Digital & eCommerce Transformation For Goose Island

Digital & eCommerce Transformation For Goose Island

Words By Siân Allmark

Welcome To Goose Island

The Goose Island Brewing Company is on a mission to revolutionize the craft beer industry by creating award-winning beers that redefine classic and innovative styles to capture the hearts, imaginations, and palates of beer drinkers globally.

In 2020, they saw an opportunity to transform their strategy through Digital and eCommerce, reaching new audiences and owning a direct relationship with their consumers. As Consulting Growth Lead, I had an incredible opportunity to lead their transformational journey.

The project was a rare opportunity to work with an established brand with a passionate and highly talented team, to design a complete full-Finstagrafunnel Growth Strategy, eCommerce website, and operational model from the ground up.

Strategic Enablers - Building Strong Digital Foundations for Growth

Our first step was to design and build a Digital coop for Goose Island. Working closely with the development partner, detailed functional specifications were created to ensure the technical capabilities of the platform matched the strategic requirements. To ensure SEO was intrinsic from the get-go, a target keyword universe was defined which informed the website structure and creation of highly-optimized content.

Designing The Digital Growth Team

Excellent talent is the ultimate fuel for Growth. Following an in-depth needs and resource scoping process with the Goose Island Leadership Team, an eCommerce and Growth organizational structure was defined. I spent time crafting the ideal profile for each role and subsequently led the recruitment, selection, and onboarding of this highly-specialized team into the organization.

Defining The Digital Growth Strategy

Designing complete, full-funnel Growth Strategy is something I have a true passion for. Each Growth System I architect is unique, complex, and adaptive, with the objective of delivering value to the venture, but also the people which it serves.

In Goose Island’s instance, there was a great opportunity to foster a community and craft stories around the innovative beers they brew, which could be brought to life digitally. So, we launched an Instagram community and crafted a behavior-based Retention program to create community and connection.

The upside of working with an established brand is you can harness existing brand equity. We did this through our media funnel and SEO, while also leveraging omni-channel opportunities across physical spaces and distribution partners to drive value into our Digital ecosystem.

Measuring Success

The Growth Strategy was underpinned by a forecast, growth model, and KPIs for each channel to track performance. For full transparency on our work, we built bespoke data visualisations to allow the internal team to monitor performance in real-time.

Holistic Experimentation

Following launch, we used strategic experiments to learn more about Goose Island’s customers, optimise their digital channels, and scale the business using a scientific, test and learn approach. Experimentation is a fundamental pillar of Growth Science, however, in this instance, we didn’t just use experimentation to deliver Growth, but to generate consumer insights and feedback which could be used across the venture’s omni-channel footprint to deliver against commercial imperatives. This was a lot of fun.

A Launch Pad For Innovation

A key pillar of the Growth Strategy was to use the Digital ecosystem to launch a dynamic calendar of category-challenging brewing innovations. The most show-stopping of which was the Cadbury Creme Egg x Goose Island Beer which achieved global, prime-time coverage and a waiting list extending to tens of thousands of would-be customers. Needless to say, it was a complete sell-out in less than 1 minute.

The Bottom Line

There are too many highlights to mention, but working with such a talented and passionate team at Goose Island, ZX Ventures, and our Digital partners tops them all. Together, we scaled Goose Island’s eCommerce sales from zero to six figures in 12 months and exploded pretty much every brand metric on the chart. Most importantly of all, we extended the reach of the brand and gave beer lovers the chance to enjoy Goose Island’s innovative portfolio of craft beers, many for the first time.

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