What we Do
To maximise the growth of your brands and the segment, it’s often a significant challenge to define the highest potential portfolio of brands,
variants, styles and flavours. You may be a large business needing support on a complex matrix of brands, positionings and architectures. Or, you may be a small business wondering which brews styles or drinks flavours to pursue maximum success.
What is a Portfolio Strategy?
A portfolio strategy shows how you will unlock more category value with your brands. After your category plan identifies the biggest value growth
opportunities, your portfolio strategy defines how to win. It will define the role of brands and channels and reflect your ability to win with those
Which Brands, Which Brews & Which Tastes...When?
Your no-low offer may be a variant of a larger parent brand where you need to define which brew styles to expand into first and which best fit the brand positioning. Common questions include; Should I start with lager, when should the brand expand into wheat and then to flavoured styles? Is it important to have a 0.0% recipe or is 0.5% preferable? Should my low-alcohol proposition be 0.5% or is there an opportunity at slightly higher 2% or 3% ABV? Is a craft brew style like IPA right for my brand? How should I structure my craft no-low portfolio? What should be launched next....and so on!
We help you answer all the key questions on portfolio expansion and of the attractiveness and ease of winning with your plans. We help you define the right fit of brews or drinks styles to your brands and the timing to roll these out, always ensuring a highly performing portfolio in market.
International Portfolio Benchmarks
With experience in over 40 global markets and across many portfolios, TFC helps you make informed decisions with our simple approach taking the guess work out of planning and implementing a successful portfolio strategy.
Product Development Support & Innovation Stewardship
TFC brings many years of experience in product development and innovation from a marketing and commercial perspective. We can add
immediate value to guide your product development in areas such as:
Writing liquid & taste development briefs that translate consumer insight and brand objectives into well-expressed taste profiles & technical guard rails
Developing liquid & technical guard rails to ensure proprietary taste characteristics are captured in no-low flavours
Developing innovation briefs to create the next generation of no-low flavours
Creating best-in-class liquid portfolios with centralized supply chain solution to launch the best liquids - fast & efficiently.
Building a winning no-low portfolio strategy will normally include product development and all the usual innovation pitfalls such as performance
assessments and go-no go decisions happening too soon after launch, short term investment horizons and unclear performance metrics. We can help you plan for this journey so you can manage the decision making process with confidence.
In many countries, consumers are still getting to know the newly available no-low brands and variants. For those that are noticing, they’re trying to work out where the segment fits in their life: if it’s relevant, offers value, the best occasions to drink it and which brands are most appealing. At this early stage, leveraging strong parent brand equity with an alcohol-free variant is an efficient way to tap into the opportunity. But functional propositions based on the absence of alcohol alone can pose a real challenge because they won’t be sufficiently differentiated from the increasing number of competitors flooding the market with similar no-low offers. No-low brands and line extensions need very clear brand positioning, implementation guidelines and experience guardrails.
Brand Positioning Territories
Smaller drinks businesses and startups may not have given much thought about which part of the drinks category to operate within. There are different ways to segment the total category but approaches generally involve a matrix of functional and emotional attributes. For example, the space could be social, bonding, fun, indulgent, knowledgeable or thirst quenching. Identifying this territory helps uncover the relevant insights and human truths upon which to base your positioning and brand execution guardrails. Each ‘territory’ comes with it’s own codes, language, look & feel, claims, functions, flavour expectations and executional ‘sweet-spots’.
Brand Positioning & Core Creative Idea
The starting point for a successful brand is total clarity on what it stands for in consumers’ minds and how it adds value to their life. For a line extension this may involve understanding the different no-low insights that drive interest, which functional benefits you’ll leverage and which parts of your brand ladder to flex. For standalone brands, you’ll need a brand purpose and the positioning around it which must add much more value than just being free of alcohol. TFC can help you create compelling brand positioning and how to express the brand purpose through a simple yet powerful core creative idea that everyone ‘gets’ and which drives brand activity across every touch point.
Extending functional or emotional brand benefits or expanding the relevance to a broader group of consumers has implications for your brand
architecture. We can help you define the role of line-extensions and variants, sub-brands and standalone brands within a clearly defined brand
architecture, coherently expressed through every design touchpoint.
Brand Guard Rails & Implementation Toolkits
The fastest way to fail in the no-low brand segment is to be inconsistent or lack cut-through. Meaning can easily be lost-in-translation between a brand manager’s desk and channel execution. Creating a simple framework to explain the brand positioning, the core creative idea behind the support material, how to represent the brand (and how not to) and how to activate it is critical. Defining how your brand should be activated across the most important touchpoints reduces the potential for inconsistency, maximizes the power of brand experience and makes implementation so much easier and fun for
your commercial team. We can support brand development and define exciting experience guidelines with world-class thinking proven in dozens of countries.
Building cohesive and well-integrated no-low brand & channel plans is often challenging with team & brand portfolio structures, mixed
responsibilities and competing marketing & sales priorities. There’s no point having a brilliant business and brand plan unless your sales & channels teams and the entire organisation are aligned. Sometimes you don’t have the optimum planning capability or there are competing business priorities that distract from quality thinking time..
Designed To Suit Your Business
Whether you are a large drinks business struggling to allocate enough resource to no-low alcohol planning or a smaller business wanting to develop plans that effectively & sustainably grow your brands, we can help. The businesses that are winning in no-low are those that create simple,
prioritised and effective plans that drive results today while simultaneously defining the optimum direction for the future. We can help customise your plans to the life stage of the no-low segment, your brands, channels & customers.
Responsive To Your Needs TFC will always partner with you on defining the brief and exact problem to be solved. We can also help fill short term gaps to help you make fast
Annual Brand & Channel Plans
Brand Launch Plans
Creative Development & Agency Management
Packaging Design Process & Development
Brand Communication & Connections Plans
Effective Trial Driving & Sampling Campaigns
Events & Sponsorship Activation
Strategic Project Management
As a relatively new growth segment in the category, no-low thinking often presents a challenge when prioritising marketing communication.
Successfully balancing investment in the category fundamentals and building your brands with cut-through marketing communication requires a thoughtful, informed approach.
Driving Commercial Results First
TFC brings a simple, effective approach to building the no-low segment. We start from the moment of truth when shoppers are
selecting your brands and work backwards. We believe physical availability & visibility is the foundation from which to build successful communication plans. TFC helps you avoid the common pitfalls such as defaulting to ATL media solutions too soon and helps you focus on addressing the key barriers in the segment.
Defining Usable Consumer Pathways
We help you develop a ‘consumer pathway’ – a simple tool to identify the times in a usual daily journey that they are open to thinking about no-low and when they make their purchase decisions. This is when your brands should be presented at their best, with the right message. You may already have a creative & media agency and need insight into the no-low touchpoints or be starting from scratch and need something simpler and informed by international best practice.
Building The Right Connections Plan
When you understand the consumer pathway, building a practical and effective connections plans that drives trial and consumption frequency is the key to delivering measurable results. We help you prioritise your investment & presence in each connection, digital or media touchpoint to build awareness, consideration and trial. We help you maximize this ‘ecosystem’ so each part works synergistically with the rest for maximum impact.
Measure For ROI & Constant Improvement
At TFC, we believe measurement is critical to constantly improve your results and the overall effectiveness of your marketing
plans. We strive to help you build practical, meaningful and actionable metrics to understand return on investment and constantly improve business performance.
Getting no-low into cycle plans, field sales or distributor priorities sometimes seems impossible. Channel and Sales teams in
drinks businesses with large portfolios often seem to have more important & immediate priorities than nurturing the no-low segment.
Smaller businesses want to achieve profitability as soon as possible so often aim for broad distribution for the full portfolio (everything, everywhere) – but this approach risks proper support for all the sub-channel efforts. In all these cases, focus is critical to success. Focus on winning in the right region, sub-channel, customer and on the right shelf. And focus on the most important category fundamentals to deliver in each sub-channel. It’s complex to create a winning sub-channel and trade execution plan but the plan itself doesn’t have to be complicated to be successful.
Start Small, Win Big.
The no-low segment is still small so to achieve maximum growth, all players in the segment need to have a plan to drive trial and
purchase in the on-trade, off trade and e-commerce. As a new segment, no-low often gets lost in the broader business plans for
the drinks category but it’s important to start small now to in order win big later.
Getting the Category Fundamentals Right
As a physical drinks segment, no-low is often not merchandised together as category segment of beer or other drinks, with individual SKU’s lost amongst the brand blocks on-shelf. In some countries, no-low alcohol merchandising combined with shopper activation have shown the true potential with high double digit and sometimes triple digit growth. TFC can help build the detailed thinking on implementing your shopper marketing plans. In general these should address the most challenging barriers in no-low segment development. In the Off-Trade, we help you develop the thinking throughout the path to purchase. In the On-Trade, we can help define the key merchandising hot spots, how to build bar staff recommendation and perfect serve to maximize sales in this all-important, brand-building channel. TFC can also support your value management and pricing initiatives to ensure your no-low plans always drive incremental value for you, your customers and the category.
Portfolio Strategy To Maximize Brand & No-Low Segment Growth
No-Low Brand Development
Integrated Brand & Channel Plans
Channel & Trade Execution
Category Strategy With The No-Low Segment
Often the no-low segment is viewed as too small to be prioritized in category growth plans. But times are changing and no-low is now a big incremental bet to grow the total drinks category. Leadership teams and retail customers increasingly demand a compelling strategy that lays out exactly how you will grow the total category, not just win with individual brands. Against a complex backdrop of competing priorities, ensuring no-low is a well integrated and thoughtful part of your category plan is challenging but now vitally important.
What is a Category Strategy ?
A category strategy is your plan on how to maximise value growth for the entire beer, wine, spirits or drinks category over a period of time. It starts with a thorough understanding of consumer & shopper trends and outlines peoples’ needs in specific occasions of your drinks segment. A great category plan shows a range of growth opportunities, where you will focus and align with your retail customers’ ambitions to create a win-win outcome.
Defining ‘Where to Play’
Building a clear understanding of the sources of growth for your no-low brands is critical to maximising your chances of success. Whether you have a sophisticated market segmentation model, some market data or just an idea of the positioning of your brands, defining the biggest value pools and sources of growth will help guide your marketing efforts and significantly accelerate growth.
Defining A Winning Category Strategy
A great category plan is very clear about the how value is created. Does your plan rely on convincing more people to buy (penetration), or buy more often (consumption frequency)? Or are you relying on shoppers buying more in each shop / visit (weight of purchase) or paying more for each product (price / value)?
We help you & your team define the barriers and drivers of affecting these factors to form a solid foundation of category thinking that can guide better portfolio plans and significantly better integrated brand & channel plans.
TFC have global experience in dozens of countries around the world in the no-low segment and without fail the
biggest weakness is this important but simple step of defining ‘what are we doing and are going to succeed?’.