Elliot Savitzky is senior vice president at TRC Market Research. He can be reached at esavitzky@trcmarketresearch.com. Hannah Robbins served as fractional CMO for Spruce Haven Farms at the time of the project profiled in this article. She can be reached at hannahrobbins13@gmail.com.

Last issue, in part one of this article (“Creating a buzz”), we described the challenges we faced in creating a go-to-market (GTM) strategy for Spruce Cowffee, a better-for-you cold brew coffee from New York-based Spruce Haven Farms.

Having identified target markets and selecting packaging and a preferred name, we needed to confirm the product’s appeal, create a leverageable positioning for the brand and gear it up for success. Specifically, with whom is Spruce most likely going to compete and how will the product differentiate itself in an already crowded market?

We tested the idea of cold brew coffee with over 1,200 geographically dispersed Gen Zs and Millennials and were astonished to find that 70%-80% of these two groups already drank cold brew coffee at least once a week. We then showed them a description of what Spruce was all about and an unprecedented 60%+ of them indicated they would either definitely or probably buy it in the future. We don’t regularly see numbers as high as these, particularly among a group of consumers who have such strong opinions about what they put in their bodies.

We then asked them to tell us in their own words why they liked Spruce so much and if they would recommend it to their friends. What we found was eye-opening: with no previous knowledge of the product or the brand, and with only a brief description of the basic premise of the idea, these consumers understood the benefits of the product, internalized them and played them back to us in way that led us to believe they were convinced that this was a product for them. Thus the brand/concept clearly resonates when the aud...