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5 ‘Ice Cold’ Case Studies in the Adult Beverage Space

Hard seltzers are invading every party you go to. Check.
Hard seltzer from every brand on the planet. Been there, drank that.
Alcohol-infused Mountain Dew? Yeah, it’s coming next year.

Staying on top of these and other trends is bread and butter for market researchers. Working with providers of adult beverages is no different. W5 has a history as researchers (and consumers) to collaborate with established, global brands, start-up challengers, retailer partners, and delivery services to get products in people’s hands.

We’ve identified pivotal touchpoints in grocery stores, explored segments to identify new marketing opportunities, and even discovered what consumers think of the latest trends, like CBD-infused drinks.

Quench your thirst with these inspiring case studies that uncovered triggers driving trial, brand loyalty, and retail experience enhancements:

Understanding the Shopper Journey to Create New Experiences

THE APPROACH
A global alcoholic beverage brand partnered with W5 to identify pivotal moments impacting beverage selection across retail channels. A robust hybrid approach utilized a custom survey and in-store mobile activities to track experiences and capture key shopping touchpoints and barriers from endcaps and digital engagement to pricing and promotions.

THE RESULT
W5 plotted the shopper journey, highlighting how shifts in consumption occasions and channel choices lead to purchase triggers and drivers to create new shopper-focused and context-specific shopper marketing strategies, ranging from building brand awareness and consideration to in-aisle strategies for disrupting routines and capturing attention.

Insights to Guide Innovation and Entry into the CBD Category

THE APPROACH
To support launch of a new CBD infused beverage line, a national beverage brand needed to capture a holistic understanding of the CBD landscape, including usage occasions and product form. W5 conducted a custom Attitude and Usage survey to gain insight on consideration, purchase, barriers to CBD trial, brand awareness, and more.

THE RESULT
The survey confirmed consumer interest in a CBD infused beverage, even though a drinkable form was less common than infused tinctures or foods. The client also gained insights on why and when consumers want to use CBD products, attitudes among current users, and barriers for non-users to fuel innovation strategies and a go-to-market launch plan.

Exploring New Segments to Future-Proof a Brand

THE APPROACH
A leading spirits producer sought to evolve the brand image of its strongest performing product. W5 conducted a segmentation to confirm a hypothesized target market and then leveraged ethnographic research to understand how segments engage with spirits and cocktails by exploring recipes, social media influences, bar carts, and mixology trends.

THE RESULT
The research profiled new segments and identified ways to connect with consumers who engage not only imbibe but also host, serve cocktails, and other related activities. The data established perspectives on segment attitudes, behaviors, and lifestyles to inspire a new creative campaign, driving tremendous growth among the new segments and elevating the brand’s image.

Tracking the Impact of a Retail Rebrand Over Time

THE APPROACH
A regional wine and spirits retailer and its advertising agency sought to understand the impact of store rebranding on customer satisfaction and shopper perceptions. W5 designed and conducted multiple waves of research with customers and non-customers to measure awareness and perceptions of the rebrand and store consideration.

THE RESULT
The store rebranding was recognized and perceived positively among customers and non-customers alike. The research highlighted aspects of store atmosphere, shopping experience, and improvements in customer service. Study insights were leveraged to refine store design, shopping experience, and inform communications around the refreshed brand.

Dinner Groups to Enhance the Fine Dining Experience

THE APPROACH
A beer, wine, and spirits brand sought to understand what influenced alcohol purchases at fine dining establishments. Dinner Discussion Groups, split by younger and older cohorts, provided an intimate environment to discuss beverage descriptions, pairing, and pricing over dinner and drinks, fostering a space for ideation and collaboration between the client, W5, and consumers.

THE RESULT
W5 identified trends for preferences across wine, liquor, and beer diners’ expectations for spirit offerings, server guidance, and menu details by age cohort and across mealtime moments (appetizer, meal, night cap). The client came away with actionable recommendations for updating menu text, ideas for server training, and appropriate times to promote specific branded spirits to enhance dining experiences.

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