Creating a Concise Survey for Consumers

The thought process of what to make as a seasonal in 2020 is already underway for Deschutes Brewery.

Veronica Vega, the Bend, Oregon brewery’s director of product development worked up a consumer survey to gauge interest in some ideas the brewery has come up with, and paired that with an in-house team and consumer input from the taprooms, preparations are already underway.

Putting together a survey can be a challenge. You want to get as much info back while not losing the consumer’s interest before they finish it and hit send. That input can be valuable toward creating the next hit in a lineup.

“Brevity is key to holding attention, but we pack the questions with identifying people’s preferences that can help us make educated decisions in our development process,” Vega said. “We are constantly monitoring trends and are using this data to validate those findings.

“We also pilot the survey internally to see how long it takes to complete and adjust questions if needed.”

Deschutes runs a monthly tasting at the pubs and tasting room where folks can taste the beer and fill out a survey on what they’re sampling. Vega said they review the feedback as a development team and make any adjustments necessary on the next batch.

“We also give private tours of the pilot brewery with a similar tasting and survey and will be extending the surveys to the tasting room when we have a new project on tap,” she said.

The recently releases survey for customers through the newsletter is an example of Deschutes increasing engagement with customers in product development.

“On seasonals, we want to know their emotional tie to the brands and gage excitement on new ideas,” Vega said.

On the tasting surveys, Deschutes will ask them about flavor, feedback on a name and whether the consumer believes it would be successful in the market.

In the newsletter’s survey, Deschutes focused on seasonals.

“We want to have a full picture of how people feel about our current and future seasonal beers,” Vega said. “We have sales data which is of course a wonderful way to see how strong a brand is, but we want to know how people feel about the beers and how our decisions could affect our customers.

“We know that if a person has subscribed to receiving our newsletter, they are in some way invested in the brewery and connected to our brands. The Bitter Truth subscribers is a very broad audience that can provide direct, comprehensive input from a large consumer base.”

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