In building an AI-enhanced site for its retailers, international snack company Mondelez had to adopt a new way of working that subverted its extant process of product development. The company moved its development operation towards an iterative, agile methodology that embraced failure as an opportunity to learn, when creating a customer-facing property.

In outlining this shift in strategy, Kunal Lohia, ITS Marketing Capability Deployment Lead at Mondelez, told the audience at the Festival of Marketing (London, October 2017) that businesses must be prepared to fail if they are to test ideas and build the products that will deliver value to consumers.

Detoxifying failure

"Failure," he said, "gives an invaluable feedback loop." Simply, it tells you whether your hypothesis was correct or not, and integrates measurement into the build process. The idea has become so important to Lohia's team that every year his staff showcase two examples of their failure in order to detoxify the word.