Brand Identity And Distinctive Asset Learning Journey Guides Pack Renovation For Leading Beverage Brand

Inspired by recently having read How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp, the CMO of a beverage company asked the Director of Insights what they could do to make their leading global brand more distinctive.

The Director of Insights knew that Hotspex had developed methodologies that can help brands uncover what makes them distinctive.

She also remembered that Hotspex has an innovative distinctive assets measurement tool used to help inform creative and design journeys for their clients.

Looking to make the beverage brand more distinctive globally, the Director of Insights wanted specific direction on two key assets:

1. Could they modify a key logo element and/or
2. Increase the presence of another logo element?

This learning would be an input to evolve the brand’s strategy and would likely be brought to life through a packaging refresh and a new ad campaign.


The Insights Director worked with Hotspex to evaluate its key category assets, comparing their beverage brand to its competitive set in across four different markets.

Hotspex used a proprietary psychometric tool which leverages the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to measure the two dimensions of distinctive brand assets:

1. Recognition: To identify which of the category assets are uniquely owned by the brand; and
2. Association: To understand how well the assets reinforce the associations needed to extend into a more relevant equity space.


The study provided valuable guidance for future advertising and packaging work.

By using Hotspex’s psychometric measurement tool to tap into the consumers’ subconscious, the brand was able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their distinctive brand assets.

The research Hotspex conducted determined that:

1. The brand had a leading Distinctive Brand Asset that should not be tampered with.The logo element that they were looking to modify was identified as a very strong asset, one clearly linked to the brand and reinforced the associations in the brand’s desired equity space.
It was determined that this asset could not be modified without facing considerable business risk. Rather, the recommendation was for the asset to be used and reinforced across all communications to drive findability on shelf and brand linkage in communications.
2. The brand had assets with future potential. The logo element that they wanted to increase was a promising asset as it consciously reinforced key associations in the brand’s desire equity space.
However, Hotspex’s Implicit Association measurement tool uncovered that the asset would need to be reinforced across touch points in order to build a stronger linkage to the brand.
3. The brand had assets that could be refreshed or removed: The brand’s color palette and font style were weaker elements compared to other assets.
This is in line with foundational research Hotspex has conducted that revealed that it is rare for brands to own fonts or color palettes.
This finding provided leeway for the team to consider refreshing the color palette and font style in future brand renovation work.


1. Mitigated risk:The learnings from this study mitigated significant business risk by preventing the marketing team from modifying a critical distinctive brand asset that was shown to drive both recognition and emotional equity on pack and in communications.
2. Ideas to improve advertising ROI:The study uncovered fresh insights into how the brand might enhance brand linkage in its communications to improve advertising ROI. By leveraging the right distinctive brand assets at the right time, they would be able to build more mental availability for the brand’s distinctive associations.
3. Quick turnaround:The quick turnaround of the work allowed marketing to quickly answer time-sensitive questions for its CMO and cross-functional stakeholders that have important business implications.

Behind The Scenes

The Hotspex brand consultants and behavioral scientists led a workshop and invited the CMO and other cross-functional leaders to help make decisions about which assets they need to build and reinforce, modify, and remove to take the brand strategy forward.

This work also front-ended learning about a packaging change the marketing team had been considering for quite some time.

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