Using consumer insight to birth new product concepts
The business target
Can we create commercially viable product concepts for rapid entry into a new category of low-alcohol beverages?
In early 2018, the legislation regarding the Alcohol Act in Finland was revised and, under the new provisions, the alcoholic content of drinks that could be sold in grocery stores increased from 4.7% to 5.5%. The change also allowed vendors to sell ethanol-based beverages, such as long drinks and ready to drink (RTD) mixes.
Coinciding with this amendment, a trend was emerging that saw consumers desiring drinks with less alcoholic content. Altia saw this as an opportunity to capitalise on the shift and enlisted Kuudes to start planning and executing a rapid, consumer-inclusive and insight-driven innovation accelerator process targeting three viable concepts. Altia had extensive knowledge of their target groups, along with excellent segmentation, but required our heightened levels of understanding of consumer values, motives and lifestyles that influence buyer decisions.
- Study of relevant trends affecting
- Contextual interviews to understand target groups’ perspective
- Enrichening Altia’s segmentation with our Informed Consumer data
The category is extremely emotionally-driven – with consumers expressing their identities through their consumption choices – so it was essential to understand our target groups on a deep level, identify what drives them, and figure out the kind of story they want to tell themselves, and others.
We spotted three trends for basis of innovation
1 – Consumer as the story’s protagonist
They value unique experiences rather than material things and belong to a collaborative, peer-to-peer economy that trusts the opinions of influencers more than traditional institutions.
2 – The real thing, please!
They crave natural, healthy choices and appreciate craft, tradition, locality and purpose-driven brands – inspiring large companies to launch smaller, more authentic concepts.
3 – The best of both worlds
They aim for balance in their lifestyle choices – examples of this include combinations of everyday and luxury, flexitarian diets, and the ‘Fear of Missing out’ vs the ‘Joy of Missing out’.
To define the starting points for successful product concepts in this category we interviewed consumers, as well as industry professionals – bartenders and vendors. The key was understanding the target group’s relationship with alcohol, the way they use products, and their preferences for packaging, taste and quality of RTD options.
Enriching the target segments with Persona Maps
We synthesised Altia’s segmentation and our Informed Consumer segments to create Persona Maps – a hybrid of our trend and insight work, data from the Informed Consumer study, brand benchmarking and valuable insight from contextual interviews.
The Persona Maps focused on the motives, driving values, lifestyle and identity of three target groups – they can also be used for future innovation and branding work in Altia product development.
Multidisciplinary concept creation process
We held a two-day Kuudes Concept Lab with multidisciplinary teams from Altia and Kuudes, including designers, bartenders, R&D specialists, marketing experts and trend analysts. Within two days, we had created 20 concept drafts – concepts were visualised after day one, allowing concrete ideas to be taken forward into day two and make the final decisions for concept approval.
The next phase required co-creations with consumers. We introduced the concept prototypes with mockup packaging, and 5 concepts were selected for Altia to develop further. People loved the concepts, and quantitative studies proved our hypothesis right – the first two products based on our concepts were launched the following Summer, with Koskenkorva Vichy and Chill Out Spritzer entering the market.
Accelerating innovations in Sweden
Due to our effective innovation process, Altia Sweden decided to choose our Stockholm branch to assist their launch of low-alcohol drinks – our Informed Consumer study was used once again to achieve emphatic results.
“We found the co-creation process really fruitful. We gained extremely valuable insights, and even ideas for totally new products. As a partner, Kuudes is easy to work with. Together we were able to create a fertile ground for innovations by merging their consumer data with ours.”
– Rauni Strandman, Innovation Manager, Altia