Every once in a while, we like to share what we’ve been up to, including how our research engagements have helped our clients achieve their business goals and some of the lessons learned. This case study highlights W5’s approach to exploring and developing strategic market segments for a leading adult spirits provider.

For this study, W5 used a hybrid approach, beginning with ethnographic research of DIY spirits consumers, followed by a market segmentation to confirm initial insights learned from the ethnography. This study demonstrates how qualitative research and consumer segmentation can inform each other to produce more fleshed out, actionable consumer segments and bring these segments to life.



A leading wine and spirits client sought to evolve the brand image of a specific brand in their portfolio ‒ the strongest performing product they offer. After identifying a hypothesized target market of DIY consumers who actively engage in category consumption and usage, primary marketing research was desired to understand these consumers and how the brand may be promoted to them.


W5 conducted extensive ethnographic research to establish an understanding of how the target market lives, creates, and engages with the spirits and cocktails category through in-home interviews. This exploratory research informed a custom market segmentation to define segments within the target market and identify key opportunities for the brand. Additionally, a survey of past year purchasers of the specific spirits product was conducted to understand who else purchases, consumes, and uses the product.


The qualitative ethnographic research confirmed the existence of this market within the broader spirits category and profiled individuals who engage not only in consumption but also hosting, cocktail serving, and other related creative activities. This research established a sense of different types of DIY spirits consumers and informed the more robust quantitative research with perspectives on consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and lifestyles. The segmentation was successful in identifying four segments, two of which clearly represented prime strategic targets for the brand. The research validated current market strategies and provided inspiration to guide future marketing communications.

Spotlight is a special feature of the W5 Blog showcasing W5 consultants’ approach to designing marketing research studies, creating engaging deliverables, and informing strategy. For more information on W5’s approach to qualitative or quantitative research contact:

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