Gallo Dark Horse – Modesto, California
For challenger brands, even those supported by iconic winemaker E & J Gallo, grocery stores present particularly, well, challenging conditions. Beyond the normal 50,000 products lining the shelves, you have to reach shoppers who are, on average, moving at an impatient 3 MPH and giving products a scant 3 seconds to connect. All of which prompted the Modesto-based company to call on EMPATH to collaborate with their internal creative team and external agency to jumpstart the launch of the new Dark Horse line. After a rigorous look at applicable consumer psychology and trends, as well as multiple store visits, one thing became clear: the brand, as initially conceptualized, simply wasn’t achieving enough registration to break through. The simple, highly effective, first step: giving talented internal creatives a new customer-centric design lexicon along with better ways to visualize real world requirements.
After its successful launch, Dark Horse went on to become a favorite off-premise brand in both the US and the United Kingdom—where it’s now also grown into a category-shifting premium-priced option.
- Brand Empathics Investigation—combining deep analysis of wine shopper behavior and competitive trend data, 30 store visits in a number of key geographies, and customer experience mapping.
- Empathy-led Creativity and Innovation Workshops—engaging internal and external creatives in problem-solving.
- Development of a new in-office visualization methodology—including ways to evaluate how products would appear in store.
- Creative direction and design inspiration.