Alexa is the voice service that powers Amazon Echo. Companies can add new skills to Alexa using the Alexa Skills Kit. The Campbell’s Kitchen skill was announced at AWS re:Invent in October 2015, and Campbells created custom skinned Echos to celebrate.
Based on their customer research, Campbell’s knew that customers wanted help with a simple question – what should I make for dinner? Born out of that original insight was Campbell’s Kitchen, an online experience that helps customers answer that very question. The site offers healthy recipes, seasonal meal suggestions, and cooking tips, as well as special savings.
Campbell’s Kitchen is already available online and via an app, and after the Alexa Skills Kit launched over the summer, Umang Shah, Director of Digital Marketing and Marketing Innovation at Campbell Soup Company, saw potential to make the content available in the kitchen hands-free. Campbell’s Digital Marketing agency RAIN, who originally pitched the idea to Umang, then set to work creating a skill to make dinnertime easy. The Campbell’s Kitchen skill launched just six weeks later.
To use the Campbell’s Kitchen skill, customers simply provide an email when they enable the skill in the Alexa Companion App and then say: “Alexa, ask Campbell’s Kitchen what’s for dinner?” Alexa then walks them through the daily top 5 recipes. They share how much time they have to prepare the meal and then pick the type of dish they’re in the mood for that day. They can filter by meat options (chicken, beef, turkey, pork), seafood, vegetarian dishes, pasta and soup recipes. The user then picks the recipe that sounds most appealing and in seconds, it is sent to the email address they provided when enabling the skill.
If you have an Amazon Echo and you want to try out the skill, you will need to enable it in the Alexa smartphone app. Simply open the app and tap on "Skills" in the menu, and then press "Enable" for Campbell’s Kitchen.
Building voice experiences requires thinking about user interfaces in a whole new way. Not only should experiences be short and sweet, but developers also need to think about all of the different ways someone might ask for information within the skill. “We dedicated a lot of time up-front planning and designing the voice experience. It’s easy to get the voice experience wrong, but with proper planning we can ensure a pleasurable and valuable experience for the end-user,” said Greg Hedges, Director of Strategy at Rain. “We started by addressing known consumer needs, assessing the way that Campbell’s Kitchen can address those needs through a voice experience, and then built the skill around those pillars — and we’re really happy with the result.”
“And in the short term since launching in late October,” Greg continues, “Echo users have been finding their way and making great use of the skill. Strong results so far indicate we’ve tapped into something, with thousands of recipes sent to date.”*
Although the majority of users still come through the company’s website and apps, Campbell’s is excited about the user interface. "Regardless of the technology in this physical device, the approach and the interaction we think will live on," Umang continued, “Amazon Echo users have already sent themselves thousands of recipes using the Campbell’s Kitchen Skill and we’re encouraged by the usage so far and look forward to seeing it grow."
Alexa Skills Kit
Order Echo – Amazon.com Page
Alexa Skills Kit Voice Design Handbook
*As of 11/10/2015