Picking Up Spirits at Ralphs®
Design Firm: Linear SC, Inc.
3D Designer: Dave Wohlner
Client: Diageo and Ralphs/Kroger Co.
When Diageo (the world’s largest provider of spirits, wine and beer) partnered with Ralphs (part of the Kroger grocery stores empire with over $70 billion in sales) to create a spirits retail solution they chose Linear SC. To provide a complete, “Below The Line” program, Linear SC relied on their detailed development process, designer talent, pencil sketches, Adobe software – and Strata 3D tools.
Linear SC (LSC) specializes in Below The Line marketing communications – a marketing approach that targets consumers or trade groups according to their needs or preferences. Diageo and Kroger were looking for just such a comprehensive solution. They needed a retail environment, and supporting marketing communications strategy, that would offer education, ease and adventure for the critical consumer entertaining segment.
The spirits category presents consumer challenges. Ease and guidance are instrumental in assisting consumer-purchasing behavior. The challenge was to find a way for the retailer to stand out from the competition and provide credibility in the category – with a specific focus on educating spirit consumers along the decision corridor.
Linear SC follows a three-phase process when developing a client program: Discovery, Visualization and Activation.
In this phase of the process LSC looks to gain client and consumer insights. They look for patterns and connections, seek to understand core emotional and rational motivations, ascertain growth goals – and use this information to focus teams of people. During this phase designers are free to use sketches to rough out design concepts.
With the help of the client, LSC was able to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Agency representatives flew to Southern California to perform multiple store checks and gather photographic documentation, store measurements and store personnel interviews.
This is the phase where homework and creative freedom begin to develop into an actual solution. Linear SC presented ideas, concepts and sketches to Diageo and Ralphs. Hand-sketches and eventual 3D concepts were instrumental in building client excitement and further fleshing out ideas.
Strata tools are an important part of this process by empowering the design team with rapid visualization. This means faster/better decisions, time-line efficiencies and an overall increase in performance for program deliverables.
“In a highly competitive environment, the challenge was to stand out while educating the consumer.”
This final phase is where Linear SC brings concepts to reality. With final creative approved by Diageo, Linear SC developed a plan of action. This included providing production requirements, a complete media plan, and even assisting in proper execution of the point-of-sale (POS) in actual store locations.
“Strata allowed us rapid visualization, faster/better decisions, time-line efficiencies
and an overall increase in performance.”
Diageo chose Linear SC because of their reputation for success, their focus on results and their excellence in execution. This complete “Below The Line” program was no exception. The client was pleased with the results, and Linear SC was – and is – pleased with the results of using Strata 3D tools as a key part of the design process. When Diageo’s National Accounts Director presented the completed program to Kroger he got a very enthusiastic response. He mused that “Many have tried. Few have succeeded – they love it!” A near biblical reference for an epic project.