Guinness's Black Gold Promotion: Testing the Market for a New Beer Bottle Design

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Case Study
Executive Summary May 2006

THE GUINNESS “BLACK GOLD PROMOTION” TO TEST THE MARKET FOR A NEW BEER BOTTLE DESIGN Overview
The history of GUINNESS beer is a compelling story of invention, passion and belief. Founded 246 years ago by Arthur Guinness in Dublin, Ireland, and sold in over 150 countries, the Guinness brand is recognized throughout the world. In the highly competitive global beer market, GUINNESS continues to differentiate itself through its unique taste of beer, innovative ad campaigns and creative packaging. During 2005, Guinness introduced a new design for its premium beer that included both major changes to the shape of the bottle as well as the labelling. In order to test this new design with customers a promotional campaign was planned to take place over a period of two weeks in approximatley 50 pubs in Nigeria, the largest market for Guinness in Africa.

The “BLACK GOLD” Market Research Campaign
Over the years, Guinness has primarily used focus groups to identify customer needs and determine how its products and brand are perceived in the market place. After being introduced to the ESP customer feedback management system the forward looking Guinness management team decided to use the system as part of its promotional campaign. The objective was to obtain quantitative customer feedback to validate the results obtained from focus groups. With the wide spread use of cell phones, the Guinness team realized the potential of the ESP system to instantly capture and provide real time customer feedback using its SMS text messaging features. It also wanted to be seen as an innovator in using new technologies to further enhance customer perceptions about the company as being a leader in its space.

Example of ad used for the “Black Gold” Market Research Campaign

As part of the “BLACK GOLD PROMOTION” campaign, hostesses were located in the pubs and customers were encouraged to comment on the new design. Customers were given attractive...
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