“The BIG Team has greatly
helped me and our
multifunctional team to
sharpen the future of our global business and clearly
paved the road towards a
massive turnaround of our


The alcoholic beverages category is fiercely competitive. Brands need to be constantly assessing their marketing strategies to keep them consumer relevant.

Since 2007 we’ve been collaborating with a major global drinks company to restore its market-leading position and deliver successful & efficient strategies for its 200+ brands. Changing consumer habits and cultures were demanding the company to think differently about their brands and adapt accordingly.

These high stake strategic renovations involved having to define the identity and attitude of brands, often newly acquired, in specific markets. From Asia, to Europe, to the Americas, the global corporation invited us to travel through the heritage and future of 53 of their key brands.


The renovation strategy in the United States consisted of investigating and building the brand’s unique DNA. The brand was suffering from declining sales in the category it had invented, to the point where it was proposed that the global recipe be adapted to fit the US palate.


As an adjunct to a rigorous analysis of existing data, factory visits and stakeholder interviews conducted by our team, we adopted a radical methodology. Through a combination of semiotics and ethnology we were able to bring to light the unspoken motivations of consumers. This led to the diagnostic of the true emotional barriers beyond the functional perceptions of taste.

We identified the intrinsic aspects of the brand, previously overlooked, and rebuilt its DNA by exemplifying its inventive, pioneering and innovative character.


The simplicity and clarity of the tools and techniques we developed during the course of our work led to the creation of a blueprint for brand renovation which has been rolled out throughout the organization across key geographies. We have had the privilege of partnering the organization in opening up new categories, new markets and reaching new consumers. Our strategy can be directly seen in the resulting communication, worldwide activation and innovations.

“Because of the amazing depth
of emotive insight they deliver,
a small investment with BIG
saves money across the whole research and consultancy budget for the year.”


A multinational confectionery company was facing a significant decline in its global sales of gum. The premium brand they had launched to arrest this shortfall was being delisted in numerous countries across the globe and particularly in Europe.


The objective was to re-engage consumers. To do this we needed to understand exactly why people were chewing less gum nowadays, and what was replacing that need.

We set-up a bespoke online methodology, Substitution Research, which allowed 17-21 year olds in all five continents to participate simultaneously in a worldwide deprivation study. We set different tasks across a period of 6 weeks, observing which modern life distractions replaced the act of chewing gum.


We used the insights generated to introduce prompted substitutions for gum, in order to really understand the motivations and barriers to gum-chewing around the world. We were able to provide this multinational with a wide spectrum of emotional drivers related to gum-chewing, from stress relief to concentration.

Working closely with their R&D in Chicago we generated over 100 ideas, which were then tested through Sequential Recycling with consumers across their key global markets.


Of the resultant 12 key products for their innovation pipeline, 3 have already been launched using some of our pack-designs and visuals. We further partnered the company in reappraising its benefit pyramid and portfolio, which had previously been predominantly functional to take into consideration the emotional drivers identified.

“I have experienced BIG as a very strategic and creative marketeer with a clear POV, but at the same time they are talented in bringing the views
of different people in the multi disciplinary team together.

This has lead to great results, validated in quant consumer research globally, but also to a team who has
always felt valued for their input and


Well-established in the UK and with a great reputation for the quality of its services, this Pharmaceutical consultancy wanted to expand its business to a global level, but was unsure of how their services would be received in multiple new geographies.


The BIG team facilitated a number of internal workshops and customer interviews to help the client to gain a deep understanding of how their services were perceived by customers.

The insights gained helped the stakeholders to focus on the areas of their services which might be successfully exported to new geographies. It also fueled the development of innovative new services to further enhance the offering.

Once the final concepts were agreed, we worked collaboratively with Temple University on a feasibility study to assess the potential for the company in other markets. This allowed us to develop an appropriate positioning for each target geography, which took into consideration cultural and regulatory differences.

By harnessing our local experts in-country, we were then able to gain further, specific insights from potential customers in the US, LATAM, India and Asia-Pacific regions, to validate our recommendations.

Some small adjustments were suggested to meet with the nuances of some of the target markets.

As a result, 3 innovative new services were created, along with associated branding. This reassured the company of the viability of expansion into four new geographies.


The company was able offer a new range of services to its customers and saw their annual turnover increase by £140m within two years.

©  BLOND  IDEAS  2016