Time for each other, time for Grolsch

Grolsch has the ambition of continued brand growth, and getting more people in the Netherlands to drink its product. But how can the beer brand convert this ambition into reality? After all, the beer sector is particularly dynamic. People now tend to go for craft beer or alcohol-free beer; less quantity, more quality, in a search for 'an experience' and the story behind the product.

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The Grolsch brand not only wants to stand out from its competitors: it also wants to take up a more prominent position in the hearts, minds and shopping baskets of consumers. That much is clear. But how is Grolsch going to achieve this? To do this Grolsch came to Blauw and, together, we took on the challenge of realising this ambition. By getting an insight into the opportunities for growth, based on the needs of the consumer and Grolsch's position in relation to other competitors.

A more finely-honed position, in which the focus is on the consumer.

The first task on the path to a brand's long-term growth is to home in on the needs of the consumer. In that way, you can ensure that you remain relevant in the longer term. The challenging aspect is that (potentially) more and more brands are aiming to meet those same needs. So it is important to understand what your position is in relation to the rest of the competition; then you can underline your distinctive features. This idea was the foundation for the angle we took in the research study, the starting point from which we jointly looked to find opportunities for growth.

To make the most of the existing knowledge, we started with desk research. We carefully examined all existing survey reports that Grolsch already had in its possession. Using this desk research, we were able to narrow down the focus of the research study and we set out hypotheses. Then we could start the research!

We started with a qualitative exploration of the way in which beer is bought and drunk, and the needs that this reveals. The picture created by various brands was also covered. In this phase, the focal point was story telling. This is because where figures help to identify differences and make choices, story telling helps to put these facts into context and give inspiration.

In this phase of the research, we opted to use an on-line research community. This choice meant that we gave ourselves the flexibility and time to explore the market from a range of angles and to embed insights, discuss those insights between times and to build on them.

The power of connection: needs analysis research & brand measurement

The qualitative part of the research study gave us an initial insight into the opportunities in the market. If we were to be able to take action, we first needed insight into what the scope of these opportunities was. With a combination of a quantitative needs analysis research and brand measurement, we were able to give an answer to this.

The needs analysis research gave us an insight into the way in which the market is segmented and how the different segments differ from each other in terms of needs and behaviour. The brand measurement gave Grolsch a picture of how strong the brand was in the beer market, in relation to the competition.

Then, we combined the results of both research study's with each other. This combined research taught Grolsch how it might be able to improve the brand's relevance and distinctive features. Just the sorts of insight that Grolsch could utilise to refine its positioning.

Partnership during challenging circumstances

The study was conducted against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of this all communication was by digital means, which made this process extra special. When you embark on such a large-scale strategic undertaking together, it's good to be able to look at each other face-to-face at the start, and to exchange thoughts in focus groups round a table during workshops. To safeguard that connectedness during the project, we scheduled workshops and sessions between each step. And we were able to round off the project with a digital workshop, in which we listed various angles from which Grolsch could work on its product positioning. And that connectedness, the hallmark of our partnership, can now be seen in the new campaign: 'Time for each other, time for Grolsch'.

Want to know more about needs analysis research?