Market Expansion for an International Premium Spirits Company

Market Expansion for an International Premium Spirits Company

Market Expansion for an International Premium Spirits Company


One of the top five global premium spirits manufacturers seeks new market opportunities to expand its business in China. Ipsos Business Consulting was invited to explore the market potential to assist the client's market expansion.

About the Client

A leading premium spirits company that manufactures and sells branded distilled spirits' products in major markets worldwide since the 1700's.

Business Issue

The client's business growth in China showed difficulties in meeting its expectations; thus, the company wanted to identify the reasons resulting in this current status and seek to expand its business in the upcoming years. Ipsos Business Consulting was invited to assist them to define and prioritise new market opportunities based on a comprehensive assessment of the size and growth of current and upcoming customer segments, with one of the key objectives being to identify new white spaces through the evaluation of existing pricing / product offerings within potential segments.

Ipsos Business Consulting Solution

Ipsos Business Consulting applied a four-phase approach to address the clients' business issues and suggested an actionable expansion plan to the client.

The first phase reviewed the spirits market in China by measuring market potential, key drivers and barriers of imported spirits in China. Additionally, key consumption patterns were identified (e.g. consumer type, price points in different channels, spirits' format and consumption seasonality). Ipsos Business Consulting also conducted regional and city level analysis to distil key differing insights to support the development of a more targeted action plan for the client.

The second phase was designed to understand channel development as well as competitor performance. Ipsos Business Consulting mapped out key market players' history, performance and key focus in the Chinese market and benchmarked their products' pricing, product offering and channel strategies with the client's so as to provide a solid insight of the competitive landscape.

The third phase highlighted key issues faced by the client through a combination of market and competitor assessment, combined with the analysis of client internal operations. Causes of key issues examined included high-level descriptions of parallel imports in China and the corresponding influence on the client's business. An analysis of the client's current channel practice, marketing strategy and corresponding influence on the client's performance in China was also undertaken.

In close collaboration and consultation with the client, Ipsos Business Consulting distilled and developed five key action steps to help the client enhance its performance in the market.

The last step developed a customized Go-to-Market strategy for the client's new brand. We concluded the similarities and nuances across different countries and the implications for the client's business, and suggested the most important attributes for the new brand development and most attractive channels in each target country.


As a result of the study, the client was able to gain a comprehensive understanding on the current status of their business vis-à-vis the market environment, devise their next steps for market expansion, and realign internal resources to focus on the five recommended actions. Post this study Ipsos Business Consulting was subsequently invited to consult the client on another follow-on study focusing on new product opportunity assessment to further strengthen their portfolio in driving growth.

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