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This is a self-funded case study using our Innovation Testing solution.
With the days short and temperatures near freezing, nothing beats curling up on the couch in front of a warm heater and treating yourself to an indulgent treat. For many, that involves a mug of toasty hot chocolate. But, what if this moment of pleasure could be further improved upon?
Enter Baileys, who recently released the “Chocolate Bombe”, a sphere of Baileys flavored chocolate filled with mini marshmallows. The Bombe can be easily added to any warm beverage to add a boost of the brand’s signature creamy flavor. While non-alcoholic, it’d undoubtedly go well with a cheeky shot of Baileys liquor!
To see what the people of Britain thought about the concept, we put Baileys Chocolate Bombe to the test using our 3 C’s methodology:
Unsurprisingly, the product was found highly unique, sparking curiosity around its anticipated taste — particularly given the involvement of Baileys. Chocolate Bombe presented an exciting twist on the familiar hot chocolate experience, but still evoked feelings of warmth and contentment — perceived as a comforting winter treat. People felt the innovation was fun, but at the same time a little bit special and luxurious. This subsequently cued thoughts of them being a good gift.
Baileys has an unquestionably strong reputation; a brand synonymous with its sub-category of alcoholic beverage, but also one with associations of luxury and indulgence. While this new product stretched outside the brand’s regular wheelhouse, it stayed true to many of the things which make-up the brand’s DNA. Along with the logo and colors — and showcasing the brand’s signature flavoring and ‘creamy’ texture — the associations were indelibly linked to Baileys.
Chocolate Bombe were considered highly differentiated, a proposition unlike what anyone else in the market is currently perceived to offer. Crucially, it wasn’t just difference for the sake of difference, with the product delivering strongly on people’s key needs when looking for an indulgent treat. People were left with impressions of the product being delicious and convenient, claims that were highly credible for Baileys. This resulted in a good level of predisposition toward purchase, albeit the £6 price point for a pack of 3 dulled enthusiasm somewhat.
Taking a brand synonymous with one category and extending it into another is riddled with risks. The trick many brands miss when it comes to new product innovation is believing that carrying-over colors, design cues, logos, and other distinctive assets will be enough to build credibility. While there’s no doubting the importance of this for creating on-shelf recognizability, successful innovation goes much deeper than that.
The strength of Chocolate Bombe was a result of many of the pillars underpinning Baileys’ positioning — quality, taste, and indulgence — successfully carrying over to the new product. Further than that, the product’s use cases were also complimentary, being seen as a special treat, for gifting, moments of indulgence, and when socializing with others. Combined with the offering being truly novel, Baileys Chocolate Bombe might need to be re-positioned as an all-year-round treat!