Applying Multiple Prototyping Methods to Explore and Refine New Concepts

The Challenge

The Diageo Futures team were seeking to understand how they could meaningfully act upon the growing trend of mass customization within the Johnnie Walker business and achieve mid-to-long-term commercial outcomes targeting £100m in net new business.

The Key Insight

To deliver this we partnered with the Diageo Futures team and explored the trend towards mass customization and why and how this was relevant for whisky consumers. We dove deeply into consumer types (from Traditional to Mainstream) and the evolving world of Status, as well as the assets and capabilities of Diageo in order to determine in what way, if any, a personalized whisky product could appeal on a large scale.

Having explored the ‘why,’ we also sought to understand the ‘what,’ by distilling our research and hypotheses to rapidly define a vision for what Johnnie Walker’s mass customization should offer. This led us to create JW My Edition, a personalized whisky platform capitalizing on two key opportunity areas: premiumizing blended whisky and unlocking the Direct to Consumer channel for Diageo.

The Outcome

Because no other businesses had delivered a product like this before, we needed to test some of our key assumptions to refine our strategy and we led with several experiments to get confidence in the proposition.

Indiegogo Campaign: Launched crowdfunding campaigns at different price points to gauge optimal market pricing which helped us to identify specific price points, and realizable revenue potential, based on real consumer behavior.

Digital Pop-up: Built prototype digital experience and web shop to test consumer conversion rates which helped us settle on a direct to consumer model, rather than via online retailers, to maximize margin.

Prototype Design: Designed bottle, packaging and specific operating procedures to test operating model effectiveness which helped us to develop a full commercial case, based on revenue potential and full operating costs, to secure investment from the business.

The business launched Johnnie Walker My Edition in 2018.

In 2018 Diageo launched Johnnie Walker My Edition, a personalized whisky platform that elevated blended whisky and unlocked the DTC channel for their business.
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