Q&A: Zvi Frank, Co-CEO & Founder, Copilot
We connected with Zvi Frank from Copilot to discuss trends in the space and what they’re bringing to SKS 2019 as a sponsor:
What are the unique challenges Copilot is tackling within the foodtech or smart kitchen space?
There are really two challenges facing the industry: diminishing margins and customer experience. Copilot enables brands to better measure, analyze, and improve each customer’s lifetime value, increasing the total margin. By enabling more personal, behavior-based communication, Copilot helps brands directly address their customers’ needs, and improve customer satisfaction overall.
Who is Copilot?
Copilot enables smart kitchen appliance manufacturers to improve customer experience by automating the interaction with the customers based on their behavior.
Give us an important “origin story” moment in creating Copilot:
Prior to launching Copilot, we spent nearly 10 years designing and developing apps for IoT companies, and we discovered that very few brands focused on the experience of their customers after the sale of their products. Understanding the value of all the data available through connected devices, we wanted to develop a tool that would enable these brands to better understand their customers and, more importantly, give brands a means to communicate with them, based on their behavior to establish stronger customer relationships.
A key point in our evolution took place last year at the housewares show in Chicago, where we learned that many large companies have the resources to implement a customer experience solution on their own, but that small and midsize businesses don’t. Some of them even use a third-party app, basically giving away all of that data and opportunities. We see Copilot as a solution that puts that control and ownership back in the hands of the brands at a price for which they could never do it themselves.
What is Copilot doing differently? What are you disrupting, innovating, or inventing?
Historically, brands have been primarily concerned with selling units, and retailers have been the ones to own the longer term relationship with the customer. Copilot aims to disrupt that paradigm by helping manufacturers take control over their customer base by creating a personalized communication channel with each and every customer.
Copilot’s smart segmentation engine enables companies to segment customers into different buckets according to their unique characteristics (geography, behavior, devices owned, lifetime value, etc.) and engage a unique communication protocol with each customer accordingly. We’re the only tool specifically developed for the connected products that can deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time.
What’s Copilot’s future vision for how foodtech will change the way we think about and interact with food?
We believe that technology in the kitchen can become a burden if customer experience is not taken into account. Creating an app for your blender or microwave is not helpful (and sometimes harmful) unless a real incremental value to the end user is offered. By creating a seamless kitchen environment which has the consumer in the center (not the appliance), the multi-appliance cooking experience can be taken to a whole new level.
What are some of the challenges Copilot and others within your industry are facing?
Data gathering and analysis is a huge challenge for small and midsize companies due to distributed data sources (device, mobile app, Alexa, Google home, web, Amazon, Shopify, etc.) as well as privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.
Complicating the issue is getting customers fully on-boarded with connected devices. If the consumers don’t have a digital interface that provides real value, they aren’t going to use that interface and yield any data back to the manufacturer. We aim to help mitigate these concerns with our communications platform, to more effectively on-board users and give brands a way to issue well-time, meaningful communications that keep consumers engaged and active.