Case study - Brewery

Project scope

In conjunction with GCA Research, a leading Canadian beer company that distributes multiple brands nationally and abroad tracked the beer drinking patterns of local customers over an extended period of time. The response list of the largest supplier of consumer data in Canada was used for this purpose.

Beer brand images as well as the characteristic personal qualities of beer drinkers were associated with their favourite brands. These correlations differ largely across age, province, region, language, frequency of beer brand purchase, and beer type. This requires a diversified approach in the company’s marketing strategy.

The challenge

A total of 30 selected beer brands across 5 age groups, 14 geographical areas representing Canadian beer drinkers, and 66 human attributes annually resulted in an impressive dictionary of cross-tabulations. When printed, a few trees were sacrificed in the process!

This delivery format is clumsy, yet often seen in market research. Consider the time required to look up a particular statistic that a brand manager may be interested in. It is virtually impossible to develop a useful perspective of the results unless one is prepared to study the 1000’s of pages in depth.

ePsy was asked to rethink the format of the deliverable to make it more accessible to brand managers located outside of head office.

Our solution

Our point of departure was that information of such magnitude should be made accessible using the company's infrastructure. By placing the results on an internal server, the original is secured. We confirmed with the company that most of their employees felt comfortable using a browser interface. Anyone who was familiar with an Intranet could interact with the statistics as needed. 

The flat, disjointed cross-tab view was transformed into a nested column format, using a familiar spreadsheet style. Columns were colour-coded to aid in search activities, comparison across years and totals, and overall interpretation of data. We included hyperlinks and a help file to assist in navigation and in finding particular statistics needed.

In addition, the statistics were linked to an executive summary written in MS Word, complete with summary tables and graphs. All that branch managers now needed to do, was to replace the perspective gained from general top brand performance with that of their own brand focus!

Naturally, each brand manager would be looking at the results from their own brand perspective. Hence sorting and sub-selection of the columns according to beer brand is vital, and after that also according to beer type, frequency of beer purchase, age, geographical region, human attribute, total or mean performance per year, and so on. We wrote and themed 180 macros to allow for the most popular sorting options by simple keystrokes.

Feedback was that the new format bred localized autonomy, while easy access to all research findings broadened individual perspectives and created new thinking.