Connecting whisky lovers and driving brand advocacy

Development, Mobile, Rapid Prototyping

Founded in 1892, Balvenie is a traditional Scottish malt whisky distillery who’s flagship drink has become the ninth bestselling single malt, with demand continuing to grow.

Balvenie approached Simplicity Partners looking for a way to stay connected with their customers beyond the purchase of the physical product. With consumers now more interested in the heritage of traditional, high-end brands, and the production methods behind what they drink, we spotted an opportunity to create a new space for whisky lovers to share their passion.

The Solution: ProtoShop

ProtoShop is a structured, time-based approach to solving a brand or industry challenge by developing a solution with technology. The method combines innovative ideas, prototyping and user testing – all in the span of one week.

Our clients have used ProtoShop to build new products, improve existing products and test ideas in a risk-free and rapid environment.

Day 1: Explore

Our first step was to organise a workshop between ourselves and Balvenie to develop a common understanding. Our objectives during this workshop was to define the challenge, articulate assumptions, identify the target audience and align all stakeholders towards the same goal.

For Balvenie we began by sharing a discussion on the importance of the smartphone in the customer journey, particularly in regard to social sharing. We wanted to utilise mobile technology to increase brand exposure to whisky enthusiasts, in a way that was truly distinguishable from other ‘look-a-like’ brands.

Day 2: Ideate

Our second step was to develop as many solutions and ideas as possible that addressed the challenge and goals identified during day one. Based on the findings from the first workshop, we pulled together a team from within Simplicity Partners who would be best suited to answering the brief.

Day 3 and 4: Prototype

We started this next phase by exploring all of the ideas and solutions that we brainstormed on day two – reviewing and debating each against the brief and challenge being faced by Balvenie. Once we had agreed on the idea to run, Simplicity Partners organised an intense day of building a medium-fidelity prototype that was of a high enough quality to gather reliable insight and feedback from the focus group we run on the final day.

For Balvenie we wanted to set them against the norms of branded content, and agreed with the client to create an iPhone app that would cover a range of whisky distilleries. The app would give users the latest single malt news, opinions and user reviews. After this we began developing a wireframe model to present the layout, which we then used to mock-up a working prototype model of the app, which could be tested on an iPhone.

Day 5: Test

The final step was to test the prototype. For this Simplicity Partners organised a focus group with the relevant audience. Within this session our goal was to validate / invalidate the product ideas, uncover design flaws and better understand the target market’s needs and desires.

For Balvenie we organised a focus group with a selection of whisky lovers and bloggers, allowing us to document how they interacted with the prototype and analyse the extent to which it enriched their relationship with the brand. Due to the high praise received for the prototype, we were asked to create a fully functional version of the app.

What ProtoShop could do for your business…

By the end of the week, you will receive a working, fluid prototype that is owned by you, and can be used for further development.

Also included:

Documented results of user testing
Technical documentation
User experience wireframes

Get in touch to find out more