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The Brief

Carabao is a relatively new entrant to the booming energy drinks market and is most well-known for their football sponsorship, particularly the EFL competition – the Carabao Cup. They are also the shirt sponsor for a number of clubs including the two Edinburgh clubs of Hearts & Hibs. This narrow marketing focus on football over many years has given Carabao a distinct consumer profile in the energy drinks category compared to other brands, however they were concerned that they were missing out on sales to competitors in other segments.

A lack of clarity in the definition of their target audience and a skew in their brand profile towards football fans meant that Carabao were struggling to increase range & distribution in key retailers. The category & marketing teams were keen to revisit their target audience definition and develop a new brand profile that would help them build powerful trade selling stories with their target retailers.

Our Approach

In common with many other FMCG consumer brands, Carabao was heavily reliant on market research to identify their target consumer. They did have some data from direct sales through Amazon and also some shopper insight from the Morrisons More Card, however there was no first party data available for Profiling & Segmentation. Instead Serendipity2 embarked on a landscaping review of the available market research and customer insight findings from Carabao. This enabled the S2 Strategy & Insight team to draw out the main demographic, lifestyle & attitudinal characteristics of the Carabao consumer.


To develop a broader profile of the energy drink consumer, Serendipity2 used GWI data to identify the attributes associated with those consumers buying other brands of energy drink. With its range of low sugar, fruit flavoured, still energy drinks Carabao has a distinct market positioning that competes with both Red Bull and Lucozade. The GWI platform allowed S2 to build a profile of frequent consumers of specific brands and this insight provided the basis for the Persona development.

 Using a proprietary multi-dimensional approach, S2 used the demographic, lifestyle & attitudinal profiles of the energy drink consumer to identify target geodemographic segments. These types were grouped into 3 Personas to reflect the different energy drink consumers and shoppers. By ranking & grouping geodemographic clusters, S2 were able to turn a granular classification into an actionable segmentation of distinct and recognisable energy drink Personas.

The Result

As well as 3 target Personas, S2 also defined a fourth ‘Anti’ segment comprised of those types for whom energy drinks are just not relevant. Very often it’s the ratio of those consumer that are For or Against a brand that determine the potential of an area. Since the building blocks of the Personas were geodemographic clusters that are available for the whole UK, Serendipity2 were able to deploy the Carabao brand profile in their MarketView mapping & data visualisation system. This gave the Carabao category & insight team access to a tool that showed them the market potential and dominant Persona in every local area. By overlaying the locations of their target retailers, they could instantly see where to focus their sales activity.

Serendipity2 also provided Carabao with an artworked presentation that described the 3 target Personas in everyday terms so that they could be communicated around the business and with their trade partners. Persona segmentation gives brands their own language for talking about consumers, and this helps to embed the typology in the culture of the organisation and also provides a framework for developing trade selling stories.

Using MarketView loaded with the brand profile & Persona data, Serendipity2 also created sales territories for a new team of Carabao reps targeting the convenience & independent sector. This ensured that sales people were recruited & deployed in the areas of greatest potential for increasing the distribution and availability of Carabao to their target consumers.


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