TMRE 2012: Swingers and Brown Spirits

It’s no secret that brown spirits are on the rise.  Just take a look at the consumption on Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire – the actors alone have to be driving sales through personal, on-air consumption.   But the business of spirits if, of course, more rigorous than my spurious assumptions – or Type 1 conclusions, all of which brings me to a fascinating presentation on Maker’s Mark at IIR’s The Market Research Event.

Greg Czernik, Global Consumer Insights Director for Whiskey at Beam Global (okay, coolest title,ever) tapped into a strong, topical analogue to create stickiness for segmentation analysis.  He identified “swing voters” as consumers who were not committed to whiskey but not opposed to it.  In other words, they were open to suggestion and persuasion.  He created a direct reference to politics which is highly topical this time of year with his internal counterparts – and the rest of us!  Then he identified needs and drivers of those needs.  So rather than putting people in buckets, he identified the people available then aligned the motivating occasions within this group to what the business could do about it.  And, what did they do?  Grow.  It’s just that simple – only it isn’t and that’s why it’s brilliant.

This analogy not only helped him align internal teams to the approach but it gave them a simple handle tor understanding and applying the output.  I can raise a glass to that… or maybe two.  Maker’s Mark, please.

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Today’s guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk’s Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.