, Atkins chose a technology renowned for keeping people in touch with one another (assuming there’s a satellite tower nearby) — the cell phone.

The new program, Atkins2Go, is a paid service that allows users to access software that reports on the carbohydrates contained in specific packaged foods. It also keeps track of the carbs consumed on a daily basis for users of the service.

According to Phil Lempert’s Xtreme Retail 23 Web site, Mark Jacobstein, president/COO of Digital Chocolate,
which developed the cell phone application with Atkins, says the software will reside on existing cell phone carrier systems. The basic software is loaded onto the cell phone
when service is begun and future updates can then be downloaded.

“From our perspective, it is a great use of the device formerly known as a cell phone. Essentially, every person is walking around with a powerful computer in their pocket,” said Mr. Jacobstein.

Future plans call for the Atkins2Go service to be made available for use with personal digital assistants (PDAs) such as Palm.

A bigger issue for the Atkins2Go plan, suggests Xtreme Retail 23, is not the technology used to transmit information but whether low-carb diets can continue to hold up under intense scientific scrutiny.

Moderator’s Comment: Will Atkins2Go help to create a meaningful connection between the brand and its consumers? How important (or not) is the choice
of the technology chosen to reach consumers in the new Atkins’ program?

This from the same article on Phil Lempert’s new site: “At the end of the day, the decision that needs to be reached is about consumer needs and desires,
not about technology.”

George Anderson – Moderator

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