Beam Inc. takes a new approach to spotting trends

Stephen Whiteside

Millennials are a fast-moving target. In fact, their views and habits evolve so quickly that "you can miss the trend itself, and it goes [on] to the next thing."

According to Janu Lakshmanan, global manager, consumer and market insights for vodka at Beam Inc., "Trends are a big part of the liquor industry." And, she told delegates at The Market Research Event, a three-day conference run by the Institute for International Research and held in Nashville, identifying new trends is a major priority in the alcoholic drinks sector, as the sophisticated tastes of millennial consumers increasingly drives a demand for unique experiences.

To gain an advantage over its rivals in this area, Beam Inc. challenged its insights team to "think about trends differently". The result was an in-house trend-gathering exercise that would let the firm acquire a distinctive view of the market and help its staff become familiar with the target audience.