Company showcases innovative, lower-risk tobacco product using Samsung tablet kiosks

British American Tobacco set out to promote its new heated-tobacco product, called glo, and capitalize on the growing worldwide interest in electronic tobacco devices. To support its product launch in Ukraine, BAT wanted consumers to be able to explore product features and potential benefits while minimizing additional marketing and IT overhead.
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About the company
  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Company size: Large
  • Location: Ukraine

Founded in 1902, BAT seeks to transform tobacco. The company’s portfolio reflects its commitment to meeting the preferences of today's adult smokers while transforming tobacco with a choice of potentially reduced-risk products. Its operations span the globe, and BAT seeks to manage companies and people as responsibly as possible—from the crop in the fields through to the consumer.


Finding an innovative way to market new products

British American Tobacco (BAT) sought to do something distinctive to promote its innovative new product. As one of the world’s leading suppliers of tobacco products, the company is focused on differentiating its brands to win market share.

Meanwhile, the tobacco market continues to evolve over smoking safety concerns. "Heat-not-burn” devices, which offer smokers an alternative to cigarettes, are gaining traction around the world. BAT’s ambitious entry in the new category is called glo, which BAT says creates an enjoyable smoking experience while reducing harmful chemicals.

BAT Ukraine wanted to expand sales with glo, but faced challenges with a declining number of smokers and a ban on tobacco advertising. BAT Ukraine had to find an innovative marketing method. Traditionally, tobacco companies use pop-up displays at kiosks. These displays can be visually attractive, but limit marketing flexibility. Without evolving messaging and storytelling, customer engagement can wane over time.

BAT intended to use its kiosks to promote the lower risks and differentiating features associated with glo, but wanted the ability to update the display messaging as needed. It also planned to collect consumer information to build a deeper bond with potential customers. One issue BAT faced was how to stage and kit the hundreds of devices it needed without overspending on third-party integration services.

BAT wanted modern technology that could meet its requirements without creating new overhead and headaches. The company needed easy-to-use tools, ideally something that could be managed centrally by its IT team.

The answer was a complete Samsung Knox solution.


Samsung solution offers marketing flexibility without adding overhead

With Samsung Knox solutions, BAT successfully deployed interactive, easy-to-use Samsung tablets at kiosks inside national stores. Customers could enter the store, play with a tablet at the kiosk, and read about glo, including why it’s good, how to use it, and different glo flavor options.

Using two Samsung Knox solutions jointly—Knox Configure and Knox Manage—BAT could fine-tune the devices remotely to strictly meet its requirements. For instance, using the 'browser kiosk' feature in Knox Manage, BAT converted the tablets into kiosk devices that lock to BAT’s official glo website. This way BAT can block access to other websites and switching to other apps, which helps keep customers focused on the BAT information. Using another feature from Knox Manage called "screen-saver," BAT can automatically force devices not in use to revert to screen- saver mode and play a BAT promotional video.

BAT also takes advantage of the complex configuration capability in Knox Configure. The tool’s "power management" feature, for example, automatically controls tablet on-and-off switches based on power management scenarios, which BAT configures in the Knox Configure web console. When a store opens, under one scenario, the kiosk starts charging and the tablets automatically turn on. When a store closes and charging stops, tablets turn off, which prevents overcharging and manual switching.

Because both Knox Manage and Configure are cloud-based, BAT’s IT staff do not need to devote much time managing the tablets individually. When a new marketing video or message comes out, BAT simply pushes it out to hundreds of widely distributed devices simultaneously.

“Deploying and maintaining tablets used by dozens of different people each day can be challenging,” says Olexandr Giptenko, POSM Manager at British American Tobacco Ukraine. “With Samsung Knox Manage and Knox Configure, we’re able to easily keep 300 far-flung devices secure and up-to- date. We’re confident we can scale up to even more tablets without adding IT costs.”

With Samsung Knox Manage and Knox Configure, we’re able to easily keep 300 far-flung devices secure and up-to-date. We’re confident we can scale up to even more tablets without adding IT costs.

-Olexandr Giptenko, POSM Manager, British American Tobacco Ukraine

BAT is winning interest and new sales for glo, in part by reshaping its kiosk operations to add an innovative new consumer-direct channel. The new channel has proven cost- effective because BAT does not need to add IT resources to implement and manage the Samsung tablets.


  • Increased sales through a new promotion channel

BAT says its new marketing channel is helping it win market share in the heat-not-burn tobacco market. The company says customers like engaging with the Samsung devices and learning more about glo at their own speed. And customers always receive the latest marketing messaging because BAT can easily update devices across the country using Knox Configure and Knox Manage.


  • Freed up staff for direct sales

Using the Samsung tablets, BAT is able to communicate detailed information about its new heat-not-burn tobacco product, glo. BAT now needs fewer staff members per kiosk, helping it cut staffing costs in half. Rather than explaining to customers what glo does and how it is different, staff can focus on higher value tasks such as direct sales transactions.


  • Smart devices without additional IT overhead

Thanks to Knox Manage and Knox Configure, BAT’s IT staff manages the glo tablets without additional resources. BAT says its team can stay focused on important line-of-business tasks, rather than managing remote tablets.

“Our new campaign for glo has been a big success,” says Giptenko. “Customers enjoy using the Samsung tablets, and we’re able to make sure they always have the latest information about glo. We’re very pleased with how Samsung was able to help us.”

BAT-Ukraine and Samsung plan to continue their collaboration with new devices and expanded content. The solution can be used for other new products or other BAT regions. BAT also is investigating deploying additional new content to the tablets, turning them into multi-kiosk devices with the help of the Knox tools.

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