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Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
How ABSOLUT VODKA
transformed the brand
using Strategic Insights
Perchingtree Solutions I...
Strategic Insights
Case Studies
Absolute Vodka’s Search for Consumer Insights
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
Suggested Reading
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
The Difference between Instincts, Intuition and Insights What are Insig...
Background – Absolut Vodka
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
Background – Absolut Vodka (1)
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
ABSOLUT is a Vodka brand produced near Ahus in Southern Sw...
Background – Absolut Vodka (2)
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
ABSOLUT was first sold under this name in 1879 in Sweden. ...
Background – Absolut Vodka (3)
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
• Lars Olsson Smith, born in 1836 in Sweden, also known as...
The Seal of Absolut Vodka
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
Today One can find Lars Olsson Smith’s image on the Seal of Abs...
Background – Absolut Vodka (Contd)
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
• In 1970, the transformative moment occurred when Lar...
Absolut Vodka- The Innovative Spark
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
The Swedes were not too happy with the branding ideas...
Absolut Vodka- The Medicine Bottle
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
Absolut: Biography of a Bottle
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
This book is the "official story" of how Absolut Vodka cam...
US Market Entry & Growth
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
At first, no one was sure that Swedish Vodka will
sell in the Un...
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
The journey till here was pursuing an indirect goal of
exporting ABSOLUT VODKA to the Uni...
Deliberate Search for Consumer Insights
ABSOLUT VODKA
Part II
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
Acquisition of Vin & Sprit
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
In March 2008, Pernod Ricard acquired Swedish
state firm Vin &...
ReD – Market Research Firm
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
ReD was hired a consultant to capture
consumer insights about ...
What is Ethnography
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
“Ethnography is a collection of the quantitative methods
used in the ...
Absolute Vodka Ethnography Project
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
On a hot Austin summer night, few
natives got together...
Ethnography Project
Well Framed Questions
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
• Huge Amount of Vodka being sold for home cons...
Insights Captured
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
Insight 1 - What mattered most to the people were the narratives
that a...
Insights Captured
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
Insight 2 – A particular sub-segment in this party, the risk takers and...
Insights Captured
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
Insight 3 – The target segment was following a ritualized process of sh...
Insights Based Strategy
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
The ethnographic insights were
combined with predictive foresight...
Brand Transformation Strategy # 1
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
The brand packaging needs to be transformed to reflect ...
Brand Transformation Strategy # 2
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
Make the bottle the Canvas for Creative Expression. Cre...
Brand Transformation Strategy # 3
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
Create an App allowing people to collaborate for party ...
ABSOLUT VODKA
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
The Transformation using Soft Insights
The brand transformation
occurred th...
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
Insights are Rare and Unique to
an individual or a group.
If everyone has the same “Insig...
Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
References
Absolute Vodka’s Search for Strategic Insights – Strategic Coach
Anthropology ...
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Beyond Eureka How ABSOLUT VODKA transformed the brand using Strategic Insights ?

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Beyond Eureka How ABSOLUT VODKA transformed the brand using Strategic Insights?
What are strategic insights and how did Absolut Vodka search for Strategic Insights leading to product innovation. Insights are key for innovation

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Beyond Eureka How ABSOLUT VODKA transformed the brand using Strategic Insights ?

  1. 1. Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com How ABSOLUT VODKA transformed the brand using Strategic Insights Perchingtree Solutions Inc. Innovative & Intuitive Solutions to Wicked Problems www.perchingtree.com Beyond Eureka
  2. 2. Strategic Insights Case Studies Absolute Vodka’s Search for Consumer Insights Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
  3. 3. Suggested Reading Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com The Difference between Instincts, Intuition and Insights What are Insights and why are they Rare and Elusive ?
  4. 4. Background – Absolut Vodka Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
  5. 5. Background – Absolut Vodka (1) Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com ABSOLUT is a Vodka brand produced near Ahus in Southern Sweden. It is owned by the French Group of Companies Pernod Ricard who bought it from the Swedish State in 2008 for € 5.63 Billion (€ 6.4 adjusted for inflation in 2016)
  6. 6. Background – Absolut Vodka (2) Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com ABSOLUT was first sold under this name in 1879 in Sweden. In the 15th Century Swedes distilled spirits under the name "bränvin“ which was used for medicinal purposes. “branvin” is another name for burnt wine. Vodka emerged as a spirit during the 16th century and became a national drink of the Swedes in the 17th Century.
  7. 7. Background – Absolut Vodka (3) Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com • Lars Olsson Smith, born in 1836 in Sweden, also known as the “King of the Spirits” got employed at the age of 8 years in a General Store and became a successful entrepreneur by the age of 14. • By 1858, he owned a few distilleries and dished out tiodubblat renat ('ten times purified') alcohol. His success led to closure of competitor distilleries giving him a monopoly in the segment. • In 1879, Lars produced a vodka called "Absolut Rent Bränvin" (Absolute Pure Vodka) using advanced rectification distilling process.
  8. 8. The Seal of Absolut Vodka Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com Today One can find Lars Olsson Smith’s image on the Seal of Absolute Vodka. In 1913, Lars Olsson Smith died, but the Vodka business continued to operate
  9. 9. Background – Absolut Vodka (Contd) Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com • In 1970, the transformative moment occurred when Lars Lindmark. President of V&S Vin & Sprit AB (The Swedish Wine and Spirits Corporation) took over the Vodka business under State Ownership. • Exports of Vodka increased, but they wanted to create a new innovative brand around the old Absolute Purified Vodka. • Marketing Experts were hired with limited funds to rebrand the Swedish Vodka into a global brand targeted towards the US market. United States consumed 60% of the vodka, the world produced and American brand experts were initially hired.
  10. 10. Absolut Vodka- The Innovative Spark Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com The Swedes were not too happy with the branding ideas of the American Experts, so, also had a Swedish marketing and branding firm work on the project. The first innovative spark occurred when Gunnar Broman, an advertising person who worked at the Swedish Company, Carlsson & Broman saw a medicine bottle in an antique shop in Stockholm. This bottle design was used to sell Vodka as medicine in earlier days. The initial insight led to the baseline design of the ASBOLUT VODKA design. Eventually, coloured lettering was added to make the design more attractive.
  11. 11. Absolut Vodka- The Medicine Bottle Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
  12. 12. Absolut: Biography of a Bottle Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com This book is the "official story" of how Absolut Vodka came to be. Carl Hamilton found that publishing this book in Swedish would cost him his job at a prestigious economics institute. When he published an expanded version of a research project based on a research project commissioned by the liquor company, Vin and Spirit, he lost his job at the Stockholm School of Economics. His book credits Absolut's huge popularity to the "little guys" rather than to the suits at large ad agencies. This book is the Liar's Poker of marketing, revealing the sordid stories behind the official one. – Amazon.com A book published by Carl Hamilton is a fascinating story of the insightful brilliance about the Absolut advertising campaign. The story sounds like the story of a rock band that suddenly attracts a large following by unconsciously pursuing the insights. (Click to go to Amazon.com)
  13. 13. US Market Entry & Growth Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com At first, no one was sure that Swedish Vodka will sell in the United States. In the first batch only 10,000 bottles were ordered, however within few years, the brand reached $ 60 Million in Sales due to the ingenuitiy of Michel Roux Roux became instrumental in the development, distribution and success of many foreign products in the United States, including Stolichnaya Russian Vodkas, Grand Marnier, Absolut Vodka, Bombay Gin and Bombay Sapphire Gin, as well as many other high-quality spirits, liqueurs and wines from around the world. – Source – Biograpgy – Michel Roux
  14. 14. Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com The journey till here was pursuing an indirect goal of exporting ABSOLUT VODKA to the United States and achieve a Product-Market Fit. The insights that occurred were non-linear and led to the spectacular success of the brand. No hard analytics or big data was used to find these insights.
  15. 15. Deliberate Search for Consumer Insights ABSOLUT VODKA Part II Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com
  16. 16. Acquisition of Vin & Sprit Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com In March 2008, Pernod Ricard acquired Swedish state firm Vin & Spirit, owner of ABSOLUT Vodka for roughly $ 9 Billion. The acquisition led to a deliberate strategy to capture more market share in underserved wine and spirits segment.
  17. 17. ReD – Market Research Firm Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com ReD was hired a consultant to capture consumer insights about how to capture the home segment of wine and spirits consumption with a special focus on ABSOLUT VODKA. ReD deployed Anthropologists to study consumer behaviour during home parties.
  18. 18. What is Ethnography Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com “Ethnography is a collection of the quantitative methods used in the social sciences that focus on the close observation of social practices and interactions.”
  19. 19. Absolute Vodka Ethnography Project Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com On a hot Austin summer night, few natives got together for a evening party. The couple organizing the party was celebration their birthday with a Spanish Theme Party A 31 year old female ethnographer mixes with the crowd and takes notes on social aspects of individual behaviour during such parties.
  20. 20. Ethnography Project Well Framed Questions Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com • Huge Amount of Vodka being sold for home consumption, but, no clarity on how it is being consumed – Parties, Individual Consumption, Gifts ? • Is the spirit being consumer Undiluted or Adulterated ? • Did Consumer like Pure Vodka or other variants of the Product ? • What was the core motive behind throwing a party ? • What are the key motivators that can help in increasing sales to this consumer segment ?
  21. 21. Insights Captured Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com Insight 1 - What mattered most to the people were the narratives that accompanied the drinks. “They told anecdotes from their own lives in which a product played a central role—humorous, self-deprecating stories about first encountering a vodka, or discovering a liqueur while traveling in Costa Rica or Mexico.” – Source – The Atlantic
  22. 22. Insights Captured Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com Insight 2 – A particular sub-segment in this party, the risk takers and explorers identified more closely with the brand than others. “The stories were a way to let people show humor, or to declare that they’re, for instance, the kind of Austin lesbians who, upon finding exotic elixirs in far-off lands, are brave enough to try them” – Source – The Atlantic
  23. 23. Insights Captured Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com Insight 3 – The target segment was following a ritualized process of sharing personal experiences while explaining their choice of gifts to the hosts ““One after another, you see the same thing. Someone comes with a bottle. She gives it to the host, then the host puts it in the freezer and listens to the story of where the bottle came from, and why it’s important.”” – Source – The Atlantic
  24. 24. Insights Based Strategy Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com The ethnographic insights were combined with predictive foresights to create a brand transformation strategy.
  25. 25. Brand Transformation Strategy # 1 Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com The brand packaging needs to be transformed to reflect celebration, joy and connection with personal narratives.
  26. 26. Brand Transformation Strategy # 2 Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com Make the bottle the Canvas for Creative Expression. Create Mental Association of ABSOLUT VODKA with Parties, Music and Arts
  27. 27. Brand Transformation Strategy # 3 Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com Create an App allowing people to collaborate for party themes around ABSOLUT VODKA. Create Drink Recipes to allow experimentation
  28. 28. ABSOLUT VODKA Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com The Transformation using Soft Insights The brand transformation occurred through soft insights combining them with Intuitive Predictive Foresights. Hard Analytics and Big Data played no role in the brand transformation of this iconic brand.
  29. 29. Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com Insights are Rare and Unique to an individual or a group. If everyone has the same “Insight”, is it not Insight, but rather data or information. True Insights always follow the VARIC Framework. – Perchingtree Solutions Inc.
  30. 30. Copyright @ www.perchingtree.com References Absolute Vodka’s Search for Strategic Insights – Strategic Coach Anthropology Inc – The Article from Atlantic The Difference between Instincts, Intuition and Insights What are Insights and why are they Rare and Elusive ? Lars Olsson Smith – “The King of Spirits” Lars Lindmark – The Transformative Force behind ABSOLUT VODKA The Swedish Medicine Bottle becomes the New Design for ASBOLUT VODKA Research in Action – ABSOLUT VODKA - ReD Research Perchingtree Solutions Inc.

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