What do our customers want, when do they want it, and what do we want to sell to them? Is it a product or campaign that will resonate with our audience, or will the launch fail?

It’s a tricky tightrope to walk when a business is focused on understanding their customers’ wants, whilst delivering engaging products that are feasible and profitable. For this reason, at Mr. Consistent, we have chosen to strive for a harmonious balance between data-driven decisions alongside a brand built on ‘fun’.

When we launched Mr. Consistent Cocktail Mixers at the start of the pandemic in April 2020, there was one focus – get drinks on lips. The brand was intentionally positioned to promote good times whilst drinking a cocktail (or mocktail) – we couldn’t be selling cocktails without selling the experience that is commonly attached to having a drink or two with your friends.

Once the first version of our product had launched, as with any startup, cashflow was lean and revenue growth was the first and foremost goal. In those early days of balancing a new business in very uncertain times, we leant heavily into reminiscing and reminding people of the fun times they have had and how they could create these experiences at home. Growth followed, quickly, and the motto of Good Times and Good Cocktails became our focus in all aspects of the business.

Growth aside, we quickly realised that building a solid foundation for a rapid-growth startup business couldn’t rely solely on selling fun to the customer – which is where our first party data became our best friend.

With my previous background in ecommerce and product management, data had always been my driving force in making business decisions, which was especially needed as our budgets became larger and a nationwide footprint began to take shape. Our social footprint is one of the largest in the Australian beverage industry, and we leant into this engaged customer base to layer with the stats that we had from internal reporting.

Our customers and community became, in a sense, an extension of our product development and sales teams. By directly involving this engaged group in our conversations around new flavours, new locations for our products to be stocked and events they would like to see us at, we were able to begin to harness data that would help us fast track results.

Drawing from our owned data, such as SKU sell through analysis, Customer Acquisition Costs, Returning Customer Rate, Average Order Value, Customer Locations and Conversion Rates for launches and seasonal spikes, we were able to begin planning for new products with a much more informed decision-making process.

Alongside this first party data, we began drawing invaluable information directly from our existing customers with surveys and polls. Often incentivising these with discounts or product bonuses to capture the interest of our customer, they were able to directly influence our priorities around products and campaigns by telling us their thoughts as well as any gripes with our business. Interpreting this data, extracting the useful information, then putting it into plan and action became a streamlined process, and we have been able to consistently deliver in-demand products and campaigns to our customer base – exactly when they want them.

In a time where people had almost unlimited captive attention spans, while the outside world was locked down, this information became available often and more freely. Now that our customer base has moved to a new normal, we often have to work harder to sift through information that we receive, to ensure we are continuing to make the right choices and balancing our data with our knowledge of the wider industry trends.

While our method of applying the data we are collecting daily will be a constantly evolving process, our focus on delivering sensational cocktail mixers that bring joy to our customer base doesn’t ever waver.

Our upcoming releases this year are still based on customer demand and feedback – this particular release has been almost four years in the making, and our most in-demand flavours! Pairing this invaluable customer data along with our confidence in our ability to deliver these products to market, in an exciting way, allows us to continually stay at the front of the industry.

Kahrissa Bell is chief brand officer at Mr. Consistent and keynote speaker at Online Retailer Conference in Sydney, 24th July. Kahrissa’s session will focus on ‘From Data to Daiquiris: Maximising Customer Data for Personalised Marketing and Improved Customer Experience’ with more information available here.