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Report: Brands need to adapt to changing behaviours of early adopters

Published:  26 May, 2016

Drinks brands are missing out on reaching early adopters to products in the on-trade, a new study has suggested.

Drinks brands are missing out on reaching early adopters to products in the on-trade, a new study has suggested.

A new report from consumer insight agency Protein Studios investigated early adopter behaviour in the bar environment and found that only 12% of early adopters are swayed by packaging design when purchasing an alcoholic drink.

Celebrity endorsements are also becoming less important, with just 5% of this audience finding endorsements by famous faces attractive when purchasing an alcoholic beverage.

Early adopters are those who start using a product or technology as soon as it becomes available.

Place of origin was also found to be an increasingly important factor, with 22% of those surveyed stating that they look for locally-sourced produce when purchasing an alcoholic drink.

Surprisingly, this is almost twice as many as the 12% who saw cost as the influential factor when choosing what drink to buy.

The quality of the product is important to a large proportion of this audience: 45% claimed that they are more inclined to purchase an alcoholic drink that is high calibre at a bar compared to 26 per cent being swayed by recognition of the brand.

William Rowe, Founder and CEO at Protein, says the findings mean that companies may need to make fundamental strategy changes to dealing with this audience - and adapt to an audience that is looking for the "bigger picture".

"While it may be surprising to see how little packaging design plays in swaying a decision to purchase along with celebrity endorsement in the drinks space, the reasons why become clearer when our findings highlight early adaptors are looking at the bigger picture when it comes to their relationships with brands," he said.

"Our 2016 Report reveals early adopters want to have relationships with brands that are proactive in improving the world. Secondly, this audience increasingly values the opportunity to better themselves through real life activity and experiences.

"Thirdly, marketers must have the courage to create daring, unpredictable and proactive campaigns, as this is the only way to make a real impact. Lastly, early adopters want brands to challenge them - put the ball into their court and let them seek out and discover engagement or products rather than have everything paraded under their nose."

The report from Protein looked at nearly 5,000 early adopters from around the world, predominantly UK, US, Germany, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands.