With an open brief to find a way for DB Breweries to play a role in the emergent ‘new wave’ RTD category. Getting there required understanding the role RTD drinks play for the modern Gen Z consumer.
The shape of the RTD category has changed significantly over the past five years. A category previously dominated by brightly-coloured, high sugar drinks was taking a sharp shift towards lower-sugar, naturally flavoured, and more refreshing beverages.
Long-time Previously Unavailable client DB Breweries came to us in 2019, asking for help unpacking the drivers behind this new-look category, and then to find fruitful space for new product development.
The result of this was Odd Company – a range of vodka drinks aimed at the next generation of RTD drinkers: gen Z and younger millennials.
The drinks sport different characters on each variant, highlighting the numerous ways in which everyone is ‘odd’ in their own special way – while celebrating the fact that ‘Odd makes Good’.
“The Previously Unavailable team were instrumental in the creation of the Odd Company brand, providing not only great inspiration, but also a continual challenge to stay true to the essence of the brand, which ultimately helped drive cut through in the market.”
The first phase of this project was an extensive discovery process to understand the competitive environment, including bringing together numerous consumer research groups to understand consumer motivations and how they are decoding the market.
We facilitated this discovery process with a number of early prototype products designed to test the limits of what was and wasn’t appealing or acceptable to our target groups. At this point were are as interested in why these prototypes aren’t acceptable as much as what is working. The prototested concepts explored diverse concept areas including: all-natural formulations; super-premiumisation; functional additives; and high craft.
In the end we uncovered a variety of insights regarding liquid preferences as well as the power of drinks which carry a story and message which these consumers connect to.
From there we turned to developing the final product, which Previously Unavailable had a hand in almost all aspect of: from working with flavour houses to develop our launch range of liquids, to developing and consumer-testing brand and packaging, to working through technical considerations around can production (getting those gradients looking just right is harder than you’d think!).
In the end, Odd Company launched into a market primed for this new wave of RTDs, and yet early enough to get the jump on the subsequent follow-on brands which tried to get a bite of the pie. You’ll now see Odd Company at festival and house parties throughout the country. If empty cans strewn on the streets is a measure of RTD success, then we’re calling Odd Company a winner*.
* PU doesn’t endorse littering – please be a tidy kiwi.