How do we launch a new product at speed?

At a glance

In a highly competitive, caffeinated market, innovation and agility is key. Costa ­– the UK’s fastest growing coffee shop ­– prides itself upon both. We partnered with them to discover a way to make coffee people’s drink of choice, even in hot weather.

In just 6 weeks, with our rich customer insight, coffee was transformed into a cold, refreshing drink­ through the successful launch of Costa Cold Brew in 230 London stores. And this was just the start – Cold Brew was also set for a global roll out, with a tailored positioning to fit each market.

The full story

We developed an agile approach, running staggered focus groups across the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and China, which allowed us to build on insights as they emerged, and to enable decision-making at speed. We tested different positioning routes with consumers, exploring which elements, messaging and specific language resonated most. Product trials of three proposed variants of Cold Brew with consumers let us record reactions to taste and texture, how likely they would be to purchase the product, and how much they would be willing to pay.

Our research provided clear direction on the best positioning for launch. We identified the opportunity to answer a customer need – providing refreshment in hot weather – rather than simply focus on product attributes.

We tailored our recommendations to the three markets in which fieldwork was conducted, allowing our client to best flex the proposition to reflect cultural nuances and tastes.  

We uncovered a real appetite for Costa Cold Brew informing a launch in 230 stores in London. Our rigorous research also gave Costa the confidence to roll the product in the United Arab Emirates, China and Poland – with a distinct direction on the positioning, launch execution and distribution strategy of the product in each market.


weeks from concept to launch


London stores launched Costa Cold Brew

Global roll out approved

“The learnings from this research were absolutely fundamental in shaping the entire Cold Brew proposition globally. This is the perfect example of agile research conducted at pace but with the rigour required for strategic decision-making. We will continue to work with the team for future global innovation."

Emma Whale, Senior Business Insight Manager, Costa





What we did

Brand & business strategy